Posts Tagged ‘Interviews’

CultureGrams: New Kosovo Interviews Added!


In November, we added interviews from Kosovo to our CultureGrams Interviews collection! There are four interviews, and each captures different viewpoints about life in Kosovo from people of various ages living in diverse parts of the country:

These interviews by country natives are not only interesting and fun to read, but they also give students insider knowledge into what life and culture in the country are really like.

Here’s an example from the interview with Blerona, in which she talks about what being a citizen of Kozovo means to her:

kosovobleronaBeing a citizen of my country means that I belong somewhere. I’m from Kosovo, a country that has suffered a lot from wars and poverty. There is a lot to fix here. I still believe that one day I will be truly proud of my country. For the moment, there is a lot of corruption here, and the youth have problems finding jobs. As a future student, I want my studies to not be worthless, and I want to be able to have good work prospects.

Find more interviews from countries all over the world in the CultureGrams Interviews gallery!

CultureGrams: New Interviews Added!

Interviews Gallery

Over the past month, CultureGrams has added 8 new Interviews! And there are even more coming soon! The 8 we added are

These interviews by country natives are not only interesting and fun to read, but they also give students insider knowledge into what life and culture in the country are really like.

Here’s an example from the Thailand interview, in which Saichai, age 51, talks about general Thai attitudes and how she feels about being Thai:

Saichai, ThailandI’m proud of being Thai. I like the way of life here, the way people usually deal with each other, and that everyone tries to be easy going. Of course, that’s not always possible, and there are many problems as well, but it’s the way people deal with that. Sometimes people complain that many things go wrong in this country, but isn’t that the case in every country of the world? Our culture is also a lot about accepting the circumstances and not letting them get you down. Because the only thing that will happen is that you feel bad about things you cannot change anyway. I have never been abroad, but when I see foreigners who come to Thailand, I feel that sometimes they worry too much about little things.

Find more interviews from countries all over the world in the CultureGrams Interviews gallery!

CultureGrams—Teaching Activities: Comparing Interviews

Did you know that CultureGrams offers almost 80 free teaching activities to its subscribers? If you don’t have access to CultureGrams, enjoy this free teaching activity today and sign up for a free trial of the product to access more.

Comparing Interviews

Lamarana, age 11, Manjai Kunda, Gambia
Faces of the World Interviews, ProQuest CultureGrams


Comparing Interviews

Objective Students will learn about the process of interviewing and compare texts for similarities and differences.

Grade level 4–5

Common Core State Standards Initiative

  • Anchor Standards for Reading: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.1 Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text. (specifically Reading: Informational Text, Grade 5: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.1)
  • Anchor Standards for Reading: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.9 Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take. (Specifically Reading Informational Text, Grade 4: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.9 and Reading: Informational Text, Grade 5: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.9)

Time requirement

Preparation: 15 minutes

In-class: 2 hours


  • Handout with interview questions
  • Copy of the Gambian student interview below (Access the CultureGrams Interviews feature here.)


1. Distribute a handout to the class that contains the following 4 questions, with space to write below each of them:

  • What is your favorite holiday?
  • What is your favorite food?
  • What is your most valued possession?
  • What are you good at?

2. Discuss what it means to interview someone. Explain the importance of listening carefully, taking notes, and asking follow-up questions.
3. Split students into pairs and have them interview each other, writing down the responses on the distributed handout.
4. Hand out a copy of the interview below. (For the complete interview and dozens of others from around the world, access the CultureGrams Interviews feature.) Have the students read it and compare the answers to that of their classmate’s
5. Bring the class together for a discussion about similarities and differences they noticed between the two interviews.


Name: Lamarana
Age: 11
Gender: Female
Location: Manjai Kunda, Gambia

1) What is your favorite holiday? 
My favorite holiday is Tabaski, or Eid al-Adha. On this day, many families ritually slaughter a ram in ritual sacrifice. Coming from a poor family, we cannot afford to buy a ram, but my step-grandfather buys many kilos of meat for the family to cook. Also, neighbors who slaughter a ram give us portions of meat. The day is a countrywide barbecue day, and there are celebrations throughout the day. We all wake up early in the morning to do a general cleaning of the compound, bathe, wear our finest clothes (if possible, brand new), and go to the praying ground. After returning from the praying ground, the sacrifices are done, followed by a massive barbecue. In the afternoon, I go to visit my mom where she is staying with my stepfather and three little sisters.

2) What is your favorite food? 
My favorite food is haaku bantereh (plasas is the common Gambian name). It is a leaf stew cooked with chopped cassava leaves, beef, flaked smoked fish, hot chili peppers, peanut powder, and palm oil, and it is served with steamed rice. It is very rich in ingredients and healthy.

