Monthly Archive for January, 2008

absolutely intercultural 49 +++ Texas is a state of mind +++ American-German genealogy +++ travelling with Servas +++


rows and rows of Cowboy boots int a shop in Austin, Texasabsolutely Texas
Gosh – the internet seems to put not just the world, but also our family history, at our finger tips. I noticed this on my last trip to Texas. People from all over the world do research in the Sophienburg Museum and Archives to find their ancestors. A family of three generations in 2008 find their roots in New Braunfels. Volunteer organisations help us to travel the world with a “very restricted budget”.

absolutely unbelievable
Laurent tells us about an unbelievable coincidence he witnessed during his stay in Texas. An American family of three generations makes a trip to an immigration museum in New Braunfels between Austin and St. Antonio to do some research with the help of an old photograph which shows their family house. To everybody’s astonishment this turns out to be the very house the director of the museum lives in. All this unfolds while the microphone is running …

absolutely Texan-German
Linda Dietert, a true “Texan-German” tells us about the history of the Texas settlers in the 1850s. Their descendants, some of whom still speak some German after all these generations, are often happy to talk about their background in the “old world” and keep up some of the old traditions such as sausage-making . But of course a Texan “Bratwurst” does not have the same taste as its German relatives – and why should it?

absolutely hospitable
Agnes tells us about the “Hospitality Club” where you can find places to stay for your next journey if you cannot afford to pay for accommodation on your travels. Adelheid Korpp provides detailed information about “Servas” a non-profit organization which also puts you in contact with hosts around the world and she shares her experiences with us. We hear about hosts who give out their keys to guests whom they have never seen before or offer their own cars instead of telling you where to rent one. This Servas-spirit of sharing is meant to “foster new insight, knowledge and tolerance of others”.

The next show will be coming to you on 8 February from Anne Fox in Denmark.

So long…stay tuned!

The hosts of this show are: Dr. Laurent Borgmann and Agnes Dus
Editor: Mathias Knops

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absolutely intercultural 48 +++ Salford +++ Webheads +++ pantomime +++ voting +++ Pangea Day

Aladdin PantomimeIn this show I am mainly in conversation with Cristina Costa. But there are also many interruptions from a pesky pantomime audience! They just about allow me to announce a very special film festival.

Absolutely surprising: ‘I had never heard of Salford before!’ Cristina comes from Portugal where she was working as an English teacher in the Portuguese navy but just over a year ago she decided to take on the job of Learning Technologies Development Officer at Salford University in the UK. Cristina describes the now familiar long settling in period when you migrate. But regarding her work Cristina felt right at home very quickly mainly due to her established connections through the Webhead online community.

Absolutely Cultural: It was round about last October that I realised that our children had never experienced that very British phenomenon, the pantomime and that they might soon be too old to appreciate it so this year we made a trip to the UK during which they were introduced to this theatrical experience. When I searched for some sound effects for this part of the show I realised that the word pantomime has different meanings depending on where you live. In the US pantomime means the silent acting out of a story whereas in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and a few other places pantomime refers to the highly stylised telling of a fairy story. When I started researching a bit more on the topic I discovered even more rules which I hadn’t been aware of such as that the good fairy always enters from the left and the wicked witch from the right (as seen by the audience). To find out if it was all worthwhile I asked my 13 year old daughter, Gwen, what she had thought of the whole thing.

Absolutely political: I had just received my registration papers to continue to be able to vote in British national elections when I spoke to Cristina so I couldn’t resist asking her whether she was still able to vote in Portugal. Different countries have different rules. In France and the USA you have the vote for life. In the UK you have the vote for 15 years and in Denmark you lose the vote as soon as you leave the country (with the exception of temproary studentships). The more people take advantage of freedom of movement, the greater will be the number who are disenfranchised. Does this matter?

Absolutely cultural 2: Pangea Day is an unusual film festival planned for May 10th this year. It will consist of short videos made by you if you can complete it by February 15th. The aim is to speak to the world and the organisers advise that you could take one of over 200 cultural universals such as pain, play, anger, music, status or shelter as your theme to make sure that the film speaks to as many as possible.

Absolutely your last chance to win a CD by the Czech band Rivus. What instrument do they play in addition to the double bass and the violin?

The next show will be coming to you on 25th January from Laurent Borgmann in Germany.

So long…stay tuned!

The host of this show is: Anne Fox
Editor: Mathias Knops

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