【International Programs】 Celebrates “Strength in Diversity” Through Culture Sharing Event
NSYSU boasts one of the most diverse university environments in Taiwan. GHRM MBA and IBMBA programs maintain a full English teaching faculty and attract accomplished students from all across the globe. The 'Culture Sharing Event' is held annually to celebrate this diversity, and this year, the event was held on the 23rd of October 2020 at NSYSU. The event started with the President of the Student Association, international programs, Hkawn San (Joy) greeting the crowd. Afterward, three students from the United States, India, and Germany shared their culture at the event.
Blake Nipper from the United States started the presentation with a question, “What makes America 美 (Beautiful)?" He started the presentation by talking about big American corporations such as "Amazon, Netflix, Apple, Tesla," etc. At the same time, Blake touched upon certain stereotypes that people associate with America, such as celebrities, athletes, parties, political movements, etc. As the presentation continued, Blake mentioned that there is another side of America that people don't recognize; Blake himself comes from a small state in the southern state of the US where everybody is considered as a friend, where the simplicity of life is highly valued, life is full of enjoyable activities such as fishing, sports, and good food. Blake also emphasized that the current political situation does not define America; media news stories do not represent America; instead, what makes America beautiful is its diversity. Blake remarked that as a foreigner, it’s better not to approach an American with preconceptions and assumptions but rather to approach with an open mind, which could lead to friendship and business partnership.
The event continued with the second presenter, Limaonen Longkumer, from Nagaland, situated in the North-Eastern of India. Lima mentioned that being unknown to many people, Nagaland is almost like a hidden treasure. Lima said that the unique history of Nagaland is that the tribes there had a reputation of being fierce warriors who took great pride in taking the heads of their enemies as trophies. However, Lima mentioned social change started when Christianity was introduced to the Naga people; Christianity brought an end to the practice of headhunting in Nagaland and now more than 90% of Naga’s are Christians. Nagaland also has the biggest church in Asia. Moreover, Lima noted that Naga people share similarities with the Karen and Wa tribe from Myanmar and ethnic minorities in the Yunan province of China. He said that the state has16 tribes and 14 languages, with English being the official state language; the state also has huge Western influences. Lima also shed light on Nagaland's interesting facts that despite being the smallest state in India, it is represented at the UNOP. It's a land of festivals and is known as the safest place in India for women. Lima ended the presentation by mentioning that Nagaland is currently on the quest to find a solution to its political problem.
Lastly, Paul Klebert from Germany introduced the audience to his country's name in the German language saying "Deutschland" and illustrated a map of his country. He continued the presentation by introducing the country's leader, Chancellor Angela Merkel, delicious German bread, German beer festival "Oktoberfest," and German car brands such as Mercedes, Porches, and BMW. Paul also touched upon the dark side of German history such as the second world war and the Nazi party. Paul also talked about Germany's outstanding achievements, such as in 2019, when the country ranked as one of the top 20 countries with the largest GDP and one of the top 20 export countries. Furthermore, Paul talked about Germany's 4 largest industries, including automobile, mechanical engineering, chemical industry, and the electrical industry. In addition, Paul also talked about famous German brands such as Nivea, Volkswagen, Audi, Adidas, Puma, DHL, and many more. Lastly, he shared an interesting fact about German grammar that the compound words add up together to make single words stretched across a page. Paul concluded the presentation by introducing the audience with the longest German word : “Donaudampfschifffahrtselektrizitätenhaupt-Betriebswerkbauunterbeamtengesellschaft”.
Attendees participated actively with questions and discussions in the Q&A session. Elsa, 2nd – year GHRM MBA student, remarked that she enjoyed the culture sharing event because she learned about foreign cultures from the natives' perspectives. She said it was also an opportunity for her to meet some new friends who also attended the event. Culture sharing event like this strengthens the culture exchanges between students from different countries and allow students to connect more deeply.
【GHRM MBA】 Intercultural Communication Lectured by Germain Thiombiano from IMAPA
On November 23, 2020, the lecturer of Cross-Cultural Management from GHRM MBA program, Professor David Andersson, invited Professor Germain Thiombiano from International Master Program in Asia-Pacific Affairs (IMAPA) to talk about Intercultural Communication. Professor Germain from Burkina Faso in West Africa received his master's degree in International Business MBA Program (IBMBA) in 2010 and Ph.D. degree in Institute of China and Asia-Pacific Studies in 2019 from National Sun Yat-sen University.
In the beginning, Professor Germain mentioned that the workplace presents the most opportunities for intercultural encounters and language differences are the most challenging intercultural communication. Professor also gave an example of cultural difference. He mentioned that many of us have experience in dealing with cultural differences in a business context – from working in a restaurant with multicultural kitchen and serving staff, or perhaps in a business that exports or communicates with overseas clients and consumers. Intercultural communication issues also can arise in both domestic and international cultural settings.
In Professor Germain’s talk, he compared domestic and global economy growth. He mentioned that the number of businesses owned by minorities has increased dramatically in the past 10 years and about a third of venture-backed companies that went public between 2006 and 2012 had at least one immigrant founder. As for global growth, intercultural communication occurs in many different types of business settings, including domestic contexts with multicultural workforces and international contexts.
Finally, we would like to thank Professor Germain Thiombiano for his insightful speech on behalf of the GHRM MBA program. It is our great hope that every student in this course will gain valuable knowledge from Professor Germain Thiombiano’s lecture.
【CM】College of Management establishes fourth Muslim prayer room on campus
In November, the College of Management of National Sun Yat-sen University established the fourth Muslim prayer room on campus to respond to the needs of the University’s Muslim community and create a diversity-friendly campus. Vice President for International Affairs Chih-Wen Kuo, Dean San-Yih Hwang and Associate Dean Shu-Chuan Jennifer Yeh, Director of International Relations under the Dean’s Office Chien-Yuan Sher, and five Muslim students and staff members from Indonesia participated in the opening ceremony.
The Office of International Affairs of NSYSU has been establishing prayer rooms on campus since 2017. The new prayer room, the fourth on campus, is in room no. 0053 of the College of Management. The other three rooms are on the 1st floor of the International Dorm of Wuling Village, and the 1st underground floor of the Building of Electrical Engineering and the Info-Library Building. Vice President Kuo said that NSYSU attaches importance to creating a friendly environment for Muslim students, with Halal food and prayer rooms available. NSYSU aims at establishing at least 5 prayer rooms on campus by 2024. Vice President Kuo pointed out that the College managed to establish a prayer room of proper size despite limited space in the building so he would like to thank the College for the contribution and support.
Dean San-Yih Hwang said that the College of Management created a room suitable for Muslim prayer rituals to express respect for religious diversity and a friendly approach towards universities and students from every country and cultural circle. PhD student of the College of Management Wiyata said that he is glad to have a Muslim prayer room where he can concentrate during prayer five times a day. He also invited students and staff of the College of Engineering: Hasan Albinsaid, Ahmad Sirojuddin, and Irmawan, to participate in the ceremony; they appreciated the establishment of Muslim-friendly space by NSYSU.
Lastly, a doctoral student of the Department of Business Administration Maya Piah Nirwana explained the ritual of the Muslim prayer and culture to the participants. Before prayer, Muslims purify the body, mind, and the environment (ablution area was established in the bathrooms on the same first floor of the College) and face the direction of Mecca. Females wear a burqa and stand in the designated area (behind males in mixed-gender prayer). Five students and staff members demonstrated to the participating non-Muslim colleagues and teachers the ritual of Muslim prayer and shared their culture and religion.