Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Taiwan... a troublemaker?

Wednesday, June 11th-- our first controversial topic comes to light. During our stereotypes workshop, students write down generalizations that come to mind for each country represented in the room. The citizens of that country then present to the group what surprised them the most about what others wrote about their nation, which generalizations were correct & incorrect, and what other items not mentioned would they really like us to know about their culture.
A fascinating exercise, especially because for many students who aren't as comfortable conversing in a group setting or in English, this is their first time speaking in front of everyone. With 17 countries in the room, this was a long, yet engaging process, especially because I could sense that people really wanted to learn from each other.
I only learned afterwards that the Chinese students were disturbed that our finance staff person, who is from Taiwan, presented as a separate country. China, of course, does not recognize Taiwan as an independent nation, and this caused some quiet controversy. BUT being exposed to both sides of this issue and having these harder conversations is what these students are here for... I am excited for the discussion to come.

1 comment:

Diane said...

yes. It all depends on your point of view.

btw, we are up at the place where you guys got married!

learn lots!