Intentional travel +++ Beyond the shores +++ Tamara Walker +++ absolutely intercultural 296 +++

How do you travel? Intentionally? In today’s show we are going to once again be hearing about how the need to belong can lead to people migrating to another country. In this case it will be about African Americans who had very strong reasons for feeling that only by moving to another country could they become their true selves.

That of course, was because of racial segregation in the US that was implemented after the abolition of slavery, and that is still felt today, for example as an effect from land zoning.

Welcome to Absolutely Intercultural show number 296. My name’s Anne Fox and this show is coming to you from me in Denmark and from Germany, where Oljana helped plan and carry out the interview.

One of the main themes in this show is about intentional travel:

Our guest today is Dr Tamara J Walker, a professor of history at Colombia University, who recently wrote a book about this movement of African Americans out of the US. The book is Beyond the Shores: A History of African Americans Abroad and it’s a great read, full of information you probably didn’t know such as the story of the agricultural graduates who went to Uzbekistan in the Soviet Union where their skills were much better appreciated than back home in the US.

In this show, we’ll be hearing more about the book and how Tamara’s early opportunities to travel led her to write it, combining history with her own family story. We’ll also hear how her The Wandering Scholar scheme helps high schoolers explore opportunities inspired by Tamara’s transformative early travel experiences.

So let’s start the show by finding out more about Tamara’s book, Beyond the Shores. The book intertwines Tamara’s own history which explains how she came to be a historian at Columbia University and we hear later what she is doing to open up opportunities for others with her background.

The book begins in the theatres of Paris in the 1920s to talk not so much of Josephine Baker, who is a well-known name, but of Florence Mills whose story did not end so well. Let’s go absolutely historical with Oljana.

absolutely historical
Both Oljana and I had the chance to read the book and found it really interesting. I was intrigued about the last chapter which made the point about travelling absolutely intentionally.

absolutely intentionally
If you are travelling right now, maybe you could think about how to find out more about the new place you are in and how it got to be how it is now? For example in Pairs with Black Paris Tours.

absolutely transformative
As a way of giving young Americans the opportunities that she had, Tamara and a colleague have set up an initiative called Wandering Scholar. Let’s go absolutely transformative!

What about you? Do you travel intentionally? Could you imagine how your next trip would change to become more intentional? Have you already had a transformative travel experience? Maybe we could tell your story in a future show?

And if you enjoyed the show, please like us on Facebook .

Catch us on Apple Podcasts and Spotify? You can subscribe to us there for free and give us a rating and a comment.

The next show will be coming to you from Germany with Laurent Borgmann on the 2nd of August.

Until then – stay tuned!

The host of this show is: Anne Fox

Interviewer Oljana Haskja

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Abortion +++ Freedom of Choice +++ Ethical Dilemma +++ Absolutely Intercultural 295 +++

Hello dear listeners and welcome to show 295 of our podcast “Absolutely Intercultural”. Today, we are going to talk about “Abortion”, which is a subject that touches deeply personal beliefs, cultural values, and societal norms. It is a topic that produces strong feelings and controversies, informed by very diverse factors from personal experiences to religious beliefs, legal aspects, and more. Our goal today is definitely not to favour one perspective over another, but to offer a platform for a range of very different voices to share diverse thoughts and perceptions. 

absolutely my choice

In our first interview, a Moroccan student will share her friend’s story who faced severe challenges after marrying and becoming pregnant. Her friend’s husband was an alcoholic, and his addiction created a very unstable and toxic environment, affecting her friend both, emotionally and physically. Diogo asked her how abortion is generally perceived in her home country, Morocco.

absolutely personal

In our second category, Ada supports pro-choice policies and thinks that women should have control over their bodies. However, personally, she would never have an abortion. Oljana asked her to explain to us the context of her home country Albania, where abortion has been legal since the dictatorship ended in 1990.

absolutely pro-life

In our last story, we will listen to Edmond who is generally against abortion, believing it should only be considered when the woman’s life is in danger. This belief is rooted in his personal values and his own experiences. He will share a personal story from his own life where his pregnant wife was in serious danger.

What about you? What are your personal beliefs or values and how do cultural, religious, or societal influences shape the way you perceive abortion? Have you or someone you know ever faced a decision like that? We would actually love to hear from people who completely reject the whole idea of abortion but could not find anyone in our bubble! 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, Apple Podcasts and Spotify? You can subscribe to us there for free and give us a rating and a comment. 

Our next show will be coming to you from Anne Fox in Denmark on 5th July.

Until then – try to imagine how you would decide in the situations which were described by our guests today. And –

Bleiben Sie absolut interkulturell! 

