Education and Interculture

Niveditha (middle), lecturer in Mass Communication and Journalism, Mahajana college with the foreign students on the college premises, in Mysore. Pic by spl arrangement

Of course, teaching is a highly respected profession and is placed in the highest level by parents in India. From the early childhood, children are taught to respect their teacher and that is passed on till the end of their lives. But the same cannot be expected from the foreign students as their culture varies.

Initially, adjusting with the foreign students especially with their attitudes and behavior was quite challenging. But as days passed, the level of understanding increased as each one of them became familiar with the Indian culture. But, it grew more compatible when they gave a PowerPoint presentation on ‘Communication and Culture’ as part of their syllabus.

Planning to take them for a seminar or a tour is really a tough task, as accommodating them in the best hotel and also providing them the required food is difficult as compared to our Indian students who adjust with any condition and circumstances. But of course, all the foreign students are not the same and that includes Indians!    

Ethnic Day

The best time we get to see the cultures of various nations is on the ‘Ethnic Day’ celebrated in our college every year. The attire showcases their country’s culture and one feels as if we are taking part in one of the International Cultural Day. Added to that, it was a cynosure of all eyes to see the varieties of Indian traditional costumes from Karnataka Sarees to Rajasthan petas.

I also had the same experience when I attended the ‘International Students Day’ hosted by University of Mysore. The show covered dances, skits, live music and fashion show which were performed by 45 different countries all over the globe. The most interesting part from the entire program was the Kannada Folk dance which was performed by girls and boys from Thailand, Indonesia, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.

Learning looks tough to a few of them, but it really astonishes me when I see the speed in which the foreign students learn and speak regional languages. And not only that, a few of them watch Kannada movie and also sing the film songs which makes one’s eyebrow up!

It definitely makes me privileged to teach the students from nine different countries like Afghanistan, Iran, Maldives, Tanzania, Kenya, Mozambique, Kazakhstan, Tibet and well, our Indians!!!   

As everyone attaches their pictures in the social networking sites to share their happy moments, I too did it on the event of our ‘Ethnic Day’. And the comments I received from one of my US friends really made me elevated. It was like this: ‘I am proud to see these photos’ because outside, our country student’s stand with foreign teacher and here you are with foreign students, you made Indians proud.’

Indeed I am Proud to be an Indian!!  
      
Niveditha, lecturer, Department of Mass Communication and Journalism, Mahajana college 

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