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souvenir Cultural Integration 2009/2010


souvenir Cultural Integration


“Cultur widening o and of th


re is the of the mind he spirit.� Jawaharlal Nehru


CONTENTS 1

2

Welcome to Souvenir

Activity

Page 8

Page 10

3

Commun Ca

Page


3

nication afe

e 18

4

5

Potluck

Conclusion

Page 30

Page 38


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Souvenir’s main objective is to bring communities together, involving segregated communities in events to help them integrate them with the general community. Souvenir wants to promote cultural awareness and understanding.

Welcome To Souvenir


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Introduction Souvenir aims to integrate international students into the natural settings of a University. They often maintain a close knit community amongst the people they’ve come to University with, those they are in accommodation with, often other international students and those from the international societies.

Both the international students and home students wanted to get to know each other, many international students voiced that they wanted to make other friends outside of their ethnic group but had no way of dog so.

So began the journey, with the help of the international departments of UWE, I began to get to The home students don’t know the students and really notice them and found ways in which I often don’t make much could get them to open up effort to talk to them. When and events and activities researching the students, I they would enjoy. I wanted discovered that each party to know all sorts of things felt they had nothing in about their time in United common and that there Kingdom and how it could would be cultural and be possible to make their lingual barriers. time better.


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The Activity Book encourages students to work together and learn from each other. The activity creates scenarios in which students, illustrate their backgrounds through colour and imagery.

ACTIVITY


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Introduction I organised evening where I invited a mixed group of international and local students to my home. I provided food, drinks and music in a comfortable, relaxed environment.

to focus on culture and community, while learning about the people they’re working with.

Drawing while talking is used in many therapeutic methods and appreciated Once everyone had arrived that it may work to bring and settled in, I produced down barriers between the activity books. They are people who may have little simple exercises in order to talk about. to get new people working together. Everyone got into pairs with people of different nationalities and began working creatively to achieve their tasks. The tasks set were simple colouring tasks in which guests could take the creativity as far outside of the box as they desired. The tasks ask for guests


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In Malaysia, I don’t like the chocolate there, but here, It is all I want to eat... All the time...


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Ingredients Comfortable, casual setting Background Music Snacks and Drinks Art Supplies Work space Activity Book

Organise food and drinks into seating areas where partners can sit comfortably. Play some suitable music Organise the art supplies for easy access. Try to partner people with others they will get on with, no obvious personality clashes.


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Feedback The evening turned out to be a great evening, there were no rules or directions that anyone had to take. The main aim of the event was to get people talking about their cultures and working creatively. All tasks were accomplished, everyone reacted well to the tasks and enjoyed the carelessness of the book. They appreciated the activity book being simple and lighthearted but suggested that the activities could be altered to fit more specific groups or just to add more variety to the event.

It would be good to incorporate this with perhaps the Potluck event, to create a full bodied evening. Tasks can be varied to suit a theme or to follow specific discussion points at the center of the meeting.


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The idea behind this event was to hold a mixed event, international students and home students in order to stimulate discussion amongst those who would not normal socialise. It creates a relaxed setting with snacks and drinks, implementing a means to get to know other guests.

COMMUNICATION CAFE


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Introduction The Conversation Cafe was designed in order to invite people of all walks of life to have a foundation to communicate with each other. The menu offers inspirational conversation topics in a structured manner. Join Souvenir in engaging in some delicious, thought-provoking conversation, leaving behind all your worries and discouraging chitchat. Immerse yourself in the tasty discussions provided on the menu with acquaintances, new or old. While seated with other guests, your conversation

orders will be taken, two starters, two main courses and two desserts. Each topic will last about tenfifteen minutes, we ask that you stick to the topics provided and most of all enjoy the discussions. Are you bored of having the same mundane conversations day after day? Whether it’s impending deadlines or student stress, we here at Souvenir have a solution! Our themed conversation cafes offers stimulating discourse without the small talk!


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Ingredients Tables set for Four Colouring equipment (if desired for group) Menus Snacks and Drinks Background Music Waiters/Waitresses Timer

Lay out the tables into tables of four. If using the drawing aspect, provide paper table clothes and colouring equipment. Supply food in the center of each table. When guests arrive, seat them at a table, preferably not with friends. Give them the menu and brief details of the event and what they are to do. When they are ready, ask the waiting staff to take their order. Wonder around, ensuring that people are comfortable, filling up drinks and snacks. Keep time, after ten-fifteen minutes, take next order. Ensure the conversation is flowing well if it is becoming quiet, inspire with more topics.