The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann

Chief Editor: Sebastian Berg

Assistant Editors: Oljana Haskja, Fikret Küey and Diogo Vital Maia

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Belonging +++ work-life balance +++ Denmark +++ Hungary +++ absolutely intercultural 294 +++

Dora Hegedus: Your Thinking Partner

In the last show we heard about different types of freedom and in this show, 294, we will continue this theme and find out how lack of freedom can drive someone to leave their country.

Also, in this show we’ll be looking beyond the Erasmus semester abroad, at what can happen when you aim to relocate to a new country permanently. Your head or your heart? Which will win?

We’ll end with a very important problem which Danish leaders often overlook. But is it just Danish leaders?

My name’s Anne Fox and this show is coming to you from Denmark, which is where today’s guest, Dora, decided to relocate to from Hungary. Dora is a coach and therapist and has noticed that, while the headline advantages of coming to Denmark to live are fairly well known globally, there is a downside, that Dora calls “killing me softly”.

But is this show all doom and gloom? No! We will finish with a very simple piece of advice that Dora has for Danish leaders, but which I think is very good advice for everyone.

Today I am talking with Dora Hegedus who runs a coaching company, called Your Thinking Partner, in Denmark. Dora will tell us why she felt that she and her family should leave Hungary, even though she was already in her fifties when they decided to make the move. 

absolutely killing me softly
But first we’ll find out why the famed work-life balance of working in Denmark is not enough and how Danish leaders are losing their new international employees through careless inattention to one critical factor. What Dora might call, absolutely killing me softly.

absolutely ready to leave
So a sense of belonging is critical to being able to take full advantage of the freedoms of Denmark and in our next segment we will hear how it was this sense of belonging that Dora felt slipping away in her native Hungary. Hear how Dora felt increasingly alienated as we go absolutely ready to leave.

absolutely helpful
Now we don’t want to leave you with the feeling that Denmark is a hopeless case for internationals. It is clearly working for Dora. So here is one last piece of advice that Dora has for Danish leaders on how to retain their foreign staff. Let’s go absolutely helpful.

So that’s it! Ask your foreign colleagues if they need help. Advice which I am sure would bear fruit everywhere, not just Denmark. What do you think? What’s the best way of helping people feel they belong in your country?

Share your story with us via comment or email, and you could feature in one of our upcoming shows. For more information and previous episodes, explore our website.

And if you enjoyed the show, please like us on Facebook too.

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

The next show will be coming to you from Germany with Laurent Borgmann on the 7th of June.

Until then – stay tuned to your international colleagues!

The host of this show is: Anne Fox

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Paradox of Freedom +++ Freedom vs. Safety +++ Artistic Freedom +++ Absolutely Intercultural 293 +++

Hello, dear listeners, and welcome to episode 293 of our podcast “Absolutely Intercultural”. Today, we’re exploring the “Culture of Freedom.” We’re asking a big question: Is there such a thing as too much freedom in some cultures? We’ll look at how freedom affects our own cultures but also how our own cultures have an influence on the freedom we are granted. We will focus on aspects of safety, creativity and even romantic relationships. This is the Absolutely Intercultural Podcast –my name is Laurent Borgmann, and I’m here to guide you through this journey around different aspects of freedom.

Is true freedom about choosing whatever we want, or is it simply about creating a good life within agreed limits? What is the role of freedom during a war, an outbreak of repeated terrorism in a country or a world-wide pandemic? Will total freedom really spark our creativity, or is it the boundaries and limitations that actually fuel our most innovative ideas? Is choosing your own life partners the ultimate freedom, or do arranged marriages offer a kind of family safety net, deeply valued in many cultures?

absolutely safe

In our first story, we will listen to Xavier from Australia. He shares with us how he thought a lot about the paradox of Freedom vs. Safety during the Corona Crisis down-under where the freedom of movement was much more rigorously restricted than in most parts of Europe. When faced with extreme challenges, Xavier noticed in himself that he actually preferred lockdowns over predicted anarchy, no matter how strict and unprecedented the new Corona regulations were

absolutely independent

In our second story, we will listen to Raghavan from India. He talks about his niece in the United Kingdom who, like many young Indians abroad, is now enjoying an unexpected window of freedom to build a career and find a life partner by herself. These young expats often have the opportunity to choose someone they love, a freedom they would perhaps not have in their own country. However,if they can’t find someone quickly, their parents will jump in and help by arranging their marriage, even from a distance of 8.000 kms.

absolutely creative

In our last story, we will listen to Figo from Turkey who does not feel free to express his artistic freedom. He feels that social biases and narrow-mindedness discourage him from sharing his music, particularly on social media.

