Russia +++ sanctions +++ Diversophy +++ N Korea +++ Absolutely Intercultural 211 +++

Binoculars
Not allowed in North Korea

Where in the world can you get one hectare of land for free and retire 5 years earlier than the rest of your countrymen?
What would it be like to do scientific fieldwork in North Korea?
Welcome to Show 211 of Absolutely Intercultural, the podcast about all things intercultural. My name’s Anne Fox and this show is coming to you from Denmark.
Continue reading Russia +++ sanctions +++ Diversophy +++ N Korea +++ Absolutely Intercultural 211 +++

Diversophy +++ George Simons +++ Cultural Infusion +++ Joko’s World +++ Absolutely Intercultural 205 +++

Joko's worldLet’s play and learn. In this show we’ll be playing games and music and I’ll be announcing a new course if you are a teacher of adults in a diverse classroom and there’s news of an additional podcast episode coming in September, off-plan and in Danish.

Thank you to all those of you who have been following us on Facebook where we add links to interesting intercultural stuff and alert you when a new show comes out. Shoutout to Imad Zazi who gave us our 600th page like. Thanks Imad!

In today’s show we’ll be hearing how music can help children learn about global cultures.

We’ll also be talking to George Simons about an exciting new twist to his well-established Diversophy game.
Continue reading Diversophy +++ George Simons +++ Cultural Infusion +++ Joko’s World +++ Absolutely Intercultural 205 +++

absolutely intercultural 142 +++ George Simons +++ The Consultants-E +++ Bollywood +++ Internations +++

absolutely angry
In this show we re-vsisit the chat I had with George Simons in show 138. George you may remember is the creator of the Diversophy intercultural games. We also talked about other intercultural games and when I mentioned Barnga, which we described way back in show 43, he told me about another very effective intercultural game. You could tell this was a good one because it made people absolutely angry!

absolutely distant
It’s not just anger which is a symptom of your being out of your comfort zone. I was surprised when Janice Ford, an Australian talked about this feeling of being absolutely distant. Janice Ford took a course with me at The Consultants-E where I help teachers intgerate ICT into their language teaching and is just one of the many interesting people I meet there from all over the world.

absolutely incredible
You’ve probably heard about Bollywood, the Indian film industry, and how it rivals Hollywood in scope and numbers of films produced so now we’re going to hear from Rebecca Chadwick, who’s just finished high school and is so mad about Indian film that she signed up to a years course at the Asian Academy of Film and TV in New Delhi and simply flew straight into her course at the beginning of July having never travelled further than Europe before. If you watch satellite TV you’ll probably understand why I’m calling this strand absolutely incredible when I contacted Rebecca shortly after her arrival to hear about her first impressions.

absolutely social
Now perhaps Rebecca might have benefited from being a member of Internations, a website designed to help expatriates all over the world cope with being stationed far away from home. My final guest on the show today is Malte Zeeck, co founder of Internations and my first question was about why such a website is needed. If you like the sound of internations and would like to join, then get in touch with me through this blog as I have some invitations available. Perhaps you were inspired by our last show to organise a foreign internship or semester exchange? You can also test your English by trying a short dictation taken from this interview here.

Our next show will be coming to you from Dr. Laurent Borgmann in Germany on 2nd September 2011

The host of this show is: Anne Fox
Editor: Markus Scherer

absolutely intercultural 138 +++ Saudi Arabia +++ Iraq +++ NYOI +++ Diversophy +++ Refugee Week +++

Diversophy logoIn this show we’ll be hearing about how games can help your intercultural awareness. We’ll also be following up on a couple of items from the last show by going to Iraq to hear more about the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq initiative which brought Arab and Kurdish Iraqis together to make music and we’ll be re-visiting the issue of the right of Saudi women to drive cars in cities.
absolutely independent:
In the last show we went absolutely independent when we heard about the Saudi women who were going to drive their cars on June 17th in a bid to convince the authorities to accept this practice. Actually June 17th was not meant as a one-off but as a start date, but it seems that the day went well with quite a few women driving their cars with only minor brushes with the police as a result. This is in contrast to what happened with a similar action in 1990 when the women then were harassed by the authorities and other citizens and described as ‘The fallen: Advocates of vice and corruption on Earth’. ‘A source of depravity’ and when other citizens were advised to ‘Take whatever action you see fit’ to bring them under control. What’s the difference between then and now? Perhaps that, because of social media, the eyes of the world were on Saudi Arabia on this occasion.

absolutely social
So does social media such as Twitter and Facebook have an effect on culture? That is a question which I shall be exploring as part of a webinar organised by Christine Develotte and Fred Dervin on June 29th.  More specifically we will be looking at whether social media can actually contribute to developing intercultural competences. You will find the link to the free webinar here.

