Happy Birthday to us!

UNHCR News Story: School is a dream for Syrian refugee family struggling in Lebanon
Yes, it’s been ten years and 200 shows! The latest Absolutely Intercultural show marks ten years of podcasting about intercultural matters! And the above audio is a five and a half minute summary of the full 27 minute show which you can find on the Absolutely Intercultural website.

We started in 2006 exactly ten years ago. We started in March 2006 and this… is our 200th show.

Along the way we have collected a few awards such as the Edublog award for best educational podcast in 2006 and the European Podcast Award for Denmark in the non-profit category in 2010.

So how to celebrate?

We thought it might be fun to get in touch with some of the people from our first year.

absolutely worried
Maybe it was just coincidence but the two people I contacted for this show were much more concerned about the wider political situation than in talking to me about their personal circumstances and it was clear that the conflicts they were talking about were actually different sides of the same coin.

We first re-visit Indre Seputiene who was in our very first show talking about a proposed marriage across religious boundaries…. I started by wondering how did things go for that basketball player and his Israeli girlfriend?

After hearing the way in which the four Syrian refugees in Lithuania have been perceived it seems that people are afraid of what they do not know. In fact, this is borne out by an OECD study which concluded that the countries where immigrants integrate best are those places which have the most immigrants! Sounds obvious but what Indre tells us shows us the truth of this.

absolute stalemate
Next I talked to Stéphane Bazan in Lebanon. Last time we talked there was bombing in the back ground, surely things are better now?

The common thread from Indre and Stephane seems to be that you should not just rely on what you read in the newspapers or see on TV. So how about making contact with people that you wonder about? It has never been easier from a technological point of view and don’t forget the resources in your own back yard. What about those neighbours that you never speak to or the owner of that shop down the road whose accent you have never really recognised?

If you want to take this further we are building up a bank of resources for becoming more interculturally aware here. And you can find out more by signing up for the Teaching Culture newsletter .

Thanks to all the wonderful people who have talked to us over the last ten years! Without you there would be no show and thank you for listening over the last ten years. Don’t stop commenting, giving us ideas for future shows or taking a look at the links we put up on our Facebook page. We’d also really appreciate some reviews on the iTunes page.

After preparing the show I was aware that we had painted rather a negative picture of the refugee situation in Europe and the Middle East so I think it is only fitting to add here an inspiring TED talk about how refugees can be enabled to succeed. This best practice example comes from Uganda.

Be sure to read the story behind the image at the top of this post by clicking on the picture.

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