The Hague,

Culture Talks creates connection

On 14 November, the Culture Talks event was held in order to introduce all staff and students at Inholland The Hague, the first-years in particular, to the different cultures that enrich this location. It was a true cultural experience, with storytelling, food, music and photography organised by three students from the Creative Business: Media and Entertainment Management (IMEM) programme.

In the run-up to the event, two recording days were organised where staff and students could film their own culture talk. With the #shareyourstory hashtag, they could share something from their culture or explain what culture means to them. The two most inspiring cultural talks (one from the students category and one from the staff category) were announced as part of the event. IMEM student Andrei Lacraru won in the students category.

In his culture talk, Andrei discusses Romanian culture, his country of birth. 'Culture is one of the most beautiful gifts this world has to offer. Us Romanians love talking about our rich culture – our food, our clothing, our art and our architecture. I enjoy sharing my culture and learning about other cultures.'

Watch Andrei's culture talk in full and listen to his message:

I believe that if each one of us will learn as much as possible about culture in general one day we can become as rich as possible. 
Andrei Lacraru, IMEM-student

Lucas Rurup, branch manager of Inholland The Hague, won in the staff category. Lucas wonders whether signing a contract about the use of a video recording prior to recording that video is a typically Dutch phenomenon, and whether this 'risk-avoiding mindset' is affecting the creativity that is crucial to our environment.

Watch Lucas' culture talk in full:

Go to the Culture Talks website to watch all culture talks and pictures.

​Different 'culture times' were held over the course of the afternoon. One of these culture times focused on Turkey, with ten minutes of Turkish food, Turkish music and Turkish dance. The Baltic states were also featured, as were Italy and the Netherlands (Marco Borsato and bitterballen, a typically Dutch snack). As part of the Caribbean islands culture time, IMEM student Chantal Richardson staged a performance. 'That performance – and really the day as a whole – served to create a sense of connection, and that was our goal. Culture connects', said Betty de Leeuw-Logtenberg, strategic relations manager at Inholland The Hague.

Cultural talk show
The goal of the Culture Talks event was to bring the students and lecturers of Inholland The Hague closer together. To achieve this, a cultural talk show was held in the afternoon. Students from various countries, including Venezuela, Kosovo and the Netherlands, discussed what culture means to them, what difficulties they encountered while studying in the Netherlands and what the differences and similarities are between their culture and Dutch culture.

Everyone agrees that respect, family and the blurring of borders between countries are important themes in all cultures (global citizenship). Cultural differences were, however, identified as well. For example, Natalja brought up the issue of Dutch punctuality. 'Things are very different in Venezuela.' When entering a classroom after the class has started, students in Venezuela walk in without saying anything and sit down with their head bent. Here, students walk in late while spouting excuses and explaining why they are late. Dutch closing times for shops are another phenomenon that is quite different in many other countries.

Lecturer Melissa Duchak ended the cultural talk show with some advice: the skills you develop when studying abroad and meeting new cultures are skills that will serve you well in the future.

UNESCO school
Inholland University of Applied Sciences The Hague has been a UNESCO school since 2010. UNESCO schools aim to familiarise students with the UNESCO philosophy, with regard to peace and human rights, sustainability, global citizenship and intercultural learning. Activities and projects around the theme of culture tie in with this nicely.

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