The movie “The Terminal” (2004) starring Tom Hanks and directed by Steven Spielberg covers our final competence aim; “varieties of English outside the Aglo-American region”. Answer these questions and be ready to discuss them in class on Tuesday:
1. What are your first impressions of Viktor as he begins his long stay in the international transit lounge at JFK? How well do you think Dixon explains what has happened and what the rules force him to do with Viktor?
2. Although Viktor lacks a full command of the English language, he manages to demonstrate a remarkable resiliency during his nine-month stay in the international transit lounge. Look up the word resiliency and explain why this word applies to Viktor.
3. Describe Viktor. What kind of person is he? What is it about his personality which makes him endure the stay at the airport?
Adapted from http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/films/visions-features/view/14964/the-terminal
Outsourcing of companies is a common phenomenon in our globalized world. Todd, the main character of “Oursourced”, faces numerous challenges as he experiences a new culture with different traditions and ways of communicating.
After having watched the film, write a text in which you discuss what cultural differences Todd has learned about and must overcome in his encounter with the Indian culture. Discuss some of the scenes where this is visible and discuss the change Todd goes through.
We are now 2 chapters into the story of Changez, the American and the Reluctant Fundamentalist.
Write a blog post where you comment on:
- your impression of the story so far. Remember that you are allowed to be negative, but no matter what your thoughts are so far – try to explain and give examples of what you like or dislike.
- on the vacation in Greexe – Changez describes the group he travels with (excepting Erica) in different ways – how? And what does it say about his opinion of them? See if you can find at least one quote to underline your statements.
- What does Changez tell Erica about Pakistan?
- Why do you think he says that he wants to be “the dictator of an Islamic republic with nuclear capability?” (p. 31). How does his audience react to this?
After publishing your post, move on to read chapter 3.
Part of living in a globalized world is our encounter with foreign cultures, both at school and at work. To develop an understanding and respect for other cultures is quintessential in order to succeed in a globalized world. It can also prevent cultural misunderstanding and blunders.
Our class has therefore studied the cultural iceberg and discussed its meanings. In addition, we have looked at various songs and videos where cross-cultural communication is an issue. The poem “The Fat Black Woman Goes Shopping” by Grace Nichols is a good example of different value systems and cultures. Can you think of what the theme(s) and messages in this poem are?
- Watch these two clips: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ed7C3gAXQNA&feature=related
3. What are the differences and similarities between these two clips?
4. Discuss: Do you think the shopping experiences of the black woman would have been different if she was a. Tall and slim and b. A beautiful white woman. c. A rich black woman. d. A black man?
5.Write your own poem, a micropoem (Twitterpoem) of no more than 140 characters. It could be written as a poem/blogpost/comment. E.g.
Is enjoyable to those with a thick wallet and credit card
Nothing similar to those whose ward
Is the empty bank account
That only dismount
To complete blood count
The wolfs of the credit card
Which only disregard
The scarred shopper the whopper
Who needs to be put in a locker
“My Son the Fanatic” is a short story written in 1997 by Hanif Kureishi about a father and a son living in London, and struggling to adapt. The father left Pakistan and loves England, he wants to become as English as possible, because “you can do almost anything here.” The son has never been outside England, but still struggles to find his place in the English society, and is looking for something else, going back to the culture and faith of his ancestors, and becoming more and more angry with the society he sees around himself – the society his father is so in love with.
“Free for All” is a short story written by Moin Ashraf in 1999. This story too depicts a father and a son, this time in the US, the father doing everything “right” to become an upright and successful man in his new country, and being frustrated at seeing his son leaving the ideals of his own country and tradition. It is a culture clash, between a son who has grown up American, and a father who still looks back to and values of his Pakistani homeland.
Write a blog post where you EITHER compare these two stories in terms of father-son relationships and the question of identity and belonging, OR discuss what these two stories say about being an immigrant, and raising a family in a different culture. What are these two stories saying about multiculturalism?