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.
In this show, you will hear about Auroville, an experimental international township in the South of India. This interpersonal and intercultural experiment was founded exactly 50 years ago in 1968 by Mirra Alfassa also known as “the Mother”. At first, we will listen to Noel Parent talking about his intercultural and spiritual journey and give us some detailed impressions about life in Auroville and what he enjoys most about this magic place. Our German student Lucas Bolten, who is currently studying a semester abroad at our partner university, the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras in India, will talk about his experience as a guest visitor in Auroville. And finally, we will listen to Noel Parent talking about the educational system and the importance of “learning by doing” in Auroville.
In this show, you will hear about the grocery shop in India and believe me you will be surprised how different it is from European grocery shopping. Hari Gautham Somasundaram Dr. Arvind Sivaramakrishnan and Dr. TJ Kamalanabhan will talk about their own experience grocery shopping in India. In India, you need to go shopping early in the morning to get the best fruits and vegetables from the stalls. Hari, who is a student, tells us that he prefers going to the supermarket rather than the market or buying fruit from trollies in the street. Dr. Arvind, on the other hand, will talk about the challenges of grocery shopping in Indian markets.
Hello and welcome to show 218 of our podcast “absolutely intercultural” which is the third of a series of “Erasmus” podcasts to celebrate and highlight the 30th anniversary of the most successful of all student exchange programs. In this episode our students are going to share their own experiences and stories with you. You will hear some useful advice for your exchange semester. How should you be prepared before going abroad? How to make your integration easier? Also how Erasmus effects non-exchange students, and how they profit in their home country. And we will listen to a beautiful story about how an exchange semester resulted in a lovely Erasmus couple. Continue reading “Absolutely Intercultural 218 +++ Erasmus babies +++ advice for the exchange students +++ indirect Erasmus effects +++”
Happy New Year and welcome to Absolutely Intercultural. In 2010 we won the European Podcast Award thanks to your votes and right now I’m busy listening to a really diverse set of podcasts as judge in the 2011 round of the award. Thanks to you all for your votes then and thanks for still being with us as we reach another landmark with this 150th show.
Tourism is a huge industry but if you want to promote tourism to your country it is a good idea to find out how people perceive it first. And how better to do that than to use pictures? What does the name Nunavut mean to you? If I tell you that Nunavut is a country would you know where it was? If I tell you that it is in Arctic Canada do you suddenly have some pictures in your mind about what it might be like? I must admit that I had never heard of Nunavut until I came across Maarten Loonen’s interesting survey. Maarten is a biologist from the Netherlands and most likely to be seen in arctic regions working on geese so when I heard he was interested in people’s reactions to images I was intrigued as to why. As you heard Maarten is very interested in getting more responses to his survey in the next couple of months and when he has had time to analyse the results I will go back and find out what he discovered. You can find the link to his online survey here.
I’ve just returned to work from my Christmas break which is of course a big and long celebration in Europe, North America and elsewhere, but not everywhere. Would you miss Christmas if you went to live somewhere else? We’re going to get a short update from Rebecca Chadwick who is in India for a year long film skills course. Having experienced 18 Christmasses in the UK will she miss it or be glad to avoid the tinsel and corny Christmas songs for once?
Our next piece reminded me a little about the Iraqi youth orchestra which we featured last year. I was contacted by Paul Suhr who is a member of the band Alma Desnuda meaning naked souls. Alma Desnuda had just completed an amazing project together with Tara J King in which they recorded a song and video with children from all over the world. This is the type of project which you just could not have conceived of not so long ago but which accessible Internet and cheap online communication tools makes entirely possible. I think that we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of the types of rich connections we can make in a connected world and that creative people are going to find all sorts of different ways to get us talking to each other in the very near future. The project is called Rock our Worldand the song Life we Got, is a celebration. I know that it’s a cliché to say that underneath it all we’re all the same but I think that the beginning of a new year is a good time to celebrate what unites us rather than what divides us. We’re going to hear from Paul firstly about how his band came about and then about how you compose and record a song with the help of 2000 children from all over the world. You can buy the song on iTunes (proceeds go to the Rock Our World organisation) and don’t forget to go and see the video!
In this show we re-vsisit the chat I had with George Simons in show 138. George you may remember is the creator of the Diversophy intercultural games. We also talked about other intercultural games and when I mentioned Barnga, which we described way back in show 43, he told me about another very effective intercultural game. You could tell this was a good one because it made people absolutely angry!
It’s not just anger which is a symptom of your being out of your comfort zone. I was surprised when Janice Ford, an Australian talked about this feeling of being absolutely distant. Janice Ford took a course with me at The Consultants-E where I help teachers intgerate ICT into their language teaching and is just one of the many interesting people I meet there from all over the world.
You’ve probably heard about Bollywood, the Indian film industry, and how it rivals Hollywood in scope and numbers of films produced so now we’re going to hear from Rebecca Chadwick, who’s just finished high school and is so mad about Indian film that she signed up to a years course at the Asian Academy of Film and TV in New Delhi and simply flew straight into her course at the beginning of July having never travelled further than Europe before. If you watch satellite TV you’ll probably understand why I’m calling this strand absolutely incredible when I contacted Rebecca shortly after her arrival to hear about her first impressions.
Now perhaps Rebecca might have benefited from being a member of Internations, a website designed to help expatriates all over the world cope with being stationed far away from home. My final guest on the show today is Malte Zeeck, co founder of Internations and my first question was about why such a website is needed. If you like the sound of internations and would like to join, then get in touch with me through this blog as I have some invitations available. Perhaps you were inspired by our last show to organise a foreign internship or semester exchange? You can also test your English by trying a short dictation taken from this interview here.