"I wended my way through and the crowds parted like the sea before Moses…Schoolchildren openly gawked, jaws gaping...Men watched my every move as if I might pull out a handgun and start shooting at any moment…
I recently presented on the subject of Short Term Study Abroad Program Planning: Top 5 Missteps with Cate Brubaker from Small Planet Studio. I am humbled that we received such kind feedback and a request for more on the subject. We aim to please, so developed the following new teleworkshop: Short-Term Study Abroad Crossroads: Where Planning Missteps Meet Cultural Blunders!
Jerejef to Katie Kreueger. Jerejef is a Wolof word for thank you. Wolof is a Senegalese language used by an ethnic group with the same name and it describes how I felt after reading Katie's book, "Give With Gratitude: Lessons Learned Listening to West Africa."
Language can come home again. This is the tremendous lesson that I witnessed in the remarkable documentary, "We Still Live Here - Âs Nutayuneânby," by Director/Producer Anne Makepeace.
Our session was described as follows: “Muslim”, “Israeli”, “African”, and “American” – the labels that we use to describe others come with heavy baggage and a tremendous burden.
“Islam and the West: Clashing Beliefs or Common Values?” seeks to deconstruct both the Middle East’s and America’s conceptions of the “Other” by finding common ground to stand on. Samuel Huntington’s theory of the clash of civilizations has dominated our perceptions of the other side of the world, but we must ask ourselves, is it with good reason? Crossing Borders uses the shared experiences of four American and four Moroccan students to bridge the supposedly vast gap between the Muslim world and the West. During their journey through Morocco, these students find that they are not so different after all.
The President of China, Hu Jintao, visited the US this past week. Rush Limbaugh, one of talk radio's well known characters, mocked the Chinese language, complaining that it wasn't being simultaneously translated. Here is the video:
As an educator, I believe that intercultural experiences have an important role to play in a world situation that is – to say the least – very confusing. This year, 2011, marks a decade since the tragic events of September 11. Today's undergraduate college students were eight to twelve years old in 2001 and consequently have spent their intellectually formative years with post-9/11 media coverage, little of which addressed the need for intercultural understanding.
Here are three interesting videos that highlight the importance of non-verbal communication.