Archive for the ‘All’ Category

(Bild: Bettina Storck)

Elnaz Ghorbanimonhasser (25) kommt aus der iranischen Metropole Teheran und lebt seit 2 Monaten in Deutschland. Hier besucht sie zurzeit einen Vorbereitungskurs an der Hochschule Fulda, um in wenigen Monaten ihr Master Studium namens „Intercultural Communication and European Studies“ beginnen zu können. Im Rahmen eines Seminars, wollten wir von ihr wissen, welche Erfahrungen sie bisher in Deutschland gesammelt hat, ob sie sich hier wohl fühlt und was sie an den Deutschen besonders interessant findet… Dabei sind wir auf erstaunliche cultural secrets gestoßen. Hier erfahrt ihr mehr…

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WGy it is such a pain for Germans to live with me

Posted by Maria Kuzminova On May - 2 - 2011

First of all, I must say straight ahead that I don’t want to generalize, form (or prove) stereotypes, generate  prejudice, or turn the tide of foreign students coming to Germany over the next year. God forbid. I just feel the need to analyze my own miserable WG[1]-experience living with Germans and get at the roots of things.

I am Russian. I came from Moscow to Fulda to study Intercultural Communication.  Not being  a native speaker and being a guest in Germany makes me kind of less arrogant in terms of “my own ways of doing things” and having to do it.. so “When in Rome do as Romans do”.  I am doing quite well in the first task but totally failed in the second one.

I have lived in Germany for 6 months now: 4 months with a German guy, aged 24, 2 months till now with a German girl, aged 27. I didn’t even change the street, but in search of a better WG-partner ended up with the same problems: washing dishes, garbage separation, different perception of cleanness, economizing and as a result, life in general. Believe me or not, I am not a WG-pig: I wash dishes straight after using them, I wipe the table after eating, I leave the place as it was before me. I empty the dust-bin if it is full and if I have time, I even learnt to separate the garbage. It’s  just  I don’t make a cult of it – I think that a pot for boiling water doesn’t get dirty after that, I guess that a tea bag can go to an eco-garbage with a little paper tag unseparated.  I guess if it is still clean, you don’t need to clean just according to the Plan. My wasteful Russian nature tells me that cooking on a bigger ring doesn’t save so much electricity. And one more whim of mine is a warm radiator in the kitchen in winter. I know I am intolerable to live with. That’s why I recommend you’d better not.

[1] WG=Wohngemeinschaft – shared apartment

¡Olé, olé y olé!

Posted by Adriana Rodriguez Casamayor On April - 8 - 2011

I am sure you all know the word olé. But do you really know what it means? Have you ever wondered how you can use it an appropriate way? You are about to discover a cultural secret…
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The Secrets Behind Compliments

Posted by Katie Freeman On April - 7 - 2011

The giving and receiving of compliments is an every day experience for all of us. “That top looks good on you”, “you played well at the game yesterday” or even “you have a nice smile”. Unfortunately, compliments are easily misunderstood, especially by foreigners in Germany (including us).

The compliment is a suitable speech act to investigate when comparing cultures. It acts as a window through which we can see or view what is valued within a particular culture.
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Know-how – Different ways of wearing a headscarf

Posted by Olga Smirnova On April - 7 - 2011

Maria, a 26-year-old student from Indonesia, is studying in Germany. She kindly agreed to give us an interview on the secrets of wearing a headscarf and of femininity in a Muslim culture.

Maria also showed us how a headscarf is worn in different countries where Islam is the predominant religion.
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What does your headscarf mean to you?

Posted by Olga Smirnova On April - 7 - 2011

Photo by Bettina Storck

Maria, a 26-year-old student from Indonesia, is studying in Germany. She kindly agreed to give us an interview about the secrets of wearing a headscarf and femininity in a Muslim culture.

Have you ever wondered, what such an element in a wardrobe could mean for a woman?

Is she happy wearing it?

Does it protect her?

Is it just a religious tradition or rather something personal?

What is it like to wear it in a different culture?

Does she go to the swimming pool/hair-dresser?


We want to thank Maria for sincerely answering our provocative questions!

