Tuesday, December 23, 2014

How to Lifeschool? - World Cultures

Certain cultures dominate world thinking because they are projected more by the media platforms you are part of. For instance I was mostly exposed to Indian culture because I was born in India. In addition to this I had lots of exposure to Western Culture (American) because of my constant exposure to their products through the internet and other mediums.

But the world was much bigger than my perspective of it through the eyes of these two cultures. What do the Latin American countries have to offer the world? What do South East Asian countries have to offer the world? What about the cultural offerings of the African nations?

Why was I limited to culture from only these limited perspectives? I wanted to find out!

Ways to get a truly global education are:-

1)         Study one recommended documentary or book about the country - Read a highly recommended travelogue or fictional book about the people of the country. For India, for instance, you can read R.K Narayan’s ‘Malgudi Days’ to get an understanding of rural life in India or you can read the historian Ramachandra Guha’s India before Gandhi and India After Gandhi to get a historical perspective about the country.

2)         Read newspapers and magazines from several different countries – This will give you a deeper understanding of the issues concerning the country in the present time in a variety of different fields. You can take three top newspapers and three top magazines that best represent each country. In the United States of America, you can read the New York Times, The Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune. You can read the Time Magazine, The Economist and the New Yorker for the magazines. Similarly in India you can read the Indian Express, The Hindu and the Times of India to get an understanding of the current issues and interests of the country.

3)         Watch films or videos about that country  - Make a list of all the great film makers and documentary film makers of each country and try watching as many of the movies made by them as possible. You can watch all of Satyajit Ray’s films to learn more about India.

4)         Read the literature and non-fiction content coming out of that country – When I wanted to understand Latin American culture, I read Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Mario Llosa. I also read Che Gueuvera’s, The motorcycle diaries that was about his motorcycle journey across Latin merica. I then read Oscar Guardiola Riviera’s, ‘What if Latin America ruled the World- How the south will take the north through the 21st century’. All this sparked my interest in the countries of Latin America and made me want to know more about the people and culture in each country

5)         Make a friend from the other country – Use the internet and online social networking platforms to connect with someone from another country. Agree to share information about your country and connect the person to other individuals from your country. For instance, after getting in touch with a south African youth speaker, we formed a group with over 300 young change makers from India and Africa.

6)         Study the History of the country – Research about the how the country first came into existence, its first inhabitants, and what

7)         Study other cultural aspects of each country – Research about the cuisine, dances, music, language and various rituals of each country. See what each country values most and study that aspect of that country in details. For instance the people of Argentina and Brazil in Latin America are really passionate about Football and a lot can be understood about the mindset of the people there by studying the evolution of the game of football over there over the years.

8)         Study the work of a subject expert from the country – Read the books of that person. Watch the person’s lectures online. Read all the blogs and articles written by the person and about the person as well.

Let us Learn Together
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