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Culture Connection by Marty Parker

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Introduction

I AM THE YOUNGEST OF SIX KIDS. My five siblings were born within a short nine years, and then I came along—nine years later. So there was quite a divide. In fact, my eldest sibling, my brother Steve, is 18 years older than I; he was an adult by the time I was born.

Growing up in Barrie, north of Toronto, I often felt that my natural role in the family was that of observer; I observed the behaviour of my brothers and my sister as they went from being teenagers to being young adults, as well as the behaviour of my parents. I was constantly surrounded by people—typically older people, whether it was my siblings and their friends or my parents (who were well into their forties by the time I was a toddler) and their own, older, siblings. ...

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