CROSS-CULTURAL ASPECTS OF MENTORING – A PATH FRAUGHT WITH RISKS

Last week I gave a talk on the cross-cultural aspects of mentoring at the Diverse Women Mentorship Association induction workshop. I told the participants that the mentor-mentee relationship is a cross-encounter, and drew their attention to the multi-faceted aspects of diversity. I also told them that a cross-cultural encounter has higher risks than a mono-cultural one. For example, it is easier to offend and do the wrong things, often through ignorance of the other person’s culture. Sometimes, it could be embarrassing, for example, when I was invited to my very first Aussie party back in 1963, I was told to bring a plate so I brought along an empty plate! As a teenager then, I was mortified with my mistake! From where I came from (Malaysia), no one was ever told to bring food when they were invited to a party!

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To Have or Not to Have: The Chinese Way of Children

W020080125038088919463This editorial is inspired by Kahlil Gibran’s poem On Children.  For me, Christmas is really about children. Without them around my Christmas tree and all the goodies piled under, the Christmas feeling is just not there. Yet even as I think of a great family Christmas this year, I am also reminded of the thousands of children all over the world who are refugees and victims of natural disasters and wars. Continue reading “To Have or Not to Have: The Chinese Way of Children”

Loans or Investments? Children Through Chinese Eyes

Pretty chinese girlsThis morning as I contemplate on the next project in my life – exploring the possibility of forming a primary school based on Accelerative Learning principles in East Timor – I went into the depths of my own unconscious and thought about being Chinese and how we view children. Continue reading “Loans or Investments? Children Through Chinese Eyes”