3) What is your most valued possession? 
My most valued possession is the sandals my mom bought me for school. My mom saved for a long time to get me those sandals, and I love them. They are strong and will last long. My friends also like them.

4) What are you good at?

I am good at caring for babies. I am only 11 years old, but I look after my siblings and my neighbor’s babies. I carry one of my neighbor’s babies on my back. I feed her and play with her until her mother returns from the market. I love babies.

CultureGrams — New Kids Country: Oman

The CultureGrams editors are excited to announce a new Kids edition country report!

Oman Kids

The new Oman report includes detailed information on the history, culture, language, food, and daily life of this country.

Here are some fascinating Did You Knows about Oman:

  • Most of Oman’s drinking water is desalinated (a process that removes salt from water) seawater.
  • Rare frankincense trees, located in Salalah in southern Oman, were once considered as valuable as gold and have grown in Oman for thousands of years.
  • Many Omani men wear a large curved dagger called a khanjar around the waist during official ceremonies or functions.
  •  In Oman, making bukhoor (incense) is a popular money-making activity for many women in Oman.

Find out about popular Omani foods, learn a traditional Arabic song sung during Qaranqashoh, and discover what a child’s average day is like all in this colorful new report. We also added two new interviews with native Omanis to our Faces of the World page.

Tell us what you like about this new report in the comment section.

-Jenni Boyle

CultureGrams: Some New Faces

Blog faces

CultureGrams’ Faces of the World Interviews feature welcomes new faces from Bhutan and Azerbaijan . These six  interviews are CultureGrams’ first from Azerbaijan and Bhutan. When interviews are added to the CultureGrams online site, an excerpt from each interview is  also linked to corresponding sections within a country report. Excerpt links are located on the right hand side bar and can be found in almost every section of a World and Kids Edition country report. This allows our readers to access a personal perspective while reading through an informative report.

excerpt blog

Have a favorite interview? Leave a comment and tell us about it.


CultureGrams: Faces of the World Interviews

Our Faces of the World Interviews are one of the most popular features in CultureGrams. Users enjoy learning about how ordinary individuals–both adults and children–within a particular country see the world, what they do each day, what they worry about, what matters to them, etc. The interviews provide an intimate glimpse into what daily life is like for these people. Occasionally, however, we have people tell us that they disagree with specific opinions expressed in the interviews. So I would like to clarify our editorial policy as it relates to these interviews.

  1. The interviews represent the views of native inhabitants of various countries around the world. They are a reflection of how those individuals see their lives and the countries and cultures they live in. We don’t edit the interviews for content unless there is something that is incomprehensible or unless they say something that would be inappropriate for our users. And as much as possible, we try to preserve the original voice of the interviewees, only editing for clarity’s sake as needed.
  2. Although our collection of interviews is growing, the total number is still relatively small, so we make no claims that the one to three interviews we offer per country are necessarily representative of majority views within a particular country. These people speak for themselves. We expect that there will be greater variety as we add more interviews, but there is no way that a small number of interviews can adequately represent the whole or capture the diversity of opinion and experience within an entire country.
  3. Some people have suggested that some of the opinions represented in the interviews are overly negative. However,  as noted above, the goal of these interviews is to have real people tell us what their daily lives are like and what matters to them. And it is their opinions that count when it comes to the interviews, not ours. Also, our goal with CultureGrams more broadly isn’t about promoting any particular country.  Instead, we aim to capture some of the diversity of human experience and to do so honestly. And we attempt to present this information as fairly and objectively as we can.

Interview Comparison Classroom Activity

Are you familiar with the Faces of the World Interviews feature in CultureGrams? We offer dozens of interviews of adults and children from countries across the globe. The interviews provide a fascinating glimpse into what daily life is like in these cultures. Also, the fact that there are standard sets of questions for both adults and children means that the responses are readily comparable. This makes the interviews useful in the classroom because students gain valuable insights as they compare their answers to the questions with the answers from someone in another part of the world.

Ask each student to write down their answers to the following questions:

  • How old are you?
  • Where do you live (city/region and country)?
  • Describe a typical day of the week for you. What are your daily responsibilities in your family? What do you do in your free time?
  • What is your favorite game or sport?
  • What is your favorite holiday? Describe what you do to celebrate the holiday.
  • What is your favorite food?
  • What do you worry most about? Why?
  • What is more important to you? Why?

Access the full lesson plan (entitled Interview Comparison), including relevant curriculum standards correlations, in our Teaching Activities PDF.