One week before the current crisis started, I went to Beirut, to visit colleagues at the St. Joseph University in the center of Beirut. For the last couple of years we have developed a Master course at the University in Intercultural Mediation, and in early July I recorded several interviews with Stefan Bazan, who over the years has become a good friend of mine.
We’ve talked about all sorts of things, for example how he came to Lebanon six years ago, how he met his wife or why there are two different currencies in the country. Well, in the current situation of course these subjects seem very trivial, but we’ve decided to follow those interviews up and compare them to the reality now. I interviewed Stefan on the phone on Friday, the 4th of August, to see what had changed since the war began and I left Beirut.
Stefan will happily provide you with up to date information about the current situation in Lebanon. You can get in touch with him by writing him an email or by leaving a comment on his blog.
Stefan’s Emailaddress: stefan.bazan [@] usj.edu.lb Stefan’s blog in French
The war in Lebanon is unfortuantely not the only one in the world. There are many other conflicts and crises going on of which many of us only hear on the news. And don’t we all judge the situation by the little information we get?
Well, the “Games for Change” movement provides all of us with a new way of getting a better understanding, for example the crisis in Darfur or the complex situation between Israel and Palestine. At the end of the show you’ll hear a clip from the show ‘Video Games for a Better World’, produced by the “Here on Earth: Radio without borders” program at Wisconsin Public Radio in the United States.”
The Host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann
Edited by: Berit Wiebe & Karsten Kneese
Welcome to the 10th show of ‘absolutely intercultural!’, which this time features three of our many different columns:
Absolutely Personal: ‘The streets have no name.’
How do you react when you first arrive in a culture which is completely different to the one you are used to? I talked to South African, Mark Anderson about the disorientation he felt when he went to work in South Korea and experienced for himself what is commonly termed culture shock.
He talks about being faced with a supermarket full of items which he could not recognise and this reminded me of the ice cream I bought in China in 2002 thinking it was strawberry or raspberry flavoured. The packaging is pictured. Can you work out what the main ingredient turned out to be?
‘I found these people extremely interesting – for many reasons, one of them being the sense of equality and egalitarianism that existed among them.’
There is a lot to be learned about different cultures without even travelling. Mark Anderson, brought up under the Apartheid system in South Africa, noticed straight away that the Danes that he met in his native Cape Town had a different way of relating to people than he was used to.
‘That was one of the major concerns before the project.’
How can a dating agency make a national impact on inter-cultural dialogue? This is a piece about one woman who had an inspired idea about how to initiate contact between the immigrant community in Denmark and the so-called liver paté Danes (this being the most popular topping for the Danish packed lunch). Listen to find out what the concern was and whether it was justified.
We hope you enjoy the show and tune in again on the 11th of August for show #11 from Germany.
Our ninth show is coming to you from London, so let’s have a look at our absolutely intercultural stations today.
In our last show we’ve talked about “culture as the software of the mind”, and we continue our discussion about viruses in our column ‘absolutely theoretical’.
Right after that Thomas tells us for our column ‘absolutely personal’ about an important update he and about 60 millions Britains didn’t get…the introduction of the Euro.
For our column ‘absolutely educational’ Laurent went to International House to meet Jack Lonergan. He follows up our question whether culture can be taught or not, and he gives some examples of how small adjustments can make a huge difference if we pay attention to the cultural needs of minorities.
We end the show with a completely new column: ‘absolutely incredible…but true’.
And to save the best for last, Laurent is going to sing for us! So please stay tuned and do not switch off before Laurent starts. =)
This episode comes from Portugal where we begin with a colourful street parade which includes a mass wedding.
We visit ELO SOCIAL, a place where disabled adults can work, rest and play and talk to Luisa, one of the staff..
The German station has noticed the many German flags flying on the occasion of the World Cup and ask themselves about the significance of national flags in different cultures.
Flags were also prominent in Portugal and we hear from Cristina Costa, a teacher of English at the Naval Academy of Lisbon about how she feels seeing all these flags.
My visit to Portugal was to work on the idea of how mentoring could help disabled people into the workplace. I talked to Nikolaos Floratos about the attitude of Greek employers to this idea as we walked around the palace at Sintra.
Next I talked to Vladimir Plesnik of Reintegra in the Czech Republic who had a good reason to welcome the idea of mentoring in his country.
The music was provided by Panteras Negras, the ELO SOCIAL rock band.
Welcome to the 7th episode of ‘absolutely intercultural!’.
After a round of feedback we continue our discussoin about “Culture as the software of the mind” in our column ‘absolutely theoretical!’. We talk about how we integrate updates into our daily lifes and will continue the next time with another aspect.
