absolutely intercultural 36 +++ Bringing up baby +++ the Kenyan, German, Australian, Danish or Scottish way +++

This show has been recorded outdoors because everything seems to happen outdoors at this time of year in Denmark including cooking programmes on the TV as well as weather forecasts.

Baby by ECohen, Flickrabsolutely yours
Don’t forget to add yourself to our Frappr map on the blog. It may be interesting for us to talk to Vox Appeal from Rennes in France for example, who says he’s interested in podcasting in or about minority languages.

This show will be about children because child-rearing norms are deeply culturally bound and serious problems can occur when parents from one culture rear their children in a different culture.

absolutely babyish
We hear from Collette Döppner who in an earlier show told us about her pregnancy in Germany as a Kenyan woman. Now that her child has been born, things have got no easier as Collette attempts to carry out the Kenyan tradition of sleeping with her baby. Her grandmother provides wise advice and support when the new family visit her in Kenya.

absolutely confidential
Collette has been able to work out what she wants in discussion with her husband but what happens when you are mother to the new Prince of Denmark, you come from Australia and Danish norms dictate that young children spend much of their time in kindergarten? The press has a field day for certain especially the Australian magazine Woman’s Day, but are Australian and Danish norms so far apart or is this just tabloid journalism? I talked to Michael Coghlan and Alison Waye in Adelaide to try and make some sense of this scandal.

absolutely childish
Finally we talk about slightly older children of about 4 or 5 years old. Does it make a difference whether what they are attending is called a school or a kindergarten? This topic arose when I was talking to Ewan McIntosh about something else at the Reboot conference in May and I suddenly began to wonder if we weren’t talking at cross purposes. In the process you will hear what is surely the shortest curriculum in the world, the Scottish school curriculum which is summed up in eight words as ‘Successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors’. A succinct and positive note on which to end.

The next show will be coming to you from Germany on August 10th.

The Host of this show is: Anne Fox

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absolutely intercultural 34 +++ reboot +++ Ewan McIntosh +++ Wikimedia +++ WeBreakStuff +++

reboot, Ewan McIntosh, Wikimedia and WeBreakStuff

Reboot logoIn this show we talk to some of the people who attended the Reboot 09 conference in Copenhagen in late May. Reboot traditionally focuses on the Internet and online applications and tends to attract businesses and programmers but it is far from as technical as it sounds. The theme of the conference was ‘Human?’ and touched on issues such as achieving the ideal work/life balance, integrating children into a career, what happens to your blog when you die and how can cyber organisations which belong to no physical location motivate people all over the world to fund their activities?

Absolutely Educational: ‘Universities should be a place where you get it wrong.’ As part of his French studies at university, Ewan McIntosh spent some time teaching English in a French university. How did his students, used to the traditional academic French approach, react when he cleared away the desks and asked them to rank their own performance?

Absolutely generous: ‘Cheques are still free in France.’ Delphine Ménard, a French woman living in Germany works for the Wikimedia Foundation whose projects include Wikipedia. She talks about how such an international organisation can reach out to different cultures to secure the funding they need to continue their work.

Absolutely ideal: ‘It’s not the most practical thing but it’s not hard at all!’ Fred Oliveira from Portugal has decided what his priorities in life are and explains how he has managed to set up a cutting edge company without needing to remain in the Bay area of California.

Absolutely expert: Our very own PodKarsten, Karsten Kneese was invited to speak on an expert panel at the Podcast Day in Cologne on June 20th. So make sure you tune into the next show on July 13 to find out much more about it.

The Host of this show is: Anne Fox

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absolutely intercultural 16 +++ Moët et Chandon +++ Internships in France +++ Bilingualism +++ Intercultural faux pas +++


Using cultural informants from your own personal network.

Absolutely interactive highlights the Crossing Borders forum which aims to foster intercultural dialogue.

In Absolutely Personal we talk to Greg Houfe who had two French internships almost twenty years ago as part of his degree in European Business Administration.
Looking back did he think working at Moët et Chandon benefited him? Would he now employ a former intern preferentially over someone who had not had this type of experience?

In Absolutely Linguistic I talked with Gwen and Mia, 12 and 9, who are bilingual in Danish and English. Does this affect their identity? Do they mix the languages up?

And finally in Absolutely Confidential I talked to Tony Fox who was caught out in a conference in Germany recently.
The Host of this show is: Anne Fox

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‘absolutely intercultural!’ 14 +++ World Music Festival in Grenaa +++ Greenland – Danish or Greenlandic? +++

Danish World Music and how to survive in Greenland without speaking Greenlandic.
Click on the image to see the larger version

This is Grenaa. People don’t dance here!

We hear snippets from the first World Music Festival in Grenaa where the idea was to celebrate the diverse musical talents now to be found within Denmark’s borders. The quote is from the Katamanto Highlife Orchestra set. We also hear a snippet of the Klezmer music of Mames Babegenush.

The one you throw stones at.

This is the Greenlandic way of referring to the ptarmigan bird. So how realistic is it that someone working in Greenland will learn Greenlandic? Jens Nyeland worked for three years as a scientific advisor regarding the sustainable use of seabirds and talks about the difficulties of the Greenlandic language.

You couldn’t go anywhere.

Regitze Nyeland describing the effect of the Greenlandic winters which she otherwise
found very easy to live with. How did she fare with the Greenlandic language in her
job dealing with youth problems in Greenland’s capital, Nuuk?

Picture credit: The Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) in Greenland by Jens Nyeland
The Host of this show is: Anne Fox

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‘absolutely intercultural!’ 10 +++ Culture shocks +++ Intercultural running dinner +++

Welcome to the 10th show of ‘absolutely intercultural!’, which this time features three of our many different columns:

Click to see full sizeAbsolutely 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?

Absolutely National:
‘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.

Absolutely inspired:

‘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.

The Host of this show is: Anne Fox

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‘absolutely intercultural!’ – Show #4

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…

The host and editor of this show is: Anne Fox

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‘absolutely intercultural!’ – Show #2


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.

The Hosts of the show are: Anne Fox and Dr. Laurent Borgmann

Chief Editor: Karsten Kneese (the pod-Karsten)

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