A Cultural Connection Week 2019 Thank You! | Coursera Community
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A Cultural Connection Week 2019 Thank You!

  • Music Community Leader
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Cultural Connection Week 2019 was a wonderful experience. Thank you so much to everyone who participated, and thank you Coursera for making this happen.
I feel as if I have visited countries and cultures I never would have been able to know about. I was able to see them through the eyes and experiences of those who live them. So much pride and love for our cultures and countries have been expressed here.

Any questions I have ever had were always answered. I learned just as much from these responses as the original posts. For example, when @Lic. José Alvarado from Mexico, mentioned wooden toys, I asked to see an example and he immediately posted a photo of brightly colored wooden toys. Thinking about toys, @Rose Mary Vega from Latin America, shared a fun children's game played called Don Ana. @Danijela from Croatia replied to a question by telling us about some of her hobbies such as lace making and gingerbread crafts. Gingerbread crafts? I never heard of that and discovered how a piece of gingerbread can be made into a decoration.

As a musician, I was especially interested in @Zannah Zakariya Goni from Nigeria who shared ganga kura, his music with us. An instrument called algaita was featured which uses a double reed, I had never heard before. @Alberto from Perú taught us that the percussion called cajon originated in Peru . The links he shared with us were helpful in understanding how special this is. In one of his links, there are 5 cajon players jamming! @Halla introduced us to the origins of American Jazz with music by King Oliver and Louis Armstrong. @Vagney from Brazil introduced us to a Brazilian guitarist and singer.

We were treated to picturesque Festivals such as the Bengali New Year Festival by @Debashish . @Cicero from Brazil took us to the Bumba Meu Boi Festival which is a social criticism Festival.
Another Festival was one where foods from restaurants compete, shared by @Cristiane called "Comida di Buteco". The winning dish gets a prize of a golden plate to hang in their restaurant.

Speaking of foods, @Magdalena Brzezinska from Poland shared some of the unusual foods and recipes she prepares for Christmas, an example being sauerkraut with mushrooms. She assured us that their enjoyment was a taste acquired as you age. Most children dislike these but grow to enjoy them. We also had an interesting discussion about education. @Otto Stam from the Netherlands also discussed why people from his country speak such fluent English. @Lillian from Australia shared her country's famous foods with us with links to see exactly what they look like. @Carol shared a picture of her unusual carrots, sparking a discussion about seasonal fruits and vegetables.

Some of the art work presented to us was magnificent. @Luis Gerardo Ayala B. from Columbia shared amazing murals painted by famous artists of his country. He wore a different hat in each picture! Best of all, he posted a photo with a local banana seller. When I posted pictures of our National Parks I learned how talented a photographer both @Namrata Tejwani and @Pat B are when they also posted some of their photos.@Bahamas2020 from Algiers posted a entire art gallery of pictures from his culture. I also loved his photo of the dates he picked and the fish he caught.
Some of my favorite pictures where those that showed what life was like, such as the banana seller in Columbia, or the marketplace that @Bahamas2020 posted. @nishparadox 's picture of Durbar Squares in Nepal was another one I enjoyed. @Fatamorgana posted lovely pictures of Argentina.

I wish I could smell the bright yellow flowers on the Australian wattle tree that both @Lillian and @Pat B assured me was an incredible smell. This is their National flower, from Australia.

There were many good discussions about language. @yashika_d told us that language in India changes every 15 -20 kilometers, there are so many languages spoken there.She had created a whole presentation of her country and reminded us that not everyone in India is a snake charmer!

@Namrata Tejwani 's descriptions of the Langar in India, which are community kitchens made a powerful statement about the goodness and kindness of people who as volunteers have cooked and served thousands of hungry people. Her photo of all these people eating together is amazing.

@MikeEdgar had a most unusual post about the subcultures he knew through alcohol, such as the California Wine Country or Bourbon from Kentucky.

@Charjad1 has family roots in Indonesia and currently is living in California's Silicone Valley where his school is right down the street form Coursera.

I am hoping that many people have read through these incredible posts. It's not too late to read them.If you put the words"cultural connection week 2019" in the search box they will all appear.

Please share with us what you enjoyed this week. I apologize if I didn't mention everyone, but hopefully someone else will. I also hope Coursera will repeat this next year.

@lkhan has lived in Pakistan, Spain and Dubai and has expressed what being multi-cultural means to her," Being multi-cultural has opened and broadened one's vision of our own world, its people and our oneness..." I feel as if this is what has happened during Cultural Connection Week. It has been a pleasure to meet and visit you.

14 replies

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They say that the best part always comes at the end, that is why in the movies they leave amazed after the credits, the desserts after finishing the meal and within these, the post of @Judith after a spectacular week of cultural exchange 😃.

Thank you very much for being attentive to each of the publications, your comments, your exemplary attitude and a motivation that inspires joy and desire to answer even once.

I hope to continue participating actively in the community and we can keep to generate this socio-cultural environment by having many more to join us and share their ideas, feelings and opinions that will always be received in the best possible way.

My best affections,

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Wow @Judith, you have summarised it so beautifully. This cultural week has given a glimpse into so many different cultures and given me a few more places to add to my "must visit list". I have missed reading several of these posts (now I will see them all) as I am currently busy readying for my next trip to South Africa in the coming week.
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Dear Judith:

welcome iAppreciate your proficiency thread and thanks alot for mentionned me as interest share from my contry ilove to hear from you same here for All participates in this big even
Good Luck
Userlevel 3
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@Judith, even though you're so humble and always put yourself in the background, it was YOU who made this Cultural Connection Week so very special! Thank you for listening and responding to everyone, and for making us all feel noticed and appreciated. I'm sure you're everyone's favorite human being.
@Magdalena Brzezinska , Thank you so much for your kind words, and a special thanks for participating . It felt like old times with us here together, lots of wonderful discussions and interaction. I appreciate how you made time for us all here last week to share your culture. I am so proud we are friends!

