EWC Alumnus Nicholas Kristof Reflects on ‘Where to Go to Understand the World in 2012’

Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist and EWC Alumnus Nicholas Kristof writes in a recent article on the importance of taking time to connect with people rather than just visiting places while traveling. He also shares personal tips on places to explore in China and India.

“This is my theory of travel,” notes Kristof notes on his Facebook page. “The most important tourist sights in any country are its people, so get to know them.  Click here to read his article: “Where to Go to Understand the World in 2012”

EWC Alumnus Nicholas Kristof

Cross Cultural Storytelling: Week 6

Cross Cultural Storytelling:  The Lighter Side of the East West Center is a project that hopes to be a repository of notable East West Center impressions.  When different cultures meet, poignant, humorous, and uplifting experiences create treasured memory recalls that last, and are quite simply, unforgettable.

Submission guidelines are available at:
http://www.eastwestcenter.org/go.php?51

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SUBMITTED BY: Estrella Besinga Sybinsky/Peter Andrew Sybinsky
FIELD/AREA OF STUDY: Open Grants/Political Science
YEARS AT THE EWC: January 1970-December 1971/ June1969-December 1972
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Philippines/ USA
CURRENT COUNTRY OF RESIDENCE: USA

FILIPINO HOSPITALITY by Estrella Besinga Sybinsky*

Filipinos enjoy eating.  Friendly and fun loving, their social events revolve around food – the gathering of the food, the preparation of the food, the presentation of the food and finally, the consumption of the food. These activities are generally performed in a lighthearted manner, where music, often dancing, jesting and joking around, prevail.

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Cross Cultural Storytelling: Week 5

Cross Cultural Storytelling:  The Lighter Side of the East West Center is a project that hopes to be a repository of notable East West Center impressions.  When different cultures meet, poignant, humorous, and uplifting experiences create treasured memory recalls that last, and are quite simply, unforgettable.

Submission guidelines are available at:
http://www.eastwestcenter.org/go.php?51

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SUBMITTED BY: Vasanthi Ranganathan, EWCA Chennai Chapter
FIELD/AREA OF STUDY: Open Grants 1987 – 1991
CURRENT COUNTRY OF RESIDENCE: India

I come from India , a very traditional Brahmin family where no meat is eaten. My mother never ate in hotel which served non vegetarian food.  Coming from this kind of background,  cooking and eating in the East west center kitchen was all fun, there were smells or should I say fragrances of cuisine from the far east.  Everything looked funny and different and all these they aid ahd life before they ended up in the sink or in the pot.  Kitchen sinks in Hale Manoa, Common refrigerators where all kinds of meat was stored – all I had to do was to pray that I should learn to enjoy the smells and also the sight of roasted flesh strung on sticks, even if I decided not to taste.

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Cross Cultural Storytelling: Week 4

Cross Cultural Storytelling:  The Lighter Side of the East West Center is a project that hopes to be a repository of notable East West Center impressions.  When different cultures meet, poignant, humorous, and uplifting experiences create treasured memory recalls that last, and are quite simply, unforgettable.  A new story will be published each week.

Submission guidelines are available at:
http://www.eastwestcenter.org/go.php?51

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SUBMITTED BY: PMartha (Marty) Craine Ed. D, EWC Grantee
FIELD/AREA OF STUDY: History
CURRENT COUNTRY OF RESIDENCE: USA

My first First Wednesday of the month at the EWC, September 1969, at exactly 10:00 AM all the sirens on the island of Oahu went off causing a calliope of sound. I came to a complete stop walking across campus to class and gazed around me trying to figure out what was going on. I saw others frantically scanning the skies, some running for dips in the landscape and throwing themselves to the ground.  Remember this was the height of the Vietnam War and Cold War.  The new Vietnamese grantees and those old enough to remember WWII reacted as if we were under attack. Is it a second Pearl Harbor? I began to get frightened myself.  After all, I too had grown up with classroom air raid drills and videos on preparing for the nuclear holocaust. I am a Floridian and the Cuban Missile Crisis was carried out in my backyard.

