Learning Hindi in Delhi: Interview with an Intercultural Trainer

Posted by Peter Beyes • Friday, February 15. 2013 • Category: Crossing Cultures
Keya Choudhury is a Berlin-based intercultural trainer: She helps individuals and organisations prepare to work in different cultural environments than their own. Taking some time off from her current assignment in Bangalore, Keya recently came to Delhi for a short holiday. Being highly energetic and proactive, sight-seeing and meeting friends proved not fulfilling enough, so she enrolled in a week-long intensive Hindi course with Language Must. In this refreshingly lively interview, Keya shares some of her experiences learning Hindi, living in India and navigating different cultures.

Keya Choudhury, Berlin-based intercultural trainer and Hindi student with Language Must. (c) Keya Choudhury

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German Courses in Delhi: Experiences of a Berlin-based Indian Researcher

Posted by Peter Beyes • Wednesday, November 14. 2012 • Category: Global Career

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German Courses in Delhi: The Experience of Fackelmann India

Posted by Peter Beyes • Friday, November 9. 2012 • Category: Global Career

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Leisure Culture in Modern China

Posted by Noemie Lataud • Tuesday, November 1. 2011 • Category: People and Places
Along with economic development and social evolution in both developed and developing countries, leisure activities have become more important and diverse than ever. Relaxing after long and strenuous working hours and the other obligations of daily life is now a necessity. The “need to escape” is enjoyed in different ways across cultures and is closely related to daily lifestyles, working life, and cultural patterns. As Chinese society has experienced great changes over the last few decades, leisure activities have also developed a lot. I have had the opportunity to observe these evolutions in China and explore Western and Chinese views on this issue. The following is an interview conducted with David Ritter, a 27 year old American male who has been living in China for two and a half years, and Yang Qi, a 25 year old Chinese male who studied in Australia for six years but has since returned to Chengdu. Below is a transcript of our discussions about Chinese leisure activities.

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CouchSurfing in India

Posted by Hana Navratilova • Friday, October 21. 2011 • Category: People and Places

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Job versus Passion - Carve Out Your Career

Posted by Rachayta Gupta • Monday, August 1. 2011 • Category: Global Career

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Discovering India for the First Time: The Feelings of a Franco-Egyptian Girl

Posted by Laura Mansour • Monday, July 25. 2011 • Category: People and Places
At first glance one could say that there is no point in comparing Egypt and India, but when I came here I noticed that there were quite some similarities between these two countries. When I first arrived at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi I had this strange feeling of familiarity. Facing me there were hundreds of Indians staring at me but it didn’t disturb me, the same thing occurs in Egypt, so I am quite used to it. I only realized that I was in India on the way to my flat, when I tried to explain to my taxi driver who didn’t speak a word of English how to get there. From that moment I understood that in India things could quickly get more complicated and that I had to sweat it out. A challenging programme was waiting for me; will I be able to measure up to it?

The first days I decided to gather my courage and discover my neighbourhood. I made this leap to have a glimpse of India’s living conditions and culture and I quickly realized that I was not in an environment that was completely foreign to me. I was walking along the main market of Malviya Nagar when I had this strange feeling: it was a mixture of a dream and a flashback from my time in Egypt.

The panorama that stood in front of me, the city of Delhi with its crowded streets, noises and smells, reassured me somewhat. I found here the same hawkers shouting their slogans, the same sweltering atmosphere of the days of extreme heat and also the same frame of mind: bargaining. Nothing better than going to shop in a local market or to launch into the traffic jam to feel fully immersed. Crossing a busy intersection involved similar risks! However, it reminds me of how my cousins in Egypt who used to take my hand to help me cross the street – now I can proudly say “I can cross the street on my own!”

It is true that when when many people think about these two countries, one word comes first in their minds: poverty. Children, the unemployed and handicapped are the most affected by poverty and it is a fact that one often comes across beggars, touts and children who are trying to sell roses. Nevertheless, you have to go beyond that kind of stereotype if you really want to appreciate the splendour of these countries. Simple people, always welcoming, with a sense of mutual support, that is what I found here, not to mention the gorgeous sceneries which are classified among the Seven Wonders of the World.

Some scenes particularly struck me. Just look at these pictures and try to tell which country it is:

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Indian Spirituality – When Seers Turn Blind

Posted by Heiko Pfeiffer • Wednesday, December 29. 2010 • Category: People and Places
To many European and North American visitors to India, Indian spirituality is one of the most fascinating aspects of Indian culture and reason for many to come. Visiting the ancient spiritual temples that abound all over India with their magnificent display of Hindu mythology, pilgrims who make colourful flower and fruit offerings to their preferred deity, entire families standing in line for hours just to take a quick bath under the sprinkling waters of some ancient holy source, with the ever present odour of sweet incense filling the spiritually-laden air – all these are impressions that many visitors of India seek and that have vividly enriched the memories of many travellers to India before.

