SIETAR +++ Syria +++ Pilbeam +++ diversophy +++ Absolutely Intercultural 239 +++

Leuven town hallLast 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.

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gender issues +++ Palestine +++ IATEFL +++ Absolutely Intercultural 238 +++

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.

Continue reading gender issues +++ Palestine +++ IATEFL +++ Absolutely Intercultural 238 +++

Sadhana Forest +++ Auroville +++ India +++ Community +++ Absolutely Intercultural 237

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.

absolutely sustainable

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.

absolutely open

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.

absolutely easy

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 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




cosmetics +++ Mara D’Louca +++ Instagram +++ China +++ Absolutely Intercultural 236 +++

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.

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Australia Day +++ Can-do attitude +++ The lucky country +++ Absolutely Intercultural 235

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

100%forthe children +++ Signe Møller +++ Kenya +++ Ghana +++ SDGs +++ Absolutely Intercultural 234


Happy New Year! In this show, we are going to go back to shows 70 and 74 in 2008 and 2009 when I talked to Signe Møller here in Denmark about a new charity she had just set up.

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.

Continue reading 100%forthe children +++ Signe Møller +++ Kenya +++ Ghana +++ SDGs +++ Absolutely Intercultural 234