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Blogs for Culture Vultures

Why Do Cultures Exist?

culture-graffiti

Where did 'culture' come from? What does 'culture' do?

In order to get to heart of cultural difference, you need to understand what culture is, how it works and why it exists.

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Is Cultural Awareness a Skill?

Is Cultural Awareness a Skill?

A common misconception held by many is that cultural awareness is a skill you either have or you don't have, or, at the very least, is a skill that can be learned through training.

Well, this simply is not true.

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Ramadan 2021 - Why your Muslim colleagues are fasting and how you can support them

Ramadan 2021 - Why your Muslim colleagues are fasting and how you can support them

For those of us working in multicultural environments, it’s fair to say that our colleagues may ocassionally observe traditions which we aren’t familiar with. Ramadan is one such occasion.

In the same way that non Muslims may avoid asking questions for fear of intrusion, Muslims may equally avoid going into too much detail about Ramadan for fear of their colleagues not being interested.

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Dubai First Gov Games - a Great Lesson in Driving Cultural Diversity

Dubai First Gov Games - a Great Lesson in Driving Cultural Diversity

With over 7 million of its 9 million population classed as non-Emirati, the UAE has become an incredible melting point of cultures and nationalities.

Owing to Dubai’s relatively relaxed attitude and job opportunities, the majority of these expats reside in Dubai itself. Of these expats, South East Asians make up the largest proportion with approximately 8% of Westerners making up the smaller portion.

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Pearson Education Slapped for Sloppy Approach to Cultural Awareness

Pearson Education Slapped for Sloppy Approach to Cultural Awareness

Have you read about the backlash Pearson Education received regarding a section about cultural awareness in a recent nursing textbook?

Initially it started with a Facebook post outlining some crude cultural stereotypes, but the complaints soon grew large enough and loud enough for Pearson Education to take note.

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Understanding Diversity is Key to Doing Better Business in Brazil

Understanding Diversity is Key to Doing Better Business in Brazil

Doing Business in Brazil?  

A ‘One Size fits All’ approach will sink your ship in Brazil. 

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Is Globalization Killing Our Cultures?

Is Globalization Killing Our Cultures?

For some, globalization is dangerous for cultural diversity. The fear of cultural dilution and being imposed upon by a foreign, sometimes corporate, culture drives many people to deduce that the global economy is doing us more harm than good. 

However, new research coming from academics in Morocco and Canada suggests that globalization is certainly not killing our cultures. 

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150+ CEOs Commit to Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace

150+ CEOs Commit to Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace

CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ will "Improve Corporate Performance, Drive Growth, and Enhance Employee Engagement" says founding companies

In a sign of the growing importance of diversity issues within the workplace, a group of more than 150 CEOs from some of the world’s leading companies have put their names againt CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ -  the largest ever CEO-driven commitment to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

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Why has Diversity become a CEO-level Strategic Concern?

Why has Diversity become a CEO-level Strategic Concern?

Research from Deloitte finds that diversity and inclusion in the workplace are now leadership-level issues, central to future growth and security.

Findings from the firm's 2017 Global Human Capital Trends report suggest that diversity has moved away from a predominantly HR-focused, "check box ticking" initiative to one of key strategic importance at CEO-level.

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How Diversity and Social Cohesion are Being Privatized by Politicians

How Diversity and Social Cohesion are Being Privatized by Politicians

With the final nails being beaten into the coffin of multiculturalism and politicians seemingly unable to grapple with its complexities, will we see the private sector taking ownership?

I think most people would agree that 2016 was full-on in terms of major events that are shaping our world. Some shook the world and will continue to do so in the coming years.   

Although there is much to be concerned about in the future, whether it’s the environment or the economy, one area that particularly worries me is the rise in xenophobia, the subtle racism that has bled into our media outlets and politics and the backlash against multiculturalism.

The voices grow louder and more confident daily…begging the question, who is doing what to counter this? Some elements of the media seem unfettered in the blatant divisiveness.

