Una Jornada Intercultural con Dianne Hofner Saphiere

Mil gracias a todos los docentes que asistieron, y también a SIETAR Argentina y AFS Argentina y Uruguay. Juntos podemos construir un mundo mejor!


SIETAR Argentina

483621_450767178324906_1898862114_nEste Abril 2013, tuvimos el agrado de coordinar, presenciar y participar de un evento internacionalmente reconocido ya que Dianne Hofner Saphiere* estuvo visitando la Argentina.

AFS** y SIETAR Argentina coordinaron el evento, junto también a representantes del Ministerio de Educación de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires que promocionó la jornada entre sus docentes.

La jornada tuvo dos partes. Una, por la mañana, dedicada a los docentes de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires y otra, por la tarde, para los profesionales interculturales.

Por la mañana, abrieron la jornada con palabras de bienvenida Juan Medici –Director Ejecutivo de AFS Argentina y Uruguay – y Ana María Ravaglia – subsecretaria de gestión educativa y coordinación  pedagógica del Ministerio de Educación del Gobierno de la Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires.

Acto seguido, Dianne comenzó su presentación refiriéndose a la importancia de la comunicación intercultural como una clave para construir puentes. Con videos y análisis…

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Film Review: Machuca

Machuca movie posterHow about watching a terrific film from Chile? Our local rental place had a closeout a few weeks ago, and one of the DVDs we happened upon was Machuca, a 2004 film by Andrés Wood. What a terrific find!

I am often asked about status and class in Latin America by those who come from more egalitarian societies. Navigating class differences has been one of our greatest challenges living in México; neither life in the US, Spain, nor Japan equipped us for the expected and often desired separateness here. While a period piece, Machuca viscerally illustrates the class differences and tensions of the era, and I would recommend it as a worthwhile resource.

Machuca takes place in Chile during the final years of Salvador Allende’s government — the first Marxist ever to be elected head of a democracy — and ends about the time of General Augusto Pinochet’s military coup d’état. Taking place during this period of heightened civil unrest, this is fundamentally a story about the friendship of two boys: Gonzalo and Pedro, who come from opposite sides of the river and opposite ends of society. Thus, we get a micro and a macro-level taste of class tension.

Gonzalo is a “junior,” the son of a wealthy family who attends St. Patrick’s, an elite Catholic boys’ school. He is frequently forced to accompany his mother during her afternoon trysts. Pedro (Machuca) lives in a shanty town, and is the son of the woman who cleans house for Gonzalo’s family. Pedro is one of a group of “scholarship students” that the head priest has invited to St. Patrick’s in an attempt to create a bit of equity in society.

The movie shows how difficult it is for these new students to integrate, and there is a memorable bullying scene in which Gonzalo defends Pedro. We gain insight into the home lives of both boys, proving of course that richer or poorer, life is not all roses.

The backdrop to the main story is, of course, a Chile in turmoil. Gonzalo’s own parents seem to come down on opposite sides of the issue, his mother content as a socialite, his father at least to some degree believing in the need for increased equity. The street demonstration scenes capture the anger, the power, and the fear of the time.

We witness the backlash of the parents at school to the priest’s “communist” tendencies, because he attempts to integrate groups they feel best remain separate. We glimpse the resourcefulness of Pedro’s “uncle,” who makes a living selling flags to both sides: the Marxists and the traditionalists. We hear about land redistribution and industry nationalization through radio broadcasts and posters in the streets. In movies like Machuca, stories about young friends trying to make sense of the world around them, there is usually a girl. In this case, she is the girl with whom both boys learn how to kiss. And she is most definitely and passionately a socialist.

Watching this film you will learn a lot about Chilean history, the ingrained status in Latin America, and the difficulty in bridging rich and poor and vice versa. If you’re anything like the members of my family, you’ll be talking about it for days afterwards. I’d urge you to get out your copy of Cultural Detective Chile, particularly the Chilean Values Lens, to aid your discussions of the movie. Enjoy! And please, let me know what you think!

Cantemos las mañanitas

(English follows the Spanish)
Para muchos de nosotros los que hemos pasado alguna temporada de nuestra vida en un punto geográfico de América Latina, escuchar Las mañanitas nos hace brincar el corazón. Las hemos tomado prestadas de la tierra azteca, de México lindo y querido y nos hemos apropiado de más de una versión para celebrar el día de cumpleaños.

Pues bien, cantemos hoy Las mañanitas al unísono para este blog y el proyecto que Cultural Detective ha emprendido con el fin de llevarnos de la mano en el camino de la interculturalidad. En uno de sus versos dice  “despierta mi bien despierta, mira que ya amaneció, ya los pajaritos cantan la luna ya se ocultó”.

(Una versión con un personaje italiano que conocí como argentino, el Topo Gigio)

Que salga el sol entonces para todos y podamos seguir enriqueciendo este espacio, este encuentro de mundos, ideas, sabores y colores. Que podamos entretodos establecer el entendimiento de las mentes que puedan traer juntos a los pueblos.

Felicidades Dianne, Felicidades Cultural Detective.

Let’s Sing Happy Birthday

For many of us who have passed a portion of our lives in the geographic area that is Latin America, hearing “Las Mañanitas” brings joy to our hearts. We have received the song on loan from the land of the Aztecs, from “Mexico beautiful and beloved,” and we have appropriated more than one version of it to celebrate our birthdays.

So, today, we sing Las Mañanitas in unison for this blog and for the Cultural Detective project, which has been undertaken to promote our journey towards interculturalism. In one of the song’s verses it says, “Wake up my dear, wake up, look what has risen, the birds are already singing and the moon has disappeared.”

The above video is a version of the song with Topo Gigio, an Italian personality that I thought was an Argentino.

I trust the sun will come out for everyone, and that we can continue enriching this space, this meeting of worlds, ideas, flavors and colors. I hope that together we can establish an understanding of the minds that brings people of all communities together.

Congratulations, Dianne, congratulations Cultural Detective.

What time should we meet?

This cross-cultural dating mishap (in response to this post, and building on this thread) is a true story submitted by Erin in Sydney:

I have many cultural mis-step stories in general, but the only one date-wise I can think of is this one when I was living in Chile. (Warning: it’s not hugely funny or unique!)

First date: I turn up “on time” (Chilean time, e.g., 45 minutes late). He turns up on time (gringa time, at the agreed time). He was a bit peeved that I made him wait so long.

Second date: I turn up on time (gringa time). He turns up on time (Chilean time). This time I had to wait nearly an hour.

We ended up pololeando (a Chilean word meaning “dating”) … though the timing thing was always an issue.

Thank you, Erin. Everyone, we are eager to hear a few of your “mis-steps!” It is our belief that sharing our Cultural DeFectives with others can even the playing field a bit, showing that intercultural competence is a lifelong enjoyable learning journey rather than a static state.