Self-Imrpovement Culture +++ Personal Goals +++ Social Expectations +++ Absolutely Intercultural 282 +++

Hello dear listeners and welcome to show 282 of our podcast “Absolutely Intercultural”. Today, we are going to talk about the culture of self-improvement.
One way or another, most of us strive to be better than we really are. We would love to look better, be more successful and feel better than we really are. Many of us constantly try to improve ourselves our working styles and our lives: taking care of our health, searching for our purpose in life, trying to make a difference in the World, developing our skills for the workplace, and working on our private relationships.
Let us assume that self-improvement is the way forward to feeling better about ourselves. But then, why do we feel so exhausted, trying to be perfect everywhere and all the time?

absolutely determined

In our first category, absolutely determined”, we will listen to Teona from Georgia. As she is clearly a member of the self-improvement culture, Teona already knows what she wants to have achieved in 10 years time and has identified which extra skills the “future-Teona” needs to be a member of this self-improvement culture.

absolutely risky

In our second category, absolutely risky”, we will hear from Beyza. She shares that in order to improve herself, she had to leave her cultural comfort zone and take the big risk of leaving her home country, Turkey.

absolutely aware

Finally, in our last category, “absolutely aware”, we listen to Johnson from China. He tells us how the Chinese self-improvement culture encourages a strong awareness of losing face in front of others and to keep up one’s dignity. In some cases, this fear of losing face may be stronger than the fear of death.

What about you? Do you have a truly personal approach to setting your own improvement goals? What do you think about the self-improvement culture? Is it the next fashion after the fitness boom? Do you think it can really make us happy as individuals? Get in touch, and feel free to share your unique story with us here on this podcast.

Our next show will be coming to you on the 3 of March.

Until then – check your personal goals against those of the cultural bubble you live in! – and

Bleiben Sie absolut interkulturell! 

The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann

Chief Editor: Natalia Obikhod

Assistant Editors: Kyeong Jin Kim, Faisal Faisal

 

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Sports Culture +++ Why we do sports +++ Influence of sports +++ Absolutely Intercultural 281 +++

Hello and welcome to show 281 of our podcast “Absolutely Intercultural”. Today, we are going to shed some light on the “Sports Culture” which is a non geographically determined culture that people from all over the world can be part of . From our international guests, we will hear what can motivate or inspire people to do sports. What are the values and beliefs that sports people share? Is it all about physical health and strength? Or is it actually about mental well-being? Some sports people go for the satisfaction produced by accomplishment. Some go for the collectivist idea of team spirit and equality and inclusion, working against discrimination based on gender or race.

Perhaps, the running and sweating is only a side issue and the sports culture is really about cultural values such as team spirit, resilience and shared achievement which would mean that sports have a much greater impact on us and on society than we may think.

absolutely impactful

In our first story “absolutely impactful”, we will listen to Brian from India. Brian shares with us how playing sports can bring amazing outcomes to people, especially when we look at mental health. He says, doing sports makes him feel at his best.             

absolutely competetive

In our second story, “absolutely competitive”, we will listen to Steph from Canada. Steph shares with us how she has played hockey for years and how it can be hard being the only woman on the field. No matter what, Steph never gave up, and biting comments from male players even encouraged her to become more competitive.

absolutely productive

In our third story, “absolutely productive”, we will listen to Albano from Italy. Albano tells us how he does sports to redirect his negative energy to something productive and manages to get both toxins and negative ideas out of his body and mind.

What about you? Are you part of this sports culture? What or who inspired you to start and what keeps you motivated? What benefits does it have in your professional and personal life? Do you believe sports may be able to solve problems that our politicians cannot? Or perhaps you are more critical of this culture? We would love to hear more perspectives on this topic. Get in touch, and feel free to share your unique story with us here on this podcast.

Write a comment or mail us, we could do a follow-up interview with you in one of our next shows. On our web page, absolutely-intercultural.com, you can get more information about this show and previous episodes, and you can leave comments. And if you enjoyed the show, please like us on Facebook too.   

By the way, did you know we are also on iTunes or Apple Podcasts? You can subscribe to us there for free and give us a rating and a comment. 

Our next show will be coming to you on 6 January.

Until then – think about what the sports culture means to you! –

Bleiben Sie absolut interkulturell! 

