CultureGrams: Day in the Life


“Faces of the World Interviews” by ProQuest via CultureGrams

Have you ever wondered how someone’s life in another country compares to yours? Have you imagined how your life might be different if you lived in Afghanistan, Mongolia, or Venezuela? Have you thought about what you might do each day, what your schedule might be, what kind of home you’d be living in, what your job might be, or how you’d spend your free time (if you even had any)? Well, you can get answers to at least some of these questions if you use CultureGrams. While travelers do use CultureGrams and are grateful for the insights the reports provide, the primary purpose of the product is not for tourists but to help users get a better understanding of what daily life is like for the people who live in the countries of the world. The written content, photos, videos, interviews, recipes, statistical data, etc., are all selected to reflect an insider’s perspective on what it means to live day-to-day.

For teachers who want their students to compare life across cultures, we’ve designed a standards-correlated teaching activity (see Teaching Activities) called “Day in the Life,” which uses the Faces of the World Interviews feature. The instructions are below:

  1. Ask students to write a short essay in which they describe what a typical day of the week is like for them: What time do they wake up/go to bed? What daily responsibilities do they have at home and elsewhere? What do they do with their free time?
  2. Using the image gallery in the Interviews feature, ask each student to access 10 different interviews. In each interview, have the students find the response to the typical day question.
  3. As students read the responses, have them note similarities and differences between the answers.
  4. Once the students have gathered this information, then bring the class together and lead a discussion on what factors shape a person’s daily life. For example, discuss how climate, geography, economy, family responsibilities, religion, gender, age, and other influences can affect a person’s employment, food consumption, leisure time, community involvement, etc.

This exercise invites students to make connections between their own lives and those of people who live elsewhere. It also encourages them to note how climate, geography, economy, and other factors shape daily life. These are important perspectives that can lead to further insight.

Kip Clark

Kip Clark is a Supervising Editor at CultureGrams. He has been with ProQuest for over 15 years. Prior to his employment with ProQuest, Kip worked as a writing and humanities instructor, editor, research assistant, furniture shipper, flower presser, and cookie maker. He has a BA and MA in English, with an emphasis on the literature of the American West. Kip has traveled throughout much of Western Europe, as well as to Kenya, Uganda, Canada, Israel, and Russia. His interests include cooking, reading, playing racquetball, and collecting spinning tops.

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