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Cross Cultural Storytelling: Week 3

Cross Cultural Storytelling:  The Lighter Side of the East West Center is a project that hopes to be a repository of notable East West Center impressions.  When different cultures meet, poignant, humorous, and uplifting experiences create treasured memory recalls that last, and are quite simply, unforgettable.  A new story will be published each week.

Submission guidelines are available at:
http://www.eastwestcenter.org/go.php?51

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SUBMITTED BY: Peter Humphrey, EWC Research Fellow
FIELD/AREA OF STUDY: Oceanography (MA), then Marine Geology & Geophysics
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
CURRENT COUNTRY OF RESIDENCE: USA

A Rude Introduction to Capitalism

I was a research fellow at the East-West Center just before the fall of the Soviet Union. Indeed under Gorbachev, things had lightened up enough to allow for a bit more academic exchange, which accounts for the arrival of Irina at the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics just across the street.

Irina hailed from Sakhalin Island–Russia’s easternmost edge, the most Pacific entity in country and somewhat of a backwater. That didn’t stop the young graduate student from acquiring a first class education and enviable professional credentials in the earth sciences. As a novice Russian speaker and fellow marine geophysicist, I became Irina’s guardian angel by default–showing her how to survive in Gringolandia. A little silly really since her English was superb.

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Cross-Cultural Storytelling: Week 2

Cross Cultural Storytelling:  The Lighter Side of the East West Center is a project that hopes to be a repository of notable East West Center impressions.  When different cultures meet, poignant, humorous, and uplifting experiences create treasured memory recalls that last, and are quite simply, unforgettable.  A new story will be published each week.

Submission guidelines are available at:
http://www.eastwestcenter.org/go.php?51

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SUBMITTED BY: Deborah A. McGlauflin
FIELD/AREA OF STUDY: East Asian Studies (M.A. from U.H.)
YEARS AT THE EWC: 1977 – 1978
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
CURRENT COUNTRY OF RESIDENCE: USA

It was a cold snowy winter night out in Kofu Japan back in the 1970’s when Kofu was still a very provincial capital of a rural prefecture with very few foreigners.  I needed to catch a taxi to get to a nearby junior college to teach an English class. Since I was all bundled up in a snow parka with my hood up over my head, the driver of the taxi that stopped couldn’t tell he was picking up a foreigner — at least not until I hopped in and pushed my hood back.  He looked totally dismayed as, in perfectly passable Japanese, I told him where I wanted to go.

“I don’t understand English,” he said in Japanese.
“No problem,” I said amiably, “because I’m speaking in Japanese.”
His response was a blank stare, and another, “I don’t understand.”

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Cross-Cultural Storytelling: Week 1

Cross Cultural Storytelling:  The Lighter Side of the East West Center is a project that hopes to be a repository of notable East West Center impressions.  When different cultures meet, poignant, humorous, and uplifting experiences create treasured memory recalls that last, and are quite simply, unforgettable.  A new story will be published each week.

Submission guidelines are available at:
http://www.eastwestcenter.org/go.php?51

===================================================================

SUBMITTED BY: Estrella Besinga Sybinsky/Peter Andrew Sybinsky
FIELD/AREA OF STUDY: Open Grants/Political Science
YEARS AT THE EWC: January 1970-December 1971/ June1969-December 1972
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Philippines/ USA
CURRENT COUNTRY OF RESIDENCE: USA

What made the East-West Center environment fascinating and richly innovative was that unlike our standard understanding of the slowly evolving  “melting pot concept” where people from different backgrounds were born, grew up and lived for decades in a multi-ethnic state or country, adult participants at the East-West Center were primarily Asian, Pacific and American professionals thrust together in a short term, highly intensive communication experience.  I was relatively naïve and sheltered in Cebu City, Philippines before joining the East-West Center community.

It was really interesting how people from different cultures spoke the same language but attached different meanings to those same words.  My cultural background gave me traditions and habits, images and expectations about myself and the world in which I lived, and like a traffic code for behavior, it told me what was good and bad, right and wrong, when to stop and when to move forward.  Imagine therefore a theater where all these images and perceptions were turned upside down.

Well, the East-West Center was and is such a world.

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