The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann

Chief Editor: Natalia Obikhod

Assistant Editors: Kim Kyeongjin, Faisal  Faisal

 

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Political Correctness +++ Woke Culture +++ Being PC +++ Absolutely Intercultural 280 +++

Hello and welcome to show 280 of our podcast “Absolutely Intercultural”. Today, we are going to talk about the culture of “Political Correctness”. Since the 1980s many people in public life have used politically correct language either to avoid discrimination and to treat others respectfully or because they are worried about being judged by more politically correct people. The original idea of the concept was to try to make the world less racist, less homophobic, less sexist, in short into a better place. But will this cultural change really ever achieve worldwide equality of genders and races? Or will the PC language only change the way we speak but not the way we really think or behave? Many critics see pc language as censorship and draw parallels to George Orwell’s utopian idea of “Newspeak” in his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, where the totalitarian regime decides to reduce the language to the point that ideas which are not desirable can no longer be expressed.

From our guests, we will hear how they see and experience this new culture of political correctness, which is now gaining more and more influence on our vocabulary, our minds, and our lives.

absolutely filtered

In our first story, “absolutely filtered”, we will listen to Faisal from Iraq who is currently studying in Germany. Faisal tells us that political correctness in Europe makes him feel a little uncomfortable in communication. He compares the PC and woke languages to having a filter on everyone’s mouth.

absolutely responsible

In our second story, “absolutely responsible”, we will listen to Waqar from Pakistan who owns a plastic free shop in Germany – “Unpacked Remagen“. With his business, tries to introduce his customers to environmental awareness, such as climate change. For Waqar, political correctness concerns more than just the language we use. It is about taking responsibility and real action.

absolutely open-minded

In our last story “absolutely open-minded”, we will listen to Niklas from Germany. For Niklas, being politically correct depends on the situation he is in. At work, he will be politically correct. However, when hanging out with his friends, Niklas can allow himself to make some politically incorrect jokes to bond with them.

What about you? What do you think about political correctness? Does it come to you easily to be politically correct in every aspect of your life? And do you think with the help PC language we can really reduce discrimination and reach equality? Or do you struggle with the new language as if it censored and restricted your expression? Get in touch with us, and feel free to share your unique story with us here on this podcast.

Write a comment or mail us, we could do a follow-up interview with you in one of our next shows. On our web page, absolutely-intercultural.com, you can get more information about this show and previous episodes, and you can leave comments. And if you enjoyed the show, please like us on Facebook too.   

By the way, did you know we are also on iTunes or Apple Podcasts? You can subscribe to us there for free and give us a rating and a comment. 

Our next show will be coming to you on 2 December.

Until then – rethink your own political correctness –

Bleiben Sie absolut interkulturell! 

The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann

Chief Editor: Natalia Obikhod

Assistant Editors: Kim Kyeongjin, Faisal  Faisal

 

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Green Culture +++ Second-hand Shopping +++ Being eco-friendly +++ Absolutely Intercultural 279 +++

Hello dear listeners and welcome to show 279 of our podcast “Absolutely Intercultural”. Today, we are going to talk about the “Green Culture”, about being eco-friendly, about the culture of environmental sustainability – or whatever words you use to describe this phenomenon. Today, we are shedding some light on the Green Culture that is getting more and more popular all over the world. From our guests, we will learn that the green culture has many different practices and approaches, from saving water to reflecting on your wardrobe. We will also hear what motivates people to join the green movement, whether it is a love for animals or for the planet or simply a wish to save some money.

absolutely eco-friendly

In our first story, “absolutely eco-friendly”, we will listen to Hannah from Canada who is currently living and working in Germany. Hannah tells us a story about how she gave up trying to be the “cool” kid and decided to change her clothing habits by creating a “timeless wardrobe”.

absolutely vintage

In our second story, “absolutely vintage”, we will listen to Erda from Albania. Shopping at second-hand stores has always been her hobby. In Germany, Erda, to her surprise, realized this hobby doesn’t only help her to find authentic vintage outfits but at the same time makes her a part of the Green Culture in Germany.

absolutely underprivileged

In our last story “absolutely underprivileged”, we will listen to Mathumitha from India who has recently arrived in Germany for her semester abroad. Mathumitha shares with us how differently green practices can be interpreted in different parts of the world.

What about you? Are you or your friends a part of this Green Culture? In fact, we would love to hear from people who reject the whole idea! Get in touch, feel free to share your unique story with us here on this podcast.

Write a comment or mail us, we could do a follow-up interview with you in one of our next shows. On our web page, absolutely-intercultural.com, you can get more information about this show and previous episodes, and you can leave comments. And if you enjoyed the show, please like us on Facebook too.   

