Monthly Archive for December, 2007

absolutely intercultural 47 +++ New Year‘s Eve +++ New Year‘s resolutions +++ NYE in Denmark +++ Dinner For One +++


Fireworks over Cologne
This show will be dealing with all kinds of New Year’s Celebrations, rituals and traditions in Denmark, France, and Germany.
absolutely repetitive
Here you can learn from Beatrice which experiences she made with New Year’s resolutions and her list which she unfortunately has not put into practice yet. She also introduces us to the ritual of melting metals as a way to forecast the New Year.



absolutely French
In France – the land of fabulous meals and the home of „haute cuisine“ food is one of the main aspects of a special occasion like NYE. Michael tells us that he spends this night with his friends after having dinner with his family.

absolutely mad
Anne talks about forgetting all good behavior on that night as a ritual in Denmark. In some cases it is even necessary to take all the goods out of the shop windows to make sure nothing will be damaged. We learn everything about playing tricks and blowing up postboxes as well as the personal resolution to teach her daughters French. She also talks about the new experience of fireworks which she didn’t know from her time in Britain.

absolutely non-British
Andreas tells us about another German NYE-tradition: It is very common, to have „Dinner for One“ in that particular night. It looks like a British TV-show – but it is in fact a German comedy-sketch about an old lady celebrating her 90th Birthday and her butler James who is doing his best to make her feel comfortable. Andreas, like Anne did earlier, talks about the private fireworks which are very common in Germany.

The team of absolutely intercultural wishes all of you a Happy New Year!

The next show will be coming to you on 11 January from Anne Fox in Denmark.

So long…stay tuned!

The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann
Editor: Mathias Knops

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absolutely intercultural 46 +++ Chile +++ Rivus +++ Australian Christmas +++ competition +++ Budacast +++ Palabea +++ Economist

Chocolate Easter bilbyThe main feature today is about a teacher exchange between Denmark and Chile which started with a bottle of wine! We’ll be hearing how traditional symbols are being adapted the Australian way. And finally we’ll be visiting Budacast, the podcast of one of our regular listeners, Drew Leifheit, who knows more than most about Budapest and the area around.

absolutely musical
Here in Denmark Christmas preparations are in full swing. Not everybody celebrates Christmas but the atmosphere is making us feel generous and so we will send a copy of the latest CD of Rivus, the 3 piece band from the Czech Republic we featured in June, to the first person who can send us a mail telling us the name of the third instrument played by the band in addition to violin and double bass. We can accept either of the two names that this third instrument is known as. Send a mail to contact@absolutely-intercultural.com together with your name and an address we can send the CD to. And in the meantime let’s give you a reminder of what the instrument sounds like… perhaps you know the tune? Did you recognise the tune as Elvis Presley’s Love me Tender? There are a few more cover versions on the CD all given this unique Czech twist and the rest of the tracks are traditional Czech songs.

absolutely educational
So let’s start with something absolutely educational by hearing about a teacher exchange which is not the usual run of the mill ‘visit your neighbour’ type of exchange. I am not belittling those exchanges. In fact I did one myself many years ago when I still lived in the UK and taught at a Belgian school for 3 weeks. My exchange was easily arranged by the European Union but what about forging contacts yourself? How could that be done? I talked to Vibeke Stenberg, a teacher at Ryomgaard Realskole, just back from an exchange between Denmark and Chile. What I like about this story is not just that Vibeke’s school has built a relationship with a school in an untraditional part of the world for Europeans but also that this experience shows that exchanges can arise out of all sorts of different ways.

absolutely traditional
You may remember that I talked with Michael Coghlan and his daughter, Alison Waye, in Australia back in July. What you don’t know is that we carried on talking and then the topic of a southern hemisphere Christmas came up and I discovered something surprising. And you can see a picture of one of those chocolate bilbies at the top of this page. Do you have any other examples about how traditional symbols have been adapted? If so then leave us a comment here on the blog.

absolutely addictive
Drew Leifheit has been a faithful listener from the earliest episodes and has often left thoughtful comments but did you know that he has his own podcast called Budacast all about Hungary, its capital Budapest where he is based and surrounding countries. If you find yourself with a little extra leisure time over the next couple of weeks then why not give Budacast a listen? This snippet is about the clean rooms which are to be found in the Hungarian part of Transylvania. Do you have a clean room I wonder? Let us know here on the blog.

absolutely debatable
If you are a university student then there is a good chance you may be thinking of doing part or even all of your course abroad. It seems that universities all over the world are competing for foreign students and this must be a good thing for everybody if there is a cultural exchange. But not everybody agrees and if you would like to take part in a debate about this then the Economist magazine is holding an online debate about this until December 28. You can read the different views, add your own view and vote on whether foreign student placements are a good thing or not.

absolutely linguistic
One last little present in this show is to point you in the direction of a new language learning website called Palabea which you can use absolutely free of charge and which includes audio and video facilities so that you can meet with native speakers of the language you want to learn. According to the Palabea people ‘Access to language is one of the first steps to cross-cultural empathy.’’ To which I say ‘Hear hear!’ As ever you can find the link on our blog.

The next show will be brought to you by Laurent Borgmann in Germany on December 28 and don’t forget to mail us with your competition entry to contact@absolutely-intercultural.com if you know the name of the third instrument played by Rivus. So Merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate it and stay tuned won’t you?

The host of this show is: Anne Fox

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