The morning kicked off with Professor Carolyn Cooper of University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica talked about how reggae music has influenced the world. Her keynote Glocal Reggae: Jamaican Popular Music and the Politics of Cross-cultural Communication started with one of my favorite quotes from Bob!
Professor J. Cynthia McDermott presented the Constructive Controversy Cycle.
We talked about how conflict can create change. That conflict can uncover some hidden truths as well.
We went through an interactive controversy activity and reviewed the importance of clarifying question during debates.
Phuong-Mai Nguyen from Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences provided us a list of her 10 Commandments after her journeys through the Middle East.
She posed many good questions and presented us with some frameworks for understanding the Middle East and Arab cultures.
When discussing her experience of wearing a vail and hijab to have the lived experience, she asked “If you go native, what room is left for the locals to show their acceptance of your own culture. Isn’t it true that respect should go both ways?” Not to mention wearing the veil can be seen as a mockery or disrespectful gesture.
Her advice? One of the best ways to gain respect and build relationships – just be honest.
Have you heard of Academia.edu? It’s a free space for academics to share papers and connect globally. Check it out!
Also today, I had the pleasure to explore identity with Tatyana Fertelmeyster, one of my all time favorites and also a stellar Cultural Detective facilitator. We did a mini workshop on identity exploration. Tatyana used a great tool Visuals Speak
collection of images to help facilitate dialogue around identity.
Shaules started with a bit of framing and stated that when Hall wrote the Silent Language, lets put things into context of the Freud View of the Human Mind and the Mental Iceberg and how far we’ve come since then with research.
We discussed how our mind and cognitive process construct our experiences.
And that mental processes that are inaccessible to the consciousness mind but influence judgements and behaviors.
Shaules discussed that he avoids the word programming – instead of using the term “cultural programming” we are not computers that just act… we are configured through cultural patterns that become natural to us.
How can we get excited by an idea? It is not real, it is a mental construct. We have an emotional response to an idea.
He went on to argue that culture cannot be learned by Wikipedia. It must be learned by an intuitive mind, through a trial and error process.
One of the points he made that resonated with me the most, was the paradox of a shared culture vs individuality.
He discuss that its only in the shared rules of the game, allows us to express the unique individual.
There is no contradiction of being an individual and sharing cultural frameworks.
Its the same as sharing a language and having our own way of talking.
Lastly, we shared some of our own “sticky memories” or Oz moments… that moment in your travels when you thought to yourself “I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore, Toto.” My sharing was when I came to Spain and saw dozens of dead pig legs hanging from the ceilings of restaurants. My partner said that when she went to the US she thought it was so strange how high the water level was in the toilet bowls! Funny stuff…
Lastly the IDRInstitute
sponsored an evening film session with Dr. Charles Hampden-Turner and Dr. Milton J. Bennett. I had not seen Les Miserables (the new one) and so we took a look at various elements of ethics and culture. Was fun way to spend the evening, and I will likely be re-watching Les Mis to further consider the topics raised.
To get the presentation from Dr. Hampden-Turners presentation, check the IDRInstitute
– they will be sharing it soon!