absolutely playful
We’ve covered games before and today we’re going to hear from George Simons working with Kati Volt about his Diversophy game, how it works and a bit of background about how the game is made. So how can you gain some intercultural awareness through a game? George Simons of Diversophy.com explains the game which started out as a face to face card game but now also comes in online and Android smart phone format. We also hear about sample cards in the game and how people react to them. In fact George and I had a great deal more to talk about; too much for one show, so you’ll be hearing more from George and his gaming approach in future shows. In the meantime you might like to try one of the Diversophy Android apps on your Smart phone.

absolutely musical
Now let’s be absolutely musical and hear a little more about that incredible orchestra put together by audition on YouTube which puts together traditional enemies, Arabs and Kurds, to play together in an Orchestra which is due to perform at the Beethoven Festival in Bonn this coming October. In previous shows we have heard from Paul MacAlindin, the conductor and Karin Wolf, the viola teacher, as well as the RheinAhr Campus students whose task it was to find a way of raising awareness of the event. In this show I will play you an extract from one of the videos put together to explain the background to this very special orchestra. You can see and hear the whole video here.

absolutely desperate
Did you know that this week is international refugee week? In Australia it was marked by an amazing reality show, Asylum Exit Australia: Go back to where you came from , in which over three consecutive nights you followed the journey of six ordinary Australians who made the refugee journey to Australia backwards; in the words of the programme makers :

Deprived of  their wallets, phones and passports, they board a leaky refugee boat, are rescued mid-ocean, experience immigration raids in  Malaysia, live in a Kenyan refugee camp and visit slums in Jordan  before ultimately making it to the Democratic Republic of Congo and  Iraq, protected by UN Peacekeepers and the US military. For some of  them it’s their first time abroad. For all of them, it’s an epic  journey and the most challenging experience of their lives.

This is all about trying to walk in the shoes of others or leaving your comfort zone and is meant to confront viewers with their stereotypes of refugees as spongers and taking the easy option and so on. For the moment this has only been broadcast on Australian TV.  But the TV company have added another way in which you can get a taste of what it might be like to have all your normal certainties suddenly taken away from you, in the form of  a simulation. The game starts in Australia where, through some unamed political developments, you are suddenly in extreme danger of your life and need to escape. How does it feel to have to leave the place you consider home, to suddenly not know who you can trust? These are the sorts of issues which the game explores. You can try it out for free. I’d be interested to hear your reactions so do add a comment here after playing it. .

Ways to support “The National Youth Orchestra of Iraq”:

The National Youth Orchestra of Iraq would especially welcome your support on the various social media sites if you have a moment or two to spare.

YOUTUBE: 1. NYOI plays for kids, 2. General Information, 3. KICKSTARTER

FACEBOOK: 1. German, 2. International

Our next show will be coming to you from Dr. Laurent Borgmann in Germany on 8th July 2011

The host of this show is: Anne Fox
Editor: Markus Scherer

absolutely intercultural 112 +++ blogs to watch +++ Valentina Dodge +++ Open University +++ heaven +++ World Cup +++ Bulgaria +++

 

absolutely tagged
When we first started this show back in 2006 and wrote here that we were the first podcast to deal with intercultural matters I thought it wouldn’t be long before we had many competitors. But now four years later something has happened to make me look again to see what is available for people interested in intercultural issues and it seems to me the situation has not changed that much. This podcast was tagged as ‘one to watch’ by Valentina Dodge, a teacher of English and online teacher trainer who writes a blog called Life Long Learning. Being tagged gives us the obligation to nominate ten more blogs to watch. This tagging or nomination is part of an initiative called “Vale a pena ficar de olho nesse blog”, which means “It’s worth keeping an eye on this blog”. So how does this work? The chosen blog has to copy the picture above, with a link to the blog from which it has received the award. And since this is a podcast I thought I would nominate a mix of blogs and podcasts and I thought that they should be about intercultural issues. And what I found is that there are certainly no other podcasts doing quite what we do but I think I have found some interesting ones anyway. In all I have found 5 blogs and 5 podcasts. I’ll alternate between the blogs and the podcasts. So, onto the first blog. 

1. Intercultural Eyes
My first choice is Intercultural Eyes  by Bettina Hansel an American geographer and here is an extract from a post she made about friendship as a cultural value:

Nowhere do you find the values of a society so clearly marked as when you look at what educators are trying to teach children. I am still mulling over a recent New York Times article that discussed the efforts of some U.S. educators to discourage children from having just one “best friend” on the grounds that other children will feel excluded. Those from other countries who have puzzled over the seemingly superficial nature of U.S. friendship would do well to read this article and see if it sheds some light on the experiences you have had. Apparently these schools claim to be worried about the nastiness that can take place with exclusive cliques, and don’t want students to be ”so possessive about friends” but I am not convinced that their attempt to encourage children to form big groups of friends is a cure for social exclusion or bullying. I haven’t noticed that bullies have a single “best friend.” Yet, according to the Times article, school and summer camp personnel are concerned about children who form a tight friendship with just one other child. The goal is “healthy” (read: not too dependent) relationships with everyone.