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What is Your Favourite Quote Defining Culture?

What is Your Favourite Quote Defining Culture?

How would you describe or define culture?

What imagery would you use? How could you help someone understand the basic mechanics of culture and the impact this has on the world?

Not an easy one!

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Do you have to be ‘cultured’ to understand other cultures?

Life in Britain is becoming more multi-cultural. We hear this view from the media, the government and experts all the time. But what does this ‘culture’ for which we are diversifying actually mean?


Collins English dictionary outlines culture as “the total of the inherited ideas, beliefs, values, and knowledge, which constitute the shared bases of social action”. Yet when we here about culture, a specific way of life or belief system, why do we nearly always focus on the ‘other’ or the ‘different’. It seems that to be a person of ‘culture’ (beyond the liberal arts definition) you have to belong to a group that has a strongly defined ‘alternative’ lifestyle.

Does this twisting of culture, to mean someone from a strongly valued minority, suggest that the ‘cultured’ among us will be far more understanding towards cultures beyond their own than the rest of us?

Lets take the example of someone having a clearly defined religion. This person of ‘Culture’ attends religious ceremonies, prays in a regular manner, has strong beliefs on morality and family, and is in the minority in our Western increasingly secular society. Will this person be more likely to travel to far-flung regions and investigate cultures such as the Massai tribesman or Tibetan Buddhist monks, than someone with no clearly defined religious, social or political beliefs?

If you are a person with very rigid beliefs and practices surrounding religion or politics or society or ethics then you are deemed ‘of culture’. Therefore is Western Society right in assuming you would be more understanding towards ‘remote cultures’ than say the average ‘Londoner’. You understand what it is like to believe in something very strongly, to have a defined lifestyle that stems from your values of the world. Strong values to strong values, yes?

Another example, this time of the ‘Londoner’. A man, thirty-five, works as an assistant manager in the city, agnostic, drinks in moderation, votes for his favourite candidate regardless of party, has an on-off partner. Our environment tells us that this person is the ‘neutral’, a person without strong religious, social or political beliefs; he cannot be ‘of culture’. Therefore does that mean that he sees our first person as an enigma, a strange mix of inherited ideas, beliefs and values, totally impregnable to him? Surely if he went to the Massai he would boggle at them, he would be confused and disconcerted?

No. It is a myth that our second man has no culture when the truth is he is as much a man of ‘culture’ as our first religious follower. The ‘Neutral’ is not neutral at all. We have just heard a series of inherited views throughout his description, a barrage of cultural information. We know he drinks moderately (believing in a healthy body), he votes politically by candidate (he invests trust in an individual rather than a more holistically-themed party), he has an on-off partner and he is thirty-five (he believes in relationships but doesn’t believe marriage/civil partnership should be rushed). In just three vaguely descriptive statements we have learnt about the intellectual, social and moral views of the Londoner. Just as the ‘cultured’ believes in the family, looks after his soul through prayer and believes in the justice of a God/Gods, the Londoner has a whole stream of cultural beliefs.

What happens then when we introduce our two men to ‘remote cultures’?
The ‘Cultured’ might admire the dedication of the Tibetan monks; or he might protest at their rejection of a God. The ‘Londoner’ might see similarities between the structural order of the Massai tribe and his own CEO-lead company (from Laibon to children); or he might be baffled by their pastoral way of life when he is so used to technological dependency.

We all have our own culture; we all have our own beliefs that develop over our lives. Culture is not exclusive and neither should be understanding.

