Last week I was in Belgium in the beautiful city of Leuven for the SIETAR Congress.
SIETAR stands for the Society for Intercultural Education, Training and Research and their biennial congress is a very friendly affair. Of course a Congress is always very diverse, forgive the pun, and in addition diversity was one of the main themes of the Congress this year so todays show is also very diverse.
If you are listening to this from our website then you will see a beautiful image of the gothic town hall of Leuven. This is where we had the opening reception to the Congress and this is also where we heard the mayor of Leuven, Mohamed Ridouani, give a very inspirational talk about what you can do at local level to make people feel valued and included. Unfortunately I did not ask him to be on the podcast but we do have an interesting variety of people for you in the next 25 minutes or so.
I’m sitting here in Denmark after having attended the annual IATEFL conference in Liverpool in the UK. There are always people from all over the world at this conference, which is one of the biggest gatherings of teachers of English as a foreign language in the world and this year was no exception.
One really nice surprise for me was to meet up with We’am Hamdan who I had recently worked with virtually. I love working online but it’s always nice to meet people face to face and We’am had travelled a long way from Palestine to be in Liverpool where she was leading a session for the IATEFL Global Issues special interest group. We’am was talking about a really interesting and universal topic so we have decided to devote this whole show to it.
In this show, you will hear about Sadhana Forest. This is a nonprofit organization which was set up in the alternative international township, Auroville, in the South-East of India about two hours south of Chennai. You may remember that our show 231 was also about Auroville and if you have the time you may want to re-listen to that episode. The main activity of Sadhana Forest is to plant trees with the aim of re-creating the forest which used to be in that area.
At first, we will listen to Mike Roy, who is originally from the United States and is the Project Director in Sadhana Forest, in this show he explains why he made the decision to pack up and be a member of this community in India. Noel Parent, our guest in episode 231, tells us how the volunteers contribute by working in the Auroville community. And finally, we will go back to Mike Roy and this time he talks about how to get involved in Sadhana Forest project.
in our first category “absolutely sustainable”, Mike Roy, from Sadhana Forest talks about spiritual paths and explains that the idea is to live according to intention rather than convention.
In our second category “absolutely open” Noel Parent, who is an Aurovillian explains how we should all be learning by making mistakes. Noel was also our guest in episode 231.
In our last category “absolutely easy”, Mike Roy will share some ideas about how you can get involved in the Sadhana Forest project and do something for the environment.
Thank you all who joined us for today’s show. Please check out our website at absolutely-intercultural.com. Here you can get more information about this and previous episodes. And if you liked our show, please like us on Facebook, too.
By the way, did you know that we are also on iTunes? You can subscribe to us there for free and give us a rating and a comment. We would appreciate that!
Our next show will be coming to you from Anne Fox in Denmark on 3rd May
Until then –
Bleiben Sie absolut interkulturell!
The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann
Editor: Mariane Castro
Assistant: Selsela Arya
Thanks to Katie Stewart who contacted us about an interesting initiative she had heard of and which means that for the first time on Absolutely Intercultural we’ll be hearing about make-up and how that differs across cultures.
And we’ll also be going to China to find out more about the universal social monitoring that you read so much about.
Please put your headphones on and listen to a very lively Show 235 from Australia!
Today our show will take you to the “Lucky Country“, where the Australians with their often multicultural backgrounds have developed a positive “can-do”- attitude and try to give everybody a “fair go”. I have been pretending to be one of them for four months now, as I am teaching and doing research down-under at the University of the Sunshine Coast.
Listen to my interviewees in Australia. Last Saturday, 26 January 2019 we celebrated Australia Day, and I planned to go out with my microphone to share my Australian impressions with you, the listeners. In order to prepare myself, I listened to my own show about Australia Day which I did five years ago which really nicely captured the spirit of the day. I hope you will forgive me, but at that point I put away my microphone, uploaded show 175 again and enjoyed the celebrations in Noosaville hands-free, as a guest, not as a podcaster this time.
Continue reading Australia Day +++ Can-do attitude +++ The lucky country +++ Absolutely Intercultural 235
This show, 234, is ten years later, so why am I re-visiting Signe’s charity 100% to the children? Because I bumped into a stall for her charity at a local Christmas market last November and I was curious to find out how this one-woman organisation was doing.
In this show, which could carry the sub-title “absolutely boquerones” we are going to focus on the culture of Málaga in Spain. And Boquerones is the typical fish grilled over open fire on the beaches of Málaga, but it is also the nickname for the inhabitants of Malaga. First, we will listen to Julian talking about his experience in Malaga, Spain, as he is doing a Semester abroad at our partner University, Universidad de Málaga. Juanjo, an Erasmus Student from Spain, who is currently studying a semester at RheinAhrCampus in Germany, will talk about the differences he noticed in the educational systems of Spain and Germany. And finally, we will listen to Trish, who is originally from Ireland but lived in various different countries and now lives in Málaga, will share with us why she decided to live in Spain.
What is a virtual exchange? Maybe not what you think. We’ll be digging deeper into that in this special edition of Absolutely Intercultural coming to you from Denmark. My name’s Anne Fox and this is show 232. Today’s show is mainly about promoting dialogue between different groups of people. So what is dialogue? And can you tell the difference between dialogue and, for example, debate?
In this show, you will hear about Auroville, an experimental international township in the South of India. This interpersonal and intercultural experiment was founded exactly 50 years ago in 1968 by Mirra Alfassa also known as “the Mother”. At first, we will listen to Noel Parent talking about his intercultural and spiritual journey and give us some detailed impressions about life in Auroville and what he enjoys most about this magic place. Our German student Lucas Bolten, who is currently studying a semester abroad at our partner university, the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras in India, will talk about his experience as a guest visitor in Auroville. And finally, we will listen to Noel Parent talking about the educational system and the importance of “learning by doing” in Auroville.
In this show we will be mainly in Africa; Zanzibar to be more exact. We’ll be hearing about people’s relationships with animals in Zanzibar. And about how football is played differently in the UK, US and Africa. Mostly we’ll be hearing from Christine Atkinson who now lives in Zanzibar and how she ended up getting a job with social enterprise, Chako.