2. Global Voices
Now we’ll hear from my first podcast choice which is Global Voices, a huge multi-lingual portal with both text, audio and video. I’ve chosen an extract from an interview about an online initiative using blogs and video to bring American, Armenian and Azerbaijani teenagers together to work on creating socially conscious media. If you want to hear more you’ll have to go to globalvoicesonline.org/-/podcasts

3. Pocket Cultures
And for my second blog I have chosen Pocket Cultures which is written by many different people all over the world. At the moment there has just been a series about intercultural marriages where couples answer a standard set of questions which include where did you meet, what language do you speak at home and do you try to cook food from each other’s countries?

4. Interfaith Voices
And now for the second podcast which is about religion. It’s called Interfaith Voices and basically explores issues relevant to all the major world religions such as the recent child abuse scandals in the Catholic church or whether there is a relationship between terrorism and Islam. I found this piece about how your idea of heaven may be shaped by your culture interesting.

5. Intercultural Memories
For my next blog recommendation I nominate Intercultural Memories by George Simons who is one of the directors of SIETAR France. Sietar is the Society for intercultural education, training and research and what Simons does in his blog is mainly review books about intercultural issues. He doesn’t post very often but if you want to build up a strong intercultural library then this is the place to go for guidance.

6. Quanxi
Often you need intercultural knowledge because you are doing business across cultures. One of the biggest business blocks is now China and many people help you to understand the Chinese approach to business. Britain’s Open University make a great deal of their material freely available and here is an example from a series about business in China which explains the concept of quanxi which I guess could be translated as reciprocity or obligation.

7. Cindy King
Blog number four is Cindy King’s blog  In fact Cindy is an expert on cross-cultural communication in social media and is a prolific Twitterer too. One thing I especially like about Cindy’s blog are her regular International links posts in which she rounds up on interesting intercultural web links.

8. The World
Now for podcast number four which is PRI’s The World. This is a co-production of WGBH/Boston, PRI, and the BBC World Service. Basically it is designed to explain the world to an American public and the topics covered range far and wide. One nice feature of their podcasts are that they provide full transcripts so if you’re learning English this may help.

As England and the US have both just limped through to the next stages of the FIFA World Cup I thought I would play you an extract from a piece they did about the relationship betwen the two countries when it comes to football (recorded before the start of the World Cup by the way).

9. Separated by a common language
And now to my final blog choice which continues the American versus England theme. The blog attempts to explain the difference between British English and American English. The writer Lynne Murphy is American and married to a Briton. The blog is often very funny and here is a short piece about toliets!

 Why is it that the (BrE) cubicles in American (BrE) public toilets never go all the way to the floor or the ceiling and there’s always a huge gap that keeps the door from ever fully being closed, meaning that one can never have true privacy?

 

As is often the case with cross-cultural rhetorical questions, there is a hyperbole-coated grain of truth here.  But first, the vocabulary.  You’ll have noticed that I marked BH’s cubicles as BrE.  I learned about this at Scrabble Club, when I had cause to mention a little sub-room in the ladies’ room that contains a single toilet.  I emerged from said room and informed someone that “There’s no paper in the second (AmE) stall“, at which point a competitor loudly exclaimed, “What, you were at the theat{re/er} in there?”  And so I defensively asked “What would you call it then?”  Ta-da! I give you cubicle.

10. Enough to make your head spin
And so to my final podcast which is from the American Peace Corps website and their wonderful Coverdell World Wise Schools Service. I can’t recommend too highly their intercultural communication training materials which are available free of charge on the website and this extract is from on of the many recordings made by former peace corps volunteers about their postings all over the world. This one is about the Bulgarian way of saying yes and no. It’s a cliche of intercultural communication that you nod your head to say no and shake it to say yes but when you actually have to live it then its quite a different matter.

Thank you to all those podcasters who gave us permission to bring you these extracts.  Do go and visit these blogs and podcasts but I hope that in the end you will still come back to us. And if you still think we’re pretty good then why not vote for us in the European Podcast Award. Voting is open until the end of July and you’ll find details about how to do it here.

Don’t forget that you can still vote for us in the European Podcast Awards both on the German page and the Danish page.

The next show will be coming to you on 9 July from Dr. Laurent Borgmann in Germany.

So long…stay tuned!

The host of this show is: Anne Fox
Editor: Dino Nogarole