What are your thoughts on freedom? Do you think we have all gone too far with personal freedom? Or do you think more freedom would make your country a better place? We’re eager to hear your perspective.

Share your story with us via comment or email, and you can feature in one of our upcoming shows. For more information and previous episodes, visit our website at absolutely-intercultural.com. If you enjoyed the show, please give us a thumbs-up on Facebook.

And did you know we’re also on iTunes, Apple Podcasts and Spotify? You can subscribe for free, leave a rating, and drop a comment there. 

Our next show, hosted by Anne Fox in Denmark, will be out on 3rd May.

Until then – find out whether there can be TOO much freedom in a culture!  and

Bleiben Sie absolut interkulturell! 

The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann

Chief Editor: Natalia Obikhod

Assistant Editors: Sebastian Berg

 

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Futures Studies +++ Georgia +++ India +++ Absolutely Intercultural 291 +++

 

Image of hiker in misty mountains from Pixabay
Stereotypical image of future

Imagine the future. What do you see? I think I could safely bet a lot of money that what you’re seeing now in your mind involves high tech, humanoid robots, and metallic high-rise cities! Can we be more imaginative about the future? And how do you see your personal future? Welcome to show 291 of Absolutely Intercultural coming to you from Denmark. My name’s Anne Fox and in this show we’re going to talk about the future, or rather, futures. Futures?

absolutely plausible

We’ll start with finding out more about what Futures Studies is, or are, by talking to Thor Svanholm Gustavson of the Copenhagen Futures Studies Institute and no, it’s not about predicting the future but about the possible, the preferred and the absolutely plausible. So what are Futures Studies?

absolutely specific

Thinking about the future is good for societies but let’s explore the personal level. Now let’s be absolutely specific and find out what Viktoria from Georgia told Mariam about her views of her future.

absolutely educational

In our next segment we hear again from Thor in Copenhagen. Let’s go absolutely educational and find out why Futures Studies should be on the school timetable. Thor’s final point makes me want to run a competition to draw a vision of the future that doesn’t include high tech, robots and flying cars. But maybe that’s for the future… 

absolutely predictable

Now we’ll hear from Raj, from India, about the role of parents in writing their children’s future. There’s a clear example of the present influencing the future when Raj goes back to India and aims to promote sustainability.

So who’s writing the story about your future?  You? Your parents? Society? Do you feel limited by the number of futures that are presented to you or do you, on the other hand have too many possible futures and you need to start thinking about your preferred future? What pictures of the future do you have? Are they all high tech? You can let us know here on the blog at absolutely-intercultural.com  where we have links from the organisations mentioned in the show.

And if you enjoyed the show, please like us on Facebook too.

Thanks to Mariam for interviewing our two RheinAhr Campus students.

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

And talking about predicting the future it is very likely that the next show will be coming to you from me in Denmark on March 1 which by sheer coincidence is World Futures Day!

Until then – stay tuned!

The host of this show is: Anne Fox

Co-host: Mariam Bilge

Links mentioned in the show:

UNESCO https://www.unesco.org/en/futures-literacy

Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies https://cifs.dk/

Teach the Future https://www.teachthefuture.org/

Image: Pixabay

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Media Consumption +++ Infotainment +++ Fake News +++ Absolutely Intercultural 290 +++

Hello dear listenersand welcome to show 290 of our podcast“Absolutely Intercultural”. Today’s topic is all about the impact of our media consumption. I am Laurent Borgmann, your host, and as I am over sixty years old, I feel obliged to start with a bit of media nostalgia. Back in the good old times, yes, in fact,more than 50 years ago, every house in our street got a newspaper on their doorstep before 5 am every morning. Subscription was the rule. People would read it during breakfast, and this seemed as essential as the first cup of coffee in the day. In our city, we had two papers to pick from, but honestly, although one was slightly more left and the other slightly more right-wing they were like twins separated at birth. They sometimes even shamelessly used the same pictures on the front page. At school I learned that they were actually produced in the same printing house. And the effect? In the 1960s, when you caught up with the neighbours over the garden fence, it was like a big gossip party. All neighbours knew the same news stories and were ready to outraged by the same scandals. The update in the evenings was also the same–at 8 o’clock, families all over Germany tuned in for the TV news, and you could bet most people were watching the same news show–Die Tagesschau! Of course,even then people had different takes on the same news, depending on their political affiliations or demographic backgrounds. But we could all still join the chat because everyone had the same input. Those were the good old days.

absolutely informed

In our opening story, “absolutely informed”, we’ll tune in to Emanuel from Germany. As a young adult in Germany, Emanuel is interested in what is happening around the world. However, finding out which news reports can be trusted and which are only an opinion for the bubble they are meant for, seems a constant challenge for us nowadays.

absolutely independent

In our next part “absolutely independent”, we’ll hear from Rozana, who is from Albania and now she works as a guest lecturer in Germany. Rozana shares with us her concerns about potential government influence on the contents of the news.

absolutely positive

In our final story, “absolutely positive”, we’ll hear from Krishna, originally from India and now an exchange student in Germany. Krishna does not like to follow the news as he prefers to keep his surroundings positive.

