Blog

The Gift of Tongues

– Emily Auvinen According to the Endangered Languages project, over 40 percent of the world’s approximate 7,000 languages are at risk of disappearing. This unprecedented speed of language loss means that cultural heritage, the understanding of how humans relate to the world around us; scientific, medical and botanical knowledge; and most importantly, the loss of expression of communities’ humor, love and life, will be soon lost forever.[i] Survival in the globalized world is increasingly dependent on using a common language, such as Mandarin or English, to communicate, do business or even fall in love across borders. The mass extinction of...

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A New Concept of Identity

–Emily Auvinen Each individual embarks on a unique and unmapped journey through life, the distance away from “home” ranges anywhere from a few miles to migrating across the globe. Identity is strongly associated with personal experience and one’s surrounding environment. Deng (1991) proposed, “It is the way individuals and groups define themselves on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, language and culture”.[i]   I propose that in the world today gender, sexual orientation, politics and social status also play influential roles in the forming of identity. What was previously defined as being “a relatively stable, role-specific understanding and expectation about one's...

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A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words but a Story is Alive

written by Emily Auvinen Stories are powerful tools which have been an integral part of living, learning and have helped humans survive for thousands of years. Before written language and online communication, the means to share was through listening, remembering and continuing to spread the wisdom and knowledge through the telling of stories.[i] From fairy tales to new Hollywood action movies, each narrative has a lesson to be found and the power to connect beyond quantitative knowledge in the age of big data—a story is data with a soul. The Stanford graduate school of business found that:[ii] Stories are 22...

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Bridging across cultures

Written by: Nghi Dang I normally don’t follow politics closely. I run into headline news now and then, via social media. Recently, with my effort of not being much ignorant, I know news via other channels, rather than social media. Earlier today, I came across this article: “After Brexit, I feel like a foreigner in my own country”, written by Yosola Olorunshola—a Communications Officer for Global Citizen. She talked about how her own country had turned to be a strange place, in which people are divided and violence is being inflicted on innocent people. The only “crime” those innocent ones...

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How deep does national identity discourse run?

What is the difference between patriotism and nationalism? This article explores the deeper discourse of identity that often seems undiscussable and remains undiscussed. "The elephant in the room" is a term used to describe something that though having enormous influence and importance goes unnoticed or is repressed and not dealt with. Perhaps the case of the USA, discussed here is an powerful example of this inability to reflect, perceive, and discuss something that seems taboo, something too close for comfort. This is particularly interesting in the case of the USA, since the elephant in the room seems to be Trump-eting...

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