Here you’ll find the answers.
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(picture: Bettina Storck)

Er begrüßt sie mit einem gehauchten „Enchanté, mademoiselle!“, er gewährt ihr den Vortritt, hilft ihr aus der Jacke und geizt nicht mit Komplimenten, ohne dabei aufdringlich zu wirken. Der französische Mann weiß, was sich gehört und wie man eine Frau charmant behandelt. Altmodisch? In Zeiten von Emanzipation und Gleichstellung nicht mehr angebracht? Keineswegs. Read the rest of this entry »

Sex: let’s talk about it but nothing personal, please!!

Posted by Sabrina Colombo On April - 7 - 2011

The sexual affairs of our Prime Minister keep Italian newspapers and TV programmes busy for months. Girls and Escorts (yes, it is right: if a woman has sex with a common man, she is a prostitute; but if a woman has sex with the Italian Prime Minister, she is an escort!) have revealed the ins and outs of this affair without omitting particulars of the people involved. Read the rest of this entry »

The HungryAmi Reveals Intercultural Food Secrets

Posted by Allyson Upton On April - 7 - 2011

Have you ever asked yourself how Italians eat spaghetti or how to pour a wheat beer the German way?

Come join Allyson as she reveals a few intercultural food secrets!


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Ssshh don’t tell anyone!

Posted by Jenny Lau On April - 7 - 2011

How would you make the “this is a secret!” gesture in your culture?

So next time when you tell someone a secret, don’t forget to use one of these gestures to make it safer!
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Bonjour, Guten Tag, Konichiwa…

Posted by Yuliya Shilova On April - 7 - 2011

View the album Intercultural Greetings

Intercultural Greetings

Greeting is the first thing you do when you meet a person. Do it with a kiss, a hug or a handshake? Have a look...


Bettina Storck, Nadiya Tsybulya & Yuliya Shilova

Women, Men and Femininity – intercultural statements

Posted by Olga Smirnova On April - 7 - 2011

We have posted 4 statements on Facebook, concerning MEN, WOMEN & FEMININITY in different cultural settings, and asked our friends to comment them.

Here are our statements and a short summary of the feedback received so far.
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Intercultural vocabulary

Posted by Maria Kuzminova On April - 7 - 2011

Intercultural environment always implies interlanguage environment which in its turn implies a mix of different languages, creation of new words and expressions.That is why we, foreign language speakers, are artists, in this sense, generating small linguistic pieces of arts. Read the rest of this entry »

Intercultural Food?

Posted by Allyson Upton On April - 7 - 2011

Fulda, April 2011: Four International Students Went On A Search To Discover:

How authentic is ethnic food in Germany?
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Show me your shoes and I’ll tell you who you are!

Posted by Bettina Storck On April - 7 - 2011

You’ve always wanted to know how to distinguish between East and West European women? Discover it here!




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Bettgeflüster – Pillow Talk

Posted by Ariane Seitz On April - 7 - 2011

What do you wear to bed?  How do you prepare for bed?  Who sleeps where?
Come along as we find out what the rituals are in Kenya, Syria, Indonesia, and the USA.



Dinner is served … but when?

Posted by Lilia Brestel On April - 7 - 2011

At some point in our intercultural experience, almost all of us have found ourselves in the situation of  arrivng either too late or too early for a dinner invitation.  It seems to be such a “small” part of our daily lives yet nevertheless, manages to create a lot of confusion. To try and prevent our readers from this uncertainty, we set up a survey on facebook and asked friends from all over the world to reveal their eating habits. People were asked how many meals they eat during the day, at what time, and for how long. Thanks to the numerous answers we were able to evaluate them and present them here for you. Read the rest of this entry »

Survey on direct questions…

Posted by Adrienne Stickel On April - 7 - 2011

We provided a survey on direct questions; we assumed that there would be a concrete answer for each question, according to the different cultures (based on nationality). We were proofed wrong.
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Family is…

Posted by Magdalena Eiffert On April - 7 - 2011

Every culture is different and has its special features. Nevertheless, family plays a very big role for everyone, no matter what culture you come from.
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Many cultures, one event: Christmas

Posted by Carolin Heid On April - 7 - 2011

Talking about traditions in different countries is also part of our project: in the first day of our Medienwoche we thought at what could be “traditional”. After having made a brainstorming we all agreed on Christmas but not without doubts, if you are not Christians how could you celebrate it? Read the rest of this entry »