Now, we’re curious about your own experiences with Media, are you a keen news reader like Emanuel or do you keep negative information out of your life like Krishna? Are you good at detecting fake news and do you ever report any?

Share your story with us via comment or email, and you can feature in one of our upcoming shows. For more information and previous episodes, visit our website at absolutely-intercultural.com. If you enjoyed the show, please give us a thumbs-up on Facebook.

And did you know we’re also on iTunes and Apple Podcasts? You can subscribe for free, leave a rating, and drop a comment there. 

Our next show, hosted by Anne Fox in Denmark, will be out on 2 February.

Until then – look out for fake news!  and

Bleiben Sie absolut interkulturell! 

The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann

Chief Editor: Natalia Obikhod

Assistant Editors: Mariam Bilge, Sebastian Berg

 

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Hidden history +++ Our Story +++ Absolutely Intercultural 289 +++

Fatima Al-Fihri
Fatima Al-Fihri – founder of the first university in the world in Morocco

Welcome to show 289 of Absolutely Intercultural.

Did you know that the richest man who ever lived was an African from Mali in the fourteenth century whose wealth exceeded that of Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates put together?

Did you know that the first university in the world was not in Milan, Italy but in Morocco started by a female refugee, Fatima Al-Fihri?

In this show we’re going to find out more about a publishing company called Our Story aimed at young children and their teachers, and why this might help intercultural understanding.

My name’s Anne Fox and I’m based in Denmark and for this show I’m working with Mariam in Germany.

In this show we are going to meet Fahad Siddiqui, a Londoner, living in Brazil, who thinks that we should all know more these people who have faded from history.

absolutely historical

Let’s go absolutely historical and meet Fahad Siddiqui who created the Our Story company to share these stories with children.

absolutely multicultural

As well as being interesting in their own right, one of the aims of the Our Story materials is to introduce children to different cultures so let’s find out more about that and go absolutely multicultural with Mariam.

absolutely charitable

One of the features of the Our Story books is that every time you buy one of the books, the company makes a donation to the charity, CAMFED, which supports the education of girls in a selection of African countries. Let’s go absolutely charitable to find out how and why.

I loved finding out more about the many facets of the Our Story books and I know that our conversation left Mariam thinking hard about her home country of Georgia and whether there would be a candidate for one of the books from her cultural history. And maybe you know of one from your culture too?

Share your story with us via comment or email, and you might feature in one of our upcoming shows. For more information and previous episodes, visit our website at absolutely-intercultural.com. 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 5th January from Laurent Borgmann in Germany

Until then – stay tuned!

The host of this show is: Anne Fox

Co-host: Mariam Bilge

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Traffic Culture +++ Driving Habits +++ Cultural Prejudice +++ Absolutely Intercultural 288 +++

Hello dear listeners and welcome to show 288 of our podcast “Absolutely Intercultural”. Today’s topic is all about traffic. I’m Laurent Borgmann, and my wife and I, both in our early sixties, made a significant decision when we hit 40 – we decided to get rid of both our cars. Now, this might come as a surprise, given that we’re from Germany, a country renowned for its love of cars. On top of that, we both have 60-kilometer commutes in different directions. But the transition from private vehicles to public transport turned out to be remarkably smooth for us. For the last twenty years we have  happily immersed ourselves in books or worked on our laptops during our daily commutes.

absolutely racing

In our opening story “absolutely racing”, we’ll tune in to Jung from South Korea. As an external observer in Germany, Jung offers us a unique perspective on traffic culture, both, as a pedestrian and as a driver. She observes, that the typically patient and disciplined Germans, who readily give to pedestrians in the city, somehow transform into impatient, speedy daredevils when they hit the Autobahn – Germany’s iconic high-speed highway.

absolutely honking

In our next part “absolutely honking”, we’ll hear from Rindi, originally from Albania, now living in Germany. Rindi says he can spot young Albanian drivers in Germany just by the sounds of their cars on the streets.

absolutely discriminated

In our final story “absolutely discriminated”, we’ll hear from Natalia, originally from Ukraine and now a resident of Germany for the past four years. Natalia opens up about the cultural prejudices she encounters in car-centric Germany as a woman who doesn’t drive.