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They’re just big weirdoes who dress up and make people laugh, well mainly make children cry.


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Feedback At first, students were awkward and unsure of what the task was. Eventually after a little explanation and more snacks and treats, conversation began to flow. Students giggled at some of the choices of topic and explained to others what certain menu items were. We introduced sketching on the paper tablecloths in order to create a way of distancing ones self from the awkwardness of the silent moments. While this highlighted some of the topics and gave students more to talk about, it was a little too distracting. Potentially hindering the conversation. This would have to be

introduced on only certain settings based on the type of people being invited to the event. It was difficult to keep the small talk out and students talking about other things besides the topics given. I decided that the most important thing was that the students were talking and to only interrupt to take orders, or if there was no conversation, to help inspire some. The event was good to build foundations for other events and worked well in integrating the students.


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Image


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A potluck is a gathering of people where each person or group of people contributes a dish of food to be shared among the group. It helps people to mingle, socialise and potentially meet new people.

POTLUCK


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Introduction In previous meetings with the international students, I realised that their lives often revolves around food, they often socialise food and cook when they are homesick. Everyone needs to eat, so I organised a Pot Luck. A popular gathering in Asia where people arrive with a dish of their own and everyone shares their food amongst their friends. The first introduction was where everyone brought a dish of their own, no rules but to bring food, although preferably a dish of their culture! Everyone met each other, it was relaxed and casual The second meeting, was where everyone invited

handed me a recipe from their culture, I then exchanged the recipes for everyone to cook a dish of a different culture. The purpose of this was to introduce people into a new culture and try something they had not previously cooked. Recipes varied from Tuna Bread to Sweet Black Rice! Everyone interacted better than the initial meetings and everyone was far more relaxed. The interactions were far less staged.


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Ingredients Comfortable setting Plates, cutlery, cups Music Games Table suitable to layout food Food labels

Set up seating area’s making sure there is enough space for people to mingle. Do not have areas were small groups can interact only amongst themselves. Prepare labels food and table. Play music softly in the background. Ensure that everyone feels comfortable. Organise food, for example, dips may be on the coffee table, main courses on the main table and dessert still in the kitchen. Tip: Ensure that people bring easy to eat food, like cocktail sausages or chicken wings, for example, steak would be cut into bite sized pieces.


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People in England are more open than in Asia, I’ve learnt a lot about life!


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Feedback The events turned out well, I perhaps would have advanced them further by introducing games to the evening. Games like Congkak, a traditional marble game from Malaysia, to well known games like Monopoly or Scrabble. It perhaps would have given the night another dimension when the conversation faltered. All in all, the evening was well recieved, everyone had let the barriers down and everyone was getting to know everyone fairly well. The only complaints I had was that there was not enough food! The interaction after the second event began to

move outside of the events I was organising, a sure sign that the events were working. The events no longer felt like people were being set-up to get along but were friends catching up and socialising. Everyone let their guards down and got to know eachother on a far deeper level than would have occurred in a university setting.


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Conclusion Souvenir’s main aim is was to integrate students into a stable community within the University. A short series of events and a reason for the international students and local students was really all that was needed. The events encouraged students to get to know those they were likely to talk to and all involved had great and interesting experiences learning about each other. It was not all positive as naturally there were clashing personalities, Souvenir never intended for everyone to be friends but to get to know the community in order

to make an informed decision on whether you can socialise with all those involved in the community. While most of the guests got on well, there was a tiny percentage who did not see eye to eye. This did not cause a scene in any of the events, it was treated in a civilized manner and everyone just got on with it. Souvenir is encouraged by how well the events turned out, by having the events weekly or bi-monthly, it gives the community a reason to socialise and for one evening, get away from the worries in their every day lives.


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Many guests were skeptical about the events at first but were pleasantly surprised by how much they learnt from everyone at the events. Everyone discussed their own experiences throughout life and educated others on the background of their own culture and lives. While it is important for the international students to socialise with those from home, more events should be held in which all students interact outside of the traditional settings, outside university and outside of the international group.

The international students appreciated that now, they no longer felt ignored or segregated in the corridors at university and were more open to getting to know people outside of their own group. The home students had lost all preconceived ideas of what the international students were like, and there seemed to be a breakdown of the divide between the two groups with a more integrated group within the university.



Cultural Integration