A Myriad of Opportunities for Celebration and Communication

By: Caitlin Selby, Global Competency Intern

Earlier this week, on Tuesday, was the globally celebrated holiday, Mardi Gras; which in French means Fat Tuesday. On this day, individuals indulge in feasts and parties before a six-week period of fasting, called Lent. Thursday of this week was none other than the international holiday of love—Valentine’s Day. In many countries around the world it is celebrated much the same as here in the United States, with a big emphasis on gifts of candy, cards, and flowers to friends and significant others.

The International Center has been preparing our flag collection for IUPUI’s 9th annual International Festival which will be held on February 21st. The flags are beautifully displayed in the IUPUI Campus Center. This festival is a great way to learn a bit about our international community here in Indianapolis. At the festival, a series of fascinating lectures will be going on throughout the day. There will also be an array of delicious foods from several different countries. If you have traditional clothing from your home country, a country you have traveled, or somewhere you would like to go, be sure to wear it and enter the Best Dressed Contest!

IUPUI International Festival
IUPUI Campus Center

This Wednesday at The International Center, I was able to help prepare for, and attend a workshop on Cross Cultural Communications with China. It was fascinating to have so many different individuals from an assortment of career backgrounds who attended and brought their own experiences and insightful questions for consideration in this shared learning experience.

One of the remarkable things that I am privileged to be learning here at The International Center, is that no matter who you are, or what your career, when communicating with a culture different from our own, we must maintain our human aspect of the communication. By human aspect of communication, I simply mean the sincere and utter respect, patience, and curiosity for every culture. In doing this, we can realize that there is not only one right way to do things in this world—but many! It is up to us to begin first by trying to understand and learn from our differences so we may appreciate the beauty and effectiveness of friendly and courteous international communication.