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The Interculturale Theatre Storytelling Laboratory


The Interculturale Theatre Storytelling Laboratory



Presents

the gift of diversity

Intercultural Theatre Storytelling Festival

II Edition - Rome, May 8-24 2008
The idea

Interculture means confront, exchange and communication among diverse cultures, towards an opened view and a larger dialogue between differences, against each discrimination. However, somehow, privileging interest to origins and traditions of the person that we meet - even if he is rich and amazing - and that normally we call a stranger, we may risk to forget his true particularity, maybe the most important thing: his story and not his country's one, his experience and not his people's one, his emotions and feelings, not his race's one. So, we can make the mistake to build a weak and false image, a masquerade, where people are just playing roles: the African, the Chinese, the Arabian and so on. Words are important and, when concepts linked to them have a fundamental value in our life, contradictions are not possible. We are different or equal? We can't be both, this is our provocation. If you think we are all unique, then, maybe, you could agree with the idea behind this project: the most powerful, significant and revolutionary way to have an intercultural point of view, in other words, to underline the importance of differences and richness inside our individuality, is to show the diversity of people that often think themselves as equal (not celebrating the equality of strangers...), to tell how much they are interesting to listen when they are speaking of themselves and how all become wonderful if they are so proud to mix each others.


II Edition

In May 2008 we’ll present the second edition of this festival. The last year, the first one was thought to put the bases and this time we whish to show our idea of interculture. Local or foreign artists, considering their diversity as a gift, will tell their story with their personal language or dialect. Because Italy and all countries in the world are wonderfully multicultural places even without immigrants, which are just other colours to improve the rainbow…

Almost seventy artists and companies, since North to South, sent us their proposals, convincing us that our point of view is not so crazy. After a hard selection will present nine shows from all Italy. The aim is to create a space where, thanks to Theatre Storytelling, interculture will become just culture, while actors and public will agree that diversity is the first value to celebrate.

The participants are, in order of appearance:

May 8, 9.00 p.m.: “Scantu[1]”, by and with Adele Tirante, “Cosa sono le nuvole” and “Viaggio inverso”

May 9, 9.00 p.m.: "Francesco Pileggi, the true story of a man of honour[2]",

by and with  Andrea Chianelli

May 10, 9.00 p.m.: “Calafrica[3]”, by and with Manuela Valenti

May 15, 9.00 p.m.: “Refugees”, by and with “Rataplab”

May 16, 9.00 p.m.: “Zagara”, by and with Maria Cristina Sarò

May 17, 9.00 p.m.: “It’s spring”, by and with Antonio Carletti

May 22, 9.00 p.m.: “Horrible heritage on the lake[4]”,

by and with “The differents, almost equal but different”

May 23, 9.00 p.m.: “The town of Punt”, by and with Elisa Menchicchi

May 24, 9.00 p.m. : “The true story of Jean Baptiste du Val-de-Grâce, orator of the human race”,

by and with Alessandro Ghebreigziabiher and Cecilia Moreschi

The festival will be at the Studio Uno Theatre (www.studiounoteatro.it), in Rome,

Via Carlo della Rocca, 6.

The Laboratory:

The Intercultural theatre storytelling laboratory is directed by Alessandro Ghebreigziabiher (www.alessandroghebreigziabiher.it), with the precious collaboration of Cecilia Moreschi.

Information:

Luisa Moreschi

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Web: www.narrazioneinterculturale.org

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Charity calls for business leaders to take up diversity challenge

A charity that campaigns to provide a "secure base for Britain's minority ethnic communities" has called for effective leadership to promote diversity, after a poll revealed that almost nine in 10 recent graduates have experienced some kind of discrimination at work.

The Ethnic Minority Foundation, called for leaders to be held accountable for discrimination which, it says is "ruining the life chances of young people".

It follows a survey of 200 graduates by recruitment site Milkround.com which found that 86% of had faced discrimination while working.

Race discrimination affected two in five respondents, with age discrimination affecting 14% and gender 12%. Other reasons for unfair treatment included sexual orientation and height.

One respondent said: "People like me coming from a different country or continent to study and then try to get a work placement here are very vulnerable, particularly if they are unfortunate enough to have employers or managers as ignorant as the one I [worked for]."

Read more > Diversity 
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