The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

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November 23, 2021 9:24AM

Separation of mind and body is a hallmark of Western culture(s). As a product of a Czech-American household, my own interest in intercultural studies has mimicked this divide. Epistemology has for all my life been relegated to the brain, to intellect. I have thus always interpreted intercultural knowledge, intercultural communication, and intercultural conflict as being purely mental phenomena. Developing intercultural intuition, however, is far more comprehensive....

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November 23, 2021 9:22AM

Prior to RGLP, I considered tolerating ambiguity to be an immense challenge. In my personal life, I naturally distinguish right from wrong without second thought; I oftentimes struggle to find the middle ground in many situations in which I maintain strong opinions. Thus, accepting that the right answer to a question or that the optimal solution to a problem may remain undefined was hard to conceptualize. Nevertheless, outside of my direct sphere of influence, complex...

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November 23, 2021 9:20AM

What does it mean to be multicultural or culturally ambiguous? I represent a particularly easy-to-notice example of this phenomenon, having been born and brought up by liberal westernized parents but in India attending a conservative Indian school. I am a hodgepodge of cultural identities, with an American accent and values, but the American knowledge of a recent immigrant and a conversely strong cultural understanding of the South Asian context.

Having grown up used to code-...

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November 23, 2021 9:17AM

How does one enter into a constructive dialogue with individuals that come from different cultural and personal backgrounds? Adaptation is often cited as a possible solution, but I feel very strongly about the cultures and beliefs that shape who I am, and, as a way to honor them, I like to express these backgrounds in my interactions with others. Because of this, I sometimes struggle with the idea of adapting. I have come to realize, as trite as it may sound, that...

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November 23, 2021 9:14AM

Adaptability, to me, means adjusting to new environments and situations while still keeping true to the essence of the self. For a cultural context, I thought of the My Thai Vegan Cafe we went to in Boston. In my culture, veganism and vegetarianism is looked at as a burden and as the person choosing to be difficult. Hungarian cuisine has meat in most dishes and preparing food in an altered way can be read as a burden or as non-traditional to the culture. However, seeing an entire restaurant...

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November 23, 2021 9:09AM

Being adaptable means being able to accommodate new situations. Adaptability is especially important in cultural contexts, where oftentimes people are exposed to values and practices that differ from their own. Some may go into a cultural interaction with little knowledge while others possess extensive knowledge, but, in either case, it is necessary to take into account that not everything will always go as expected. In terms of cultural knowledge, it is great to do research about a culture...

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November 23, 2021 9:06AM

Back in high school, I barely had any opportunities to have diverse experiences. I went to a school that was 93% white, which was a clearly limited environment to learn about other people’s experiences. Sure, we were an interesting town, juxtaposing city landscapes and farming communities. But, honestly there is little you can do to escape that overwhelming whiteness. But, my senior year of high school, I made an entirely new friend group that was majority POC and dominated by queer women....

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November 23, 2021 9:04AM

Growing up, I have been fortunate enough to have a family that has practiced Native American culture and values. Because of this, specific values and practices are engrained in my daily life. I haven’t had to worry about practicing my culture and spirituality at Dartmouth because of the friend groups and community that supports me. I feel comfortable enough to express that part of me.

I feel a sense of comfort when I see others practicing their culture. I love to ask questions and...

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November 23, 2021 9:01AM

Culture is a complicated and multi-dimensional construct involving myriad identities; real and imagined. Broad concepts such as National Identity are often built upon stereotypes revolving around nationality, country of birth, country of residence, language or place affiliation, but also include ideas about race, ethnicity, religion etc. More specific constructs, such as ideas of community or family culture also touch upon these larger ideas but also include elements of privilege, perceived...

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November 23, 2021 8:57AM

As society becomes more interconnected than ever through evolving technologies and new advancements, investing in cross-cultural communication has become a priority globally. The past western ethnocentric views that dominated global decision-making no longer hold their place in a 21st-century context. Rather, with more diverse participants joining the global policy-making sphere, inviting and maintaining culturally-sensitive conversations have become critical to maintaining and developing...

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