By Niyam Bhushan
http://www.flickr.com/photos/niyam/4732556679/

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Communication on Walls – Political Graffiti Emerges in New Delhi

Posted by Nikolai Schuchna • Monday, November 8. 2010 • Category: In Depth
While rushing through urban areas of today, you can see millions of attention dragging commercials everywhere you look. If you keep your eyes open more carefully you’ll also find lots of artistic expressions of thoughts and wishes using public walls as communication platforms; expressions created by individuals that are reflecting diverse opinions, which might not necessarily be shared by the whole of society and often not occur in the mass media. In Delhi these days you can see graffiti, stencils and stickers with a clearly political message – on flyovers, bus-stands, street-signs and auto-rickshaws.

Corporate Wealth Games
by nocwg2010
http://www.flickr.com/photos/48202244@N06/4417197746

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Love Beyond All Barriers

Posted by Kate Strathmann • Monday, September 6. 2010 • Category: Crossing Cultures
I recently read an article in the New York Times entitled “In India, Castes, Honor and Killings Intertwine”. Over the six years or so since I made my first journey to India, I have recounted to friends and acquaintances at home some of the anecdotes (I wince to use this word – as if abuse of women should ever be relegated to a mere anecdote) I have encountered in first, second, or third person regarding the ways in which women are abused, maimed, or sometimes killed, as in the case of the young girl in the aforementioned article. I always want to defend or make excuses for the country that I love. It’s true, there hasn’t been a case of sati [immolation of widows on their husband’s funeral pyre] in years (though I hasten to point out, there has been in my lifetime), but I recall reading of daily “kitchen fires” in the police blotter in the Bangalore newspaper years ago; and discovering that this was a twisted and polite allusion to an intentional act of violence often resulting in homicide, not an indication that the country needed to examine safety standards of stovetop ranges.

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Under a Northern Sky: Feeling “ich bin ein Berliner”

Posted by Gautam Chakrabarti • Thursday, August 5. 2010 • Category: People and Places
This is not an average travel narrative, replete with the wonders of a world that is truly wondrous: a jazzy world that, yet, has a large, welcoming heart. This is, perhaps, not an image run-of-the-mill Hollywood WW2/spy-flicks generate, immersed, as they seem to be, in anachronistic assumptions and the resultant antipathies. But, it is clear to this writer, Germany and Berlin define the new Gross European Cool, framed in terms of “Multi-Kulti” (multiculturalism, in colloquial German) and a Kalkbrennerian Zeitgeist.

A view of the city of Berlin by Henk de Boer
http://www.flickr.com/photos/powerfocus/4481438796/

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France and the "Heirs" of North African Immigration

Posted by Angélique Vassout • Saturday, May 22. 2010 • Category: In Depth
In the past few years, the immigration debate in France has become more and more impassioned. A new ministry name, “selective immigration”, plans for new laws, changes in the Nationality Code and debates about deportation are the media’s daily bread. However, in France, this debate can’t be separated from the particular experiences of the several previous waves of immigration (Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, African) and especially of the North African immigration. Arab people, Islam and French suburbs are nowadays unavoidable topics in the immigration debate.

And as usual, you will never hear of the positive aspects (e.g. cases of successful integration), only of the problems that fuel the debate and grab attention. Very recently, for example, the controversy regarding the ticket given to a French Arab woman driver wearing a burqa led to a new project to revise the Nationality Code to remove the French nationality of her husband (acquired by marriage) who is suspected of polygamy and social benefits fraud. The extreme-right parties happily jump on these kinds of stories to demand the strengthening of laws against immigration.

Let’s try to rebalance the debate... What is the reality of the North African immigrants and their ”heirs” (as the European Union sometimes refers to them) in France today?

© http://www.flickr.com/photos/jamescridland/

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The Vibrancy of Civil Society in Pakistan

Posted by Peter Braun • Sunday, May 2. 2010 • Category: In Depth
The information and news about Pakistan these days show us a dark picture of the country and there doesn’t seem to be too much reason to believe in the improvement of the country’s uncertain future. Our stereotypes about Pakistan, media images and public opinion often lead to false conclusions. To many observers politics in Pakistan seem more and more infiltrated by radical beliefs, religious fundamentalism, corruption, the military or authoritarian leadership.

© Knowledge Must

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