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Sunday, January 2, 2011

Fasten Seat Belts - Videos About Cultural Norms

Fasten Seat Belts is a neat website designed to help travelers learn the cultural norms of the places they plan to visit. The site is funded in part by the European Commission's Life Long Learning Program. Fasten Seat Belts offers videos for travelers going to countries in Europe and Asia. You can search for videos by country or by theme (table manners, bar customs, etc).

Below is a video about not showing the soles of your feet while in some countries in Asia.

India 4_ Don’t reveal the soles of your feet to other people. from 43 Films on Vimeo.

Fasten Seat Belts also offers a free iPhone App describing the do's and don'ts of cultural norms in various countries around the world.

Applications for Education
Part of the curricula in my school's foreign language programs requires students to learn about the cultural practices of the countries in which their language of study is spoken. These videos could be helpful for introducing or reminding students of some of those lessons. These videos could also be very valuable if you are taking students on a trip outside of their native country.

Video - The Giving Tree

Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree was one of the first books I read on my own as a child. I also recall watching an animated film of the story in elementary school. I was happy to learn through Open Culture that the same film is available on YouTube. The video below is the same animated short film narrated by Shel Silverstein that we were shown when I was a student at Robertson Elementary School in the 80's.

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