@Luis Gerardo Ayala B. I appreciate your kind words and all of the interactions we have had here. You have helped make this week the success it was!

@Namrata Tejwani , have a wonderful trip. I hope you take lots of wonderful photos too. Thank you for all of your posts and discussions and for being the kind person you are.

@Bahamas2020 you showed us so much about your country posting stories and pictures and photos. It was appreciated.
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@Magdalena Brzezinska said it: @Judith this Cultural Connection Week was your idea and we should all be thanking you for sharing it with us so we could help bring it to life.

It's been a phenomenal success, even better than I could have imagined! In preparation for our make-a-thon demo fair I printed out every thread and all the comments, taped them together into one long strip of paper for each thread and then rolled them up. I didn't realize that we had so many threads and great discussions on each that it would take me well over an hour to do that, or that I would have too many rolls to carry in my arms! (I'll share a picture with you soon but my phone camera is broken right now.)

In addition to thanking @Judith , I'd like to also thank every one of you who took the time to participate! Without you all this wouldn't have been possible and it was wonderful to see all of you sharing with such pride such interesting stories about your cultures. Thank you!
@Claire , what a hilarious image you described of you carrying these rolls of wonderful information to the demo, 😀!
I hope everyone was impressed. This also represents who Coursera is better than any description , the entire world becoming closer through educational and social interactions.

I hope everyone at Coursera was impressed too.This also represents a collaboration between the community and Coursera. You did all the begind-the-scenes work to make it come together. I had all the fun, meeting and conversing with the world. Thank you.
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I am working right now and I dont have the chance of writing extensively, but I'd like to say that I love being part of this community!! Thank you for making me be part of this.
@Fatamorgana it has been our pleasure to have you join us. Your contributions helped make this such a success!
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@Claire, thanks for sharing information about cultural week. @Judith has a great understanding of social interactions and I am sure she has several such ideas in her mind if we take a print out of them all, rolls need a truck to carry them 😜. Thanks, @Judith for such a brilliant idea, I relived several memories and looking forward to making more.
@Namrata Tejwani , as always you are so wonderful to know and interact with, bringing so much to us all here. Thank you.😀
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What an amazing summary, @Judith Thank you for pulling all this together.
Thank you @Carol for being a part of this.
Userlevel 1
Sorry I was late to this lovely event. I had to think about what I had to add. I was born and (except in my twenties) lived most of my life in the United States, mostly in Houston, Texas, but from undergraduate days, thanks to language and Humanities studies, fellow students at the University of Texas at Austin, from six continents, I consider myself "multicultural". That suits living in Houston, a major port city. Houston is a multicultural city. Professor Klineberg at Rice will cite the statistics in his forthcoming book, but it permeates my daily life coming and going. I'm blessed to have friends I see at book club, language-group reunion tables, tango group classes and practica, and in my neighborhood from many different cultures besides local--Latin American, Asian, European, African, and (if I may count my next-door neighbor who just moved a month ago) Australian. You might ask what is left of the US American culture in which I grew up on and around farms and ranches. Well, I know from my last outing, that I am still a good horseman. I play basketball and other sports with which I grew up. I play classical and jazz piano I learned in my youth from teachers in the little town where I grew up (accomplished professionals who returned to their home town to take care of sick, aging parents). I was taught to welcome visitors and pilgrims and other offices of a good host and welcomer. This goes back a few years, but I've joined in "welcome wagon" activities for overseas visitors during Houston International Festivals, Sister City conventions, and other occasions to extend welcoming Texas hospitality to visitors. I've learned so much from overseas visitors and I think many longterm friendships with overseas visitors, immigrants, consular and other workers employed by non-US entities, attest to Houston's openness to and acceptance by people of different cultural backgrounds from all over the inhabited earth, at home and abroad. I remember from my youth conversations in different languages people around me spoke, including Texas German, which I hear is on the verge of extinction. I went on to learn Hochdeutsch, but I remember how to pronouce and express myself in Texas German. The more I learn about different cultures, the more aware I become of my ignorance, but I'm always happy to overcome ignorance.

Multicultural Houston and the Internet, Coursera and other online learning communities especially, especially the Coursera ones, have given me many wonderful opportunities to get to know and understand more about different cultures, near and far, ancient and modern and in-between, and I hope to overcome many more blind spots in the months and years ahead! Thank you, all, for sharing your generously here, in the MOOCs, and doubtless wherever you go and meet people. Enlightenment, openmindedness, intellectual honesty and humility, education including challenges to grow in independent, critical thinking, are values shared by good people of cultures all over the world. Promoting those values doesn't diminish or "homogenize" peoples and cultures. It makes them stronger and promotes prosperity and world peace, more resources with which to preserve or even rescue indigenous and (for lack of a better word for not indigenous, but well seasoned authentic) originary cultures.

We are so fortunate to live in this age of the Internet that offers opportunities to learn other languages and the subjects of so many great courses taught by the top professors in their fields. I think about how many more, and better, resources there are now online to learn Mandarin Chinese, Korean, and other difficult languages. Hearing the voices of native speakers is so much easier now than even a decade or so ago. The Internet and a multicultural city are a good fit, but perhaps an even more noteworthy impact of the Internet is on learning possibilities in communities away from a rich multicultural mix. Has online culture become a part of all cultures?