Tuesday, 27. January 2015 - 09:01
16. 11. 12. - 17:00
By Rachael Williams
Cross-cultural specialist Michael Gates spoke at a seminar in Vienna last night in support of the UNESCO International Day of Tolerance.
The International Day for Tolerance is an annual observance declared by UNESCO to generate public awareness of the dangers of intolerance. At the focus of this particular seminar were children growing up between cultures, or "third culture kids".
Third culture kid (TCK, 3CK) is a term coined in the early 1950s by American sociologist and anthropologist Ruth Hill Useem "to refer to the children who accompany their parents into another society".
The seminar was a truly multi-national affair hosted at the Korea Kulturhaus by Vienna's International Christian School and organised by students from FH Wien University of Applied Sciences of the WKW, many of whom were international students experiencing life between cultures first-hand.
Speaking alongside Mr Gates was Ambassador of the Republic of Korea Cho Hyun and Ambassador of South Africa Xolisa Mfundiso Mabhongo.
Mr Mabhongo opened the seminar by echoing the words of Martin Luther King: "We did not come over on the same ship but we're all in the same boat". His speech drew particular emphasis to the importance of self-awareness as well as tolerance of differences in today's globalised society. He told the audience which was mainly made up of parents of ICSV students that it was the responsibility of the school community to nurture, mould and build children into models of goodness.
Like Mr Mabhongo, Mr Hyun also told of his own experiences and stated that openness is the key to understanding. He spoke about the changing attitudes of Koreans worldwide and the country's transition from homogeneity following its loss of sovereignty. In recent times, more Koreans are choosing to study or live abroad and Mr Hyun commended the 2,000 Koreans living in Austria, 700 of which are students.
The event's main speaker, Michael Gates, then explored the title of the seminar in context and explained the challenges faced by third culture kids. He told parents: "Our children are international nomads – the next generation – who will help others navigate the globalised world". His speech drew on his own upbringing and also the experiences of his five children all of whom are third culture kids and identifying with different parts of their heritage. He called on teachers and parents of the ICSV to balance the similarities and differences between cultures and encouraged the audience to openly discuss their thoughts and experiences.
Before the speakers, the audience were treated to a traditional Korean instrumental performance and appetisers provided by sponsor Akakiko. African art from Vienna's Galerie Benedict adorned the walls of the venue and a permanent display in the main room honoured the Austrian-born First Lady of South Korea Franziska Donner.
The venue itself is a feat of Vienna's Korean community who pushed for the renovation of the property, which had been derelict for three decades and raised the 1.5 million euros necessary for the work. The new Korea Kulturhaus opened in February 2012 in Vienna's Donaupark.
Mad About Mammoths At Vienna Museum
A unique exhibition in the Austrian capital Vienna has proved a massive hit after bringing together for the first time some of the most famous frozen woolly mammoth remains.
Spate of Crimes throughout Vienna and Lower Austria Solved
Four men have been arrested after committing 113 break-ins, 21 thefts and causing at least 260,000 Euros worth of damage.
Dad Punished Child, 2, With Boiling Hot Shower
A two-year-old girl is in an artificial coma and fighting for her life after her father threw her into a scalding hot shower leaving her with severe burns at the family home in the Austrian capital Vienna.
Police And Firemen Get Cold Turkey
Flipping the bird was given a new meaning in Austria this week when a truck filled with plucked turkeys overturned, closing a busy motorway in the process.
Halloween At The Zoo
Pumpkin pie might be the order of the day for people this Halloween but now zoo animals are also getting in on the act.
Baby Naked Mole Rats Born In Vienna
With their pink hairless bodies and fangs for front teeth, these baby naked mole rats were never going to win any cuteness contests at Schonbrunn Zoo in the Austrian capital Vienna.
Jihad Girls Gunpoint Retraction Of Desire To Go Home
Austrian anti-terrorism police believe that an interview given to a French magazine allegedly with one of the two teenage girls who fled to Syria to join in the jihad was probably carried out at gunpoint.
MEP caught In Brit papers Fraud Probe Jailed
A corrupt MEP caught by a British newspaper offering to propose amendments to EU laws in exchange for 100,000 euros a year has been given a three-year-jail term.
Vienna Jihad Girls Want To Come Home
The two Austrian teenage girls who became ‘poster girls’ for the jihad in Syria are now desperate to come home after getting completely disillusioned with their new lifestyles.
Viennese Jihad Girl May Have Been Killed
Austrian police say that one of the two attractive young teenage girls who fled the country to go to Syria to fight on the side of Islamic rebels may have been killed.
The most popular stories –
last 7 days