Looking for exercises and activities for practicing cross-cultural skills? We at Cultural Detective emphasize that intercultural competence takes practice, is a practice, and cross-training with alternative approaches can help develop strong skills. Here is an approach that I personally never would have thought of, but it is really powerful!
Marion Burgheimer, a very active contributor to our Cultural Detective community, recently shared with us a selection of army recruitment ads from around the world. “Army recruitment ads?!” was my initial thought. I’ve used advertising clips, movie clips, but I for one never would have thought of this approach. Yet, Marion is based in Israel, and for me it makes perfect sense that this approach would be born from that experience. Take a look at the ads and you’ll see what I mean. The differences are astounding.
Marion tells us these ads are terrific tools for learning the skills for discerning what is important to the people with whom we live, work, and in other ways collaborate. The videos are embedded below.
Thank you for your generosity, Marion! Together we can enable equitable, sustainable cross-cultural collaboration!
Have students or participants view the films, then complete one side of a Cultural Detective Worksheet, in order to practice discerning the values at play in the ads, and link them with the messages and wording those values stimulate. Both are important skills that require practice.
As a second step, encourage users to reference the corresponding CD Values Lenses, to see if they provide further clues about and depth of insight into the national values at play in the ads. You can find those Values Lenses in the Cultural Detective Online system.
Australia: (embedding is disabled for this one; just click through)
Please share with us some of the values you see inherent in these various recruitment ads!
There is a Russian saying, “If a face is ugly, don’t blame the mirror.” I have been thinking about it lately as the topic of Russia has come up in different mirrors, and it is not looking all that good.
In addition to all these, Human Rights Watch, in its World Report 2013, addresses a long list of concerns, concluding that 2012 was “the worst year for human rights in Russia in recent memory,” according to Hugh Williamson, Europe and Central Asia Director at Human Rights Watch.
The official Russian response to all of that? It is complex, nuanced, and as contextual as everything in Russia. And most often it is about blaming the mirror or whoever is putting this mirror in front of Russia’s face. Just in the last few months Russia enacted laws that
Require NGOs with any foreign funding to register as “foreign agents”,
Reinterpret treason so broadly that almost anybody cooperating with foreigners can be — if necessary — accused of selling out the Motherland,
Prohibit Russian orphans to be adopted by US Americans.
Two other very common Russian sayings come to mind:
“I am a fool? You are a fool yourself!” and
“Don’t teach me how to live my life!”
Considering that Russia is the largest country in the world, with the seventh largest domestic market and the second largest nuclear arsenal, it might be useful to know what they say in Russia. And it will be priceless to understand what they mean when they say it.
Congratulations to all happy lovers out there in the world! May we all learn to respect and include one another, and have the fortitude to continue the journey.
The Cultural Detective LGBT is an incredibly powerful tool for building understanding, respect and inclusion in our communities and our workplaces. Written by an international team of authors, it includes five Values Lenses and 14 critical incidents. Please put it to good use and help us make our world a more equitable and inclusive place!