By the way, did you know we are also on iTunes or Apple Podcasts? You can subscribe to us there for free and give us a rating and a comment. 

Our next show will be coming to you on 4 November.

Until then – find your unique way to the green culture – or not!

Bleiben Sie absolut interkulturell! 

The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann

Chief Editor: Natalia Obikhod

Assistant Editors: Kim Kyeongjin, Faisal  Faisal

 

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Multicultural Individuals +++ What makes you multicultual? +++ Absolutely Intercultural 278 +++

Hello and welcome to show 278 of our podcast “Absolutely Intercultural”. Our topic today is “Multicultural Individuals”. Have you ever asked yourself if you are multicultural? And if so, what makes you a multicultural individual? Is it because you were raised in a multicultural context? Or because you learned foreign languages and now are multilingual? Perhaps you travelled around the world and visited 5, 10, or 20 different countries? Multiculturalism seems to be very complex, and to be a multicultural individual can be quite challenging, but also quite fascinating.
From our guests, we learn that for some individuals the path to multiculturalism starts in early in childhood if you are exposed to different languages, traditions, and religions.

absolutely adaptable

In our first story, “absolutely adaptable”, we will listen to Esjona from Albania who is currently living and working in Germany. Esjona shares with us that she feels like a chameleon that walks between the Albanian and the German cultures and changes her skin color according to her surroundings.

absolutely natural

In our second story, “absolutely natural”, we will hear from Agnes, who is half German and half Brazilian. She was born and raised in Germany, where she has lived for her whole life. Nevertheless, Agnes feels more than just German and has a deep connection with the Brazilian culture.

absolutely challenged

In our last story “absolutely challenged”, we will listen to Vitor from Brazil who has recently come to Germany to pursue his international career. Vitor shares with us that on his path to multiculturalism, he had to deal with many challenges – such as homesickness.

What about you? Do you think it is worth going through this trouble to become multicultural. Or, do you think we shoud spend our energy getting to know our own culture better? Feel free to share your unique story with us.

Write a comment or mail us, we could do a follow-up interview with you in one of our next shows. On our web page, absolutely-intercultural.com, you can get more information about this show and previous episodes, and you can leave comments. And if you enjoyed the show, please like us on Facebook too.   

By the way, did you know we are also on iTunes or Apple Podcasts? You can subscribe to us there for free and give us a rating and a comment. 

Our next show will be coming to you on 7th October.

Until then – make up your mind about multiculturalism –

Bleiben Sie absolut interkulturell! 

The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann

Chief Editor: Natalia Obikhod

 

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Cultural Expectations concerning travel +++ Expectations Vs. Reality +++ Slow Travel +++ Absolutely Intercultural 277 +++

Hello and welcome to show 277 of our podcast “Absolutely Intercultural”. In the middle of our travel season in Germany we are going to talk about “Cultural Expectations concerning travel”. In this show, we will hear about different types of travellers or maybe even different cultures of travelling. Whichever type of traveller you are, holidays often take you out of your routines and comfort zone to test your flexibility. The guests we have for today’s episode will share cultural insights that they had not expected. 

absolutely crowded

In our first category, “absolutely crowded” we listen to a conversation between Carlos and Shelbi about their expectations of London. Where do our cultural expectations about places we visit actually come from? From family and friends’ experiences? From Films we have watched? Perhaps even from our Language Learning Books? 

absolutely memorable

In our second category, “absolutely memorable”, we will listen to Shelbi who talks about her real experience in London and how her expectations were changed by reality even from the very start when she checked into her hostel.

absolutely unexpected

In our last story, “absolutely unexpected” we hear from Carlos  about his experiences in London. He shares how discovering something unplanned and unexpected during the trip made him enjoy his time even more. Carlos realized that with all our planning it is good to also leave some time unplanned just in case an unexpected opportunity presents itself.

What about you? Have you ever traveled somewhere where you felt there was a cultural expectation that you have to tick off at least seven “Must-Do’s”? Or do you sometimes prefer to travel without having expectations or a strict plan? Feel free to share your story with us.

Write a comment or mail us, we could do a follow-up interview with you in one of our next shows. On our web page, absolutely-intercultural.com, you can get more information about this show and previous episodes, and you can leave comments. And if you enjoyed the show, please like us on Facebook too.   

By the way, did you know we are also on iTunes or Apple Podcasts? You can subscribe to us there for free and give us a rating and a comment. 

