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mid-week Connect: 5/25/22 ~ Storytelling across cultures

Greetings and Happy Midweek!

For this week’s Connect moment, I thought we would reflect on storytelling as one global activity, with a kaleidoscope of dynamics encompassing so many features of cross-cultural communications and community building. In our PROACTive Global SKILLs training session, we focus in on PROgrams and PROjects - which must be strategically planned and implemented, but are also often defined by and enriched through storytelling. *

I personally come from a long line of storytellers and my appreciation of stories served me well as a young field linguist. When I first arrived to do language community development work in Senegal, I used to love to just sit in the village, listening to my neighbors tell stories. In those early days of learning Jola, the local language, I could not even understand much of what was being said. But soaking in the storytelling dynamics - the body language, the engagement of listeners, the humor or the grief shared through mutual understandings - it all spoke volumes to me of Jola relationships and daily concerns and…well, yes - culture!

Studying discourse structure or figuring out kinship ties were essential activities for my work…but listening to, and gradually being able to participate in, storytelling became one of my keys to unlocking the treasure trove of Jola culture.

Having experienced this personally, I firmly believe storytelling - within the traditions and using practices which are locally appropriate, should be of primary consideration in all cross-cultural programs and projects. And I’d encourage you each to never hesitate to take a minute and listen to a story…you never know what you’ll hear, learn, or maybe even be able to contribute!

How about you ~ what is one cross-cultural storytelling moment you have enjoyed recently?

Share about that with a friend or note it here.

And check out the Global SKILLs LINKs below for some global storytelling resources.

Thanks for being part of this Connect community.

Until next week,



~ storytelling as one component of Latino oral traditions:


* PROACTive Learning Strategies: PRO = PROfile, PROcess, PROgrams & PROjects (which we looked at today)

ACT = Application, Collaboration and Transformation

~ contact me for more information on these strategies and how you might use them in your current programming

2022 ~ Celebrating 40+ years of working in

intercultural communications and global community building

“It takes a community to build a community”

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