Now, we´re curious about your experiences with traffic culture. Are you a pedestrian, driver, or passenger? Are you patient or always in a hurry? We´d especially love to hear from those who want to challenge and change the existing traffic culture. Get in touch, feel free to share your unique story with us here on the podcast.

Share your story with us via comment or email, and you might feature in one of our upcoming shows. For more information and previous episodes, visit our website at absolutely-intercultural.com. If you enjoyed the show, please give us a thumbs-up on Facebook.

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 1 December from Anne Fox in Denmark

Until then – drive, ride, or walk safely!  and

Bleiben Sie absolut interkulturell!

 

The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann

Chief Editor: Natalia Obikhod

Assistant Editors: Mariam Bilge, Sebastian Berg

 

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Privilege +++ Being aware of privileges +++ Artificial privileges +++ Absolutely Intercultural 286 +++

Hello dear listeners and welcome to show 286 of our podcast “Absolutely Intercultural”. Today, we are going to talk about “Privilege”, about having different starting points in life, about having unearned advantages because of different aspects of our identity. It is worth looking at how people perceive this controversial topic in their everyday lives. From our guests, we will learn that privilege affects lives very differently, from gender biases to food struggles, and how people sometimes do NOT want to be viewed as privileged as it undermines their achievements. We will also hear what motivates people to break out of the sphere of their privileges and help those who are less fortunate than us. What are the privileges that we should be aware of? Are privileges always harmful?

absolutely undervalued

In our first story, “absolutely undervalued”, we will listen to Tea from Albania who is currently living and working in Germany as a guest lecturer. Tea tells us which difficulties she faced some years ago in Albania, when she was not taken seriously by her colleagues simply because of her age and her gender.

absolutely blind

In our second story, “absolutely blind”, we will listen to Tushar who was born in India but moved to Germany in his early childhood. During the interview he mentions how in his home country young kids struggle with basic human needs in everyday lives and how he now feels rather privileged that he does not have to worry about those issues in Germany.

absolutely unfair

In our last story “absolutely unfair”, we will listen to Yuliia from Ukraine who has been studying in Germany for her exchange year. She tells us how she notices that privileges that she has because she is from Ukraine, gradually make her feel uncomfortable.

What about you? Are there any artificial privileges that you would actually introduce in your country to make it a better place? In fact, we would also love to hear from people who reject the whole idea of affirmative action! Get in touch, feel free to share your unique story with us here on the 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 October from Anne Fox in Denmark

Until then – get a little worried about the privileges that you have– or not!  and

Bleiben Sie absolut interkulturell!

 

The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann

Chief Editor: Natalia Obikhod

Assistant Editors: Mariam Bilge, Sebastian Berg

 

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Discussing discrimination +++ Why We Discriminate +++ Learning From Discrimination +++ Absolutely Intercultural 285 +++

Hello, dear listeners, and welcome to episode 285 of our podcast, “Absolutely Intercultural.” Today, we are going to discuss a very sensitive topic: discrimination. Have you ever wondered why people discriminate against each other? Whether it’s occasional or regular, intentional or unintentional, spoken aloud or merely in our thoughts, people from different cultures have a tendency to single out others. Whether it’s a social bias or a so-called “harmless”stereotypes, those who experience discrimination may easily feel hurt and marginalized. In this episode, we aim to discuss the topic of discrimination openly. We will hear personal stories from individuals with diverse cultures, backgrounds, native languages, skin colors, genders, and so on. Together, we will explore the reasons behind discrimination, and understand how people feel when they experience it, and most importantly, learn from the experiences of our interview partners.

absolutely sugar free

In our first story, “absolutely sugar free”, we will hear from Jana, a German guest who has lived with her genetic diabetes since her childhood and has often faced discrimination because people think she got it because of eating too much sugar as a child

absolutely confronting

In our second story, “absolutely confronting”,we will hear from Sandie, a lecturer from Australia. Sandie recalls one day in her teaching career when she had to stand up for one of her indigenous students, that means an aboriginal Australian student, who faced discrimination during Sandie’s class.

absolutely forgiving

Finally, in our last category “absolutely forgiving”, we listen to Thinley who comes from an Asian country -Bhutan. This is a story about the bias that many people in the West have -“Do All Asians look Chinese?”

What about YOU? Do you have any experience connected with the discrimination? 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 1st of September

Until then – try hard to embrace the diversity around you – und

Bleiben Sie absolut interkulturell! 

The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann

Chief Editor: Natalia Obikhod

Assistant Editors: Sonam Tashi, Teona Tepnadze

 

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