absolutely intercultural 66 +++ Vikings +++ living in the past +++ battle recreation +++ Crusades +++ learning from history +++

An atypical Viking

Today’s show is about people who live in the past, more specifically about those who live as Vikings for one week in the year or every summer weekend depending on their role. What makes them prefer the Viking era over any other? How authentically do they try to live the Viking lifestyle? Is there anything we can learn from this living tableau?

We’re going to the Mosegaard Viking Moot, a gathering of people from all over the world who just want to be Vikings. Every year at the end of July, just south of Aarhus, the Vikings meet to show off their horsemanship, their handicrafts and their fighting skills for a week. People live as Vikings, more or less, and at the weekend the public are invited to join in. Since I have been enjoying this for many years I decided that this year I would be brave and approach some of these warriors, feisty women and well-travelled minstrels to try and find out what makes ordinary people try to step into such a faraway culture so completely.

absolutely historical:
I spoke to Peter Hambro Mikkelsen at the Mosegaard Museum to get some background to the event and only then did I find out how special the Mosegaard Moot really is!

absolutely homely:
Now let’s hear from some of the enthusiasts who live as Vikings. First I talked to Grethe, a conscientious Viking woman who makes all her own clothes and who comes to Mosegaard with her husband who is a horseman.

absolutely exotic:
As I was wandering round the encampment, buying pancakes and roasted meat and getting smoke in my eyes, my gaze was inexorably drawn to a very exotic looking person even by Viking standards: This turned out to be the alter ego Ibn Fadhlan who revealed his Arabic roots and recommended the 2005 film ‘Kingdom of  Heaven’ as a fair representation of the Crusades story.

absolutely violent:
Then I could put it off no longer; I simply had to gather all my courage and nail down one of the warriors to find out what made them come from all over Europe and beyond to fight. I’d always been intrigued by the number of English voices I’d heard on the battlefield over the years so I made sure that it was a Briton that I talked with. The voice belongs to Ian Judd or Gunnar as he is known in Viking circles.


absolutely historical:

Finally we return to Peter Mikkelsen from the Museum to find out if there is anything we can learn through these cultural recreations. This leads to an interesting parallel between how there was class distinction even in death in the Viking era but that the same distinction was made during the Falklands War when privates were buried in a mass grave on the Islands while the fallen officers were flown home. Peter ends with a powerful anecdote about the strength of the Viking identity.


You can find more pictures of the Moot here.

The next show will be coming to you on 2 October from Dr. Laurent Borgmann in Germany.

So long…stay tuned!

The host of this show is:  Anne Fox in Denmark

absolutely intercultural 65 +++ working cultures +++ email writing styles +++ excursion to Poland +++ teaching staff mobility program +++

In today’s show, we put our emphasis on working cultures, both, in digital work contexts and in face-to-face team work.

Whether you prefer to work in a hierarchical context or whether you prefer to work collaboratively – we sometimes end up in workplaces which do not leave the choice to us. Are you aware of the working culture that surrounds you? Do you appreciate it or would you change it if you could? Do you notice that you have an impact on this culture, too?

absolutely structured:
We hear about different email cultures and discover that yes – your email may show your personal writing style – but that your email also says a lot about the working culture of your company or your institution. Our interviewees fill us in on their opinions regarding the perfect email. We learn that signals which indicate whether the message is well structured and can easily be read and dealt with are quite important and that preference is often given to those messages which have a “speaking” subject line.

absolutely international:
Different working cultures in face-to-face teamwork are explored. Jean Lennox of the University of Applied Sciences in Mönchengladbach, Germany, reports about an international excursion with university students to Posnan, Poland, which confronts them with the difficulties of working in groups of European students from various countries. We learn that intercultural tests of what we expect of the working cultures of other countries can bring up interesting results.

absolutely mobile:
Nora Müller, who is going to the Netherlands for her practical training, gives us some insights into her preparations for her stay abroad and tells us that she believes that going to a neighboring country in Europe is still a big step.
Dr. Cruickshank from Scotland and Clementina Poposka from Macedonia came to Germany as lecturers under the “teaching staff mobility” program. We get to hear what they hope to gain from their academic mobility and in which way universities in their home countries differ from what they experienced during their visit.

The next show will be coming to you on 19 September from Anne Fox in Denmark.

So long…stay tuned!

The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann
Assistant Editor: Jan Warnecke