OK, and we couldn’t help noticing that there is something going on in Germany right now – The FIFA World Cup 2006, so the rest of this show is devoted to the game of all games!
For our column ‘absolutely personal!’ Anne interviewed John Brodie, a member of the tartan army, about a trip to Belarus he made last year and why he is cheering for the Togolese team right now in Germany.
Right after that we have a report of an eyewitness of the match Sweden vs. Trinidad & Tobago. Marie Nilsson from Sweden will let us sneak a peek into the stadium.
And for the last part of the show, which we might call ‘absolutely prepared!’, Laurent has interviewed Dr. Beate Blüggel, who works for the “Deutsche Volkshochschulverband” and who has organized the welcoming of millions of fans from all over the world in German trainstations.
We hope you enjoy the show. Please let us know what you think about it by leaving a comment here on the blog or by writing us an email. You are of course always welcome to send us an audiocomment and make suggestions on what we should talk about in our shows.
The show opens with a song but what is the language?
Translating the idea of software of the mind into practice, why not listen to today’s guest talking about the time she lived in a different country and note the tone of her voice when she talks about something which was obviously incompatible with her cultural programming. You may learn more about Icelanders than you do about Scotland which is where Icelander Gunnhildur Oskarsdottir spent three years.
After a little round of feedback the German station continues its discussion about the metaphor of culture as the software of the mind, and this time they focus on updates.
We finish with the Polar Bear podcast where you will always find out something new about Sweden in every episode. This extract comes from a special joint episode in March where Andy, the Polar Bear podcast host teamed up with Bruce of the Canadian Zedcast podcast and in which they compared notes about misconceptions about their respective countries.
In one of our first shows we asked the question: Can culture be taught? And apparently that struck a chord with many of you. We’ve been asked to follow that question up, and that is what we are going to do today.
We have two stimulating interviews with Elen Rana and Audrey Fernandez-Diehl, who give courses and seminars in intercultural communication. They will tell us their opinions and share some intercultural activities with us, which can be used to raise cultural awareness.
Right after that we talk about Geert Hofstede’s concept “Culture as the software of the mind”. It is amazing how many parallels there are between two seemingly so different things. We’ll have some more insights on that in our next shows, and we invite you to join the discussion by leaving a comment on our blog or sending us an email or an audiocomment.
We also have a new jingle, and we’d like to know how you like it. Would you like to hear your voice in it? Well, then please let us know.
By the way, this show is with 28 minutes a bit longer then the ones before, but it really is worth taking the time to listen to it.
In our last show we went east, and this time we are going north. The fourth show of ‘absolutely intercultural!’ is all about Scandinavia!
The show starts with “The Screaming Men of Finland”.
Right after that I asked Thomas Brevik from Bergen, Norway why he has two professional blogs? One in Norwegian and one in English? And if I had spoken in Danish and he in Norwegian, would we have understood each other?
What’s in a name? The law on names changed in Denmark recently so Trine-Maria Kristensen decided to change her name … or did she?
The show ends with a short piece about the living library, where you can not only borrow books…
This week the Chinese president travelled West to the United States to meet George Bush. Our virtual journey will take us in the opposite direction. We will take a closer look at one of the most fascinating and diverse but also controversial, countries in the world…China!
We have interviewed Professor Stefan Kammhuber, who has both, a scientific interest in the country, but he also fell in love with its people and its beauty.
And we’ll hear why Ching, a Chinese girl who studies in Europe, was very impressed by a little Belgian statue.
After that we’ll be ‘absolutely indiscrete’ again. This time we talk about the cultural implications of Google’s new Chinese name…and why what was called the “old hound” now likes to be addressed as the “harvest song”.
In the end we have a little Chinese lesson for you. Jenny and Ken from the ChinesePod-Podcast talk about politeness in China.
Thanks to all of you for your numerous comments after the first show – we were overwhelmed by your response! In our second show we ask ourselves: Can intercultural awareness be taught in a classroom? Can it be taught in online courses?
We start by giving you some quotations from the 17 comments of feed-back on the first show. Fernando, a Spanish student who is doing his internship in Germany explains how surprised he was to hear Germans discuss different olive oils as if they were wines. Alexandra gives examples of how you can teach intercultural communication by facilitating intercultural experiences between participants of different countries. Ana shares her experience of an intercultural business simulation between her university and universities in Sweden and Lithuania.
And then we ask you, the listeners: Have you got any experience with intercultural classes? Perhaps even online? How can we gain intercultural awareness? In our gossip column Tommy from Denmark tells us how the Mohamed-cartoons crossed his holiday plans in Egypt and in our look at our favourite podcasts with cultural contents we hear about solar radio for coffee traders in Ruanda.