Our next show will be coming to you on 2nd September.

Until then – travel more slowly and –

Bleiben Sie absolut interkulturell! 

The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann

Chief Editor: Natalia Obikhod

Assistant Editors:  Carlos Fuch, Lars Felder, Shelbi Ankiewicz 

 

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Managing Cultural Diversity +++ Sprachen/Internationales +++ Sustainable Innovation+++ Absolutely Intercutural 270 +++

Hello and welcome to show 270 of our podcast “Absolutely Intercultural”. Today we will talk about the biggest intercultural event of Sprachen/Internationales during the Winter Semester which is called the Managing Cultural Diversity Seminar. Every year – for the last 20 years we have invited guest lecturers from our partner Universities from literally all around the world to join our seminar. The main idea of the Managing Cultural Diversity Seminar is one intercultural topic that is discussed in detail by participants from every part of the World. This semester we looked at Sustainable Innovation. Local and international students together with the guest lecturers were divided into groups to work on Sustainable Innovation ideas and at the same time collaboration intercultural teams.

absolutely entrepreneurial

In our first category, “absolutely entrepreneurial”, we will listen to the conversation of two international students who both participated in the seminar. Carlos from Brazil and Lorena from Albania went out of it, motivated to take initiative and to start their own business ideas just because of having listened to the stories of the other participants in the seminar

absolutely project-oriented

In our second category “absolutely project-oriented”, we speak to guest lecturer Vilmante from our partner university in Lithuania. Vilmante has generously contributed to the Managing Cultural Diversity seminar for more than 10 years now and for her MCD is not only the place where she will meet old and new friends but also the place where great projects with other guest lecturers from all around the world are conceived and planned.

absolutely innovative

Finally, in our last category “absolutely innovative”, we listen to Tea, a guest lecturer from our partner university in Tirana, Albania. She held a workshop about Sustainable Innovation in Crisis, and gave a simple solution to a topic which sounds as if there cannot be a simple solution. She gave Esjona an insight before her own workshop took place.

What about you? Have you thought about finding a way to stay connected to people who live far from you? Have you started thinking of your own sustainable innovation business idea?

Please write a comment or mail us, we could do a follow-up interview with you in one of our next shows. On our web page, www.absolutely-intercultural.com, you can get more information about this show and previous episodes and you can leave comments. And if you enjoyed the show, please like us on Facebook too. 

By the way, did you know we are also on iTunes or Apple Podcasts? You can subscribe to us there for free and give us a rating and a comment. 

Our next show will be coming to you on 4th of February.

Until then – start formulating your next sustainable innovation idea – and Bleiben Sie absolut interkulturell! 

The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann

Chief Editor: Esjona Musta

Assistant Editors:  Natalia Obikhod,  Elene Mikeladze

 

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Internalization +++ Erasmus Experience +++ Life In a Cultural Exchange +++ Absolutely Intercutural 269 +++

Hello and welcome to show 269 of our podcast “Absolutely Intercultural”. Today we will listen to our Chef Editor, Esjona Musta from Albania who will share with us the biggest step in her internationalization story so far. Have you got any plans for internationalizing yourselves? What can you do to have a multitude of intercultural challenges? How does an Exchange program like ERASMUS change young people’s lives? How did Esjona manage to integrate herself so quickly and learn about traditions of a new culture and religion? 

absolutely integrated

In our first category, “absolutely integrated”, Esjona will take us into the Carnival Celebrations in Cologne. Imagine her in a crowded train full of Germans dressed as Movie characters, such as Pocahontas, but also as the Christmas Grinch, next to Santa Claus, and the whole zoo.

absolutely traditional

In our second category “absolutely traditional”, Esjona will get an unexpected Christmas present while she is describing how it feels to celebrate a traditional Christmas in Germany. 

absolutely Erasmus

Finally, in our last category, “absolutely Erasmus”, Esjona makes a toast with mulled spiced wine to the most valuable lesson she learned during her ERASMUS semester.

What about you? Have you had intercultural experiences which changed your mind set or your behavior? Have you thought about starting your own internationalization story in your own country or abroad?

Please write a comment or mail us, we could do a follow-up interview with you in one of our next shows. On our web page, www.absolutely-intercultural.com, you can get more information about this show and previous episodes and you can leave comments. And if you enjoyed the show, please like us on Facebook too. 

By the way, did you know we are also on iTunes or Apple Podcasts? You can subscribe to us there for free and give us a rating and a comment. 

Our next show will be coming to you on 7th of January.

Until then – start formulating your next steps in your own internationalization – and Bleiben Sie absolutinterkulturell! 

The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann

Chief Editor: Esjona Musta

Assistant Editors:  Natalia Obikhod,  Elene Mikeladze

 

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Intercultural Stereotypes +++ Nationality Stereotypes +++ Absolutely Intercultural 268 +++

Hello and welcome to show 268 of our podcast “Absolutely Intercultural”. Sometimes we are the objects of other people’s stereotypes and sometimes, we are, in fact, the people who actively use overgeneralizations to simplify our social lives. When we use stereotypes, we instinctively categorize others using shared beliefs about a certain target group. But do cultural stereotypes really always make our lives easier, or do they sometimes ruin relationships and harm the relationship between two different cultures? Our mothers told us, not to use stereotypes, but then, some people tell us that stereotypes may be a great trigger for small talk ?Are cultural stereotypes the bridge that connects two cultures, or are they the reason why this bridge between two different cultures is never built?

In our show, three students tell us about concrete situations, where they were the objects of stereotyping and how those stereotypes affected their personal lives. 

absolutely Christian

In our first category, “absolutely Christian”, Berla, a student from Iraq tells us about being stereotyped as a Muslim by her fellow classmates before they had even seen her in her new school in Germany. They were in for a surprise.

absolutely secular

In our second category, “absolutely secular”, Erta tells us how a friendly bus driver in her university town wished her Eid Mubarak just because he knew that she is Albanian. In his mind all Albanians are Muslims.

absolutely white 

Finally, in our last category, “absolutely white”, Ali from Yemen remembers a story where a girl he met in a club was a little surprised by his skin color.

What about you? Have you been the object of a stereotype? How did you react? Do you try to use these situations to connect to others or do you just ignore them and move on?

Please write a comment or mail us, we could do a follow-up interview with you in one of our next shows. We could go deeper into other categories such as Heterostereotypes which we have about the others and Autostereotypes which we have about our own cultural group. On our web page, www.absolutely-intercultural.com, you can get more information about this show and previous episodes and you can leave comments. And if you enjoyed the show, please like us on Facebook too. 

By the way, did you know we are also on iTunes or Apple Podcasts? You can subscribe to us there for free and give us a rating and a comment. 

Our next show will be coming to you on 3 December.

Until then – try to watch out for stereotypes – and

Bleiben Sie absolutinterkulturell! 

The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann

Chief Editor: Esjona Musta

Assistant Editors:  Natalia Obikhod,  Elene Mikeladze

 

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Cultural expectations+ Helpful expectations +++ Parental expectations +++ Community expectations+++ Absolutely Intercultural 267 +++

Hello and welcome to show 267 of our podcast “Absolutely Intercultural”. Today we will talk about “cultural expectations”. Whether we like it or not – we are all trying to meet cultural expectations in our daily lives. Some of us may struggle with those preconceived ideas. Others insist we conform to cultural expectations. Back at school, for example, we may have noticed that others expected us to conform to male or female patterns of behaviour.

Can the expectations placed upon us help us be succeed in this complex worldand should we be grateful for cultural guidance on our path to success? Or will these well-meant pieces of “you should be” and “you should feel” advice become a very heavy burden and limit our opportunities?

In this show we are going to listen to the stories of Leo, Adika and Pravesh, all threeconfronted with everyday cultural expectations in very different places, at home, at school or even in the street by a random person.

absolutely shameful

In our first category, “absolutely shameful”, Leo tells us that because of the gender expectations of the other school kids, he had to stop playing with his favourite toywhich his parents had given him for his birthday,  – it happened to be a baby doll.

absolutely small

In our second category, „absolutely small”, Adika, an exchange student from Azerbaijan, describes how a random stranger  approached her to help with her heavy bags outside the supermarket.

absolutely reversed

Finally, in our last category, “absolutely reversed”, Pravesh, from Pondicherry University in the South of India, explains that in Indian families usually the sons are expected to bring in money for the family. For him -this is different. In his family, the financial help actually comes from his successful sister.

What about you? Did you ever have to change your behaviour or your plans because of the cultural expectations that other people had for you?

Our next show will be coming to you on the 5th of November.

Until then – stay as diverse as you are – and

Bleiben Sie absolut interkulturell! 

The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann

Chief Editor: Esjona Musta 

Assistant Editors:   Alina Vor, Natalia Obikhod, Elene Mikeladze

 

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