Posts Tagged ‘Interviews’

New Micronesia Interviews on CultureGrams

Images by: Karyn Sorenson [via CultureGrams Gallery]

Here at CultureGrams, we are continuously adding a variety of new and interesting content to our product. We most recently added two new interviews from The Federated States of Micronesia.

CultureGrams features a collection of over 400 interviews that reflect the experiences and perspectives of people from around the world. Be sure to keep an eye out for more new interviews coming this year!

Here are two excerpts from our newest CultureGrams interviews:

Wilika, age 17 from Chuuk, Micronesia

“Since I grew up here on my island, I love to eat local food made from what we grow on my island. One of my favorites is mashed taro, which looks like mashed potatoes except it is more reddish in color. Mashed taro is one of the main common dishes for people on my island, especially the older people. These are still the favorite for many people from my island who live in Guam, Hawaii, and the United States mainland. They always ask their family to bring these when they travel.”


Henry, age 50 from Weno, Micronesia

“There is a great difference for me as opposed to how my parents grew up on this island. The ways of life are completely different. The culture is slowly changing and there is greater mobility, as many people leave their homes and relocate to the city center, where they can find better employment opportunities, education, and health care. The way of life has slowly evolved, and some cultural traditions are breaking down. For example, the extended family, which was once highly regarded, is drifting apart as immediate families adopt more Western living styles. There is also more cultural integration as we pick up elements from the cultures we come into contact with.”


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

Don’t have CultureGrams? Request a free trial.

CultureGrams: New Dominican Republic Interviews!

Boca Chica beach, Dominican Republic

Boca Chica beach, Dominican Republic [via CultureGrams Photo Gallery]

We’ve added three new interviews from the Dominican Republic to our CultureGrams Interviews collection! Each interview captures different viewpoints about life in the Dominican Republic from people of various ages living in the northern coastal city of Puerto Plata:

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 Alfonso, in which he describes what being a citizen of the Dominican Republic means to him:

AlfonsoBeing a citizen of the Dominican Republic means living in an amazing country. You get to enjoy the beautiful scenery, food, and people. The views are amazing. There is a little bit of everything for everyone. If you like the beach, there are amazing beaches all around the country. If you like the mountains, there are gorgeous peaks in the north and center of the island. If you like hot and dry, the south and west areas are just the right place for you. Also, the food is amazing. The seasoning and ingredients used in the variety of traditional dishes are amazing. Whether its eggs for breakfast or a five-course meal, it’s always amazing. And the people are amazing and kind—always happy and ready to have a good time. Being with Dominican people is never boring.

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

Don’t have CultureGrams? Request a free trial.

CultureGrams’ Teaching Activities: One Religion, Many Practices

Looking for new ways to incorporate CultureGrams into the classroom? Look no further than CultureGrams’ collection of over 75 teaching activities! This collection of educationally engaging activities is organized by grade level and activity type. Each activity also includes a national curriculum standard correlation.  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.

One Religion, Many Practices











National Standards for Social Studies


  • Standard C [Middle Grades]: Social studies programs should include experiences that provide for the study of culture and cultural diversity, so that the learner can explain and give examples of how language, literature, the arts, architecture, other artifacts, traditions, beliefs, values, and behaviors contribute to the development and transmission of culture.
  • Standard E [Middle Grades]: Social studies programs should include experiences that provide for the study of culture and cultural diversity, so that the learner can articulate the implications of cultural diversity, as well as cohesion, within and across groups.

Developed by the National Council for the Social Studies

Standards for Geography Human Systems

  • Standard 10: The geographically informed person knows and understands the characteristics, distributions, and complexity of Earth’s cultural mosaics.

Developed by the National Council for Geographic Education

Grade level:



Students will compare the practice of a single religion across multiple countries and interviews.

Time requirement:

Preparation: 10 minutes

In-class: 1 hour and 30 minutes, two different days


CultureGrams World Edition

CultureGrams Online Edition—Interviews


1. Have students read three interviews with people who practice the same religion. The interviews featured below represent the perspectives of three Muslims from Kuwait, Mali, and Syria. Students can also find religion excerpts about Catholicism (Javier: Bolivia, Trina: Costa Rica, and Petrosse: Mozambique) and Buddhism (Sai: Cambodia, Dawa: Nepal, and Chhun: Cambodia) just to name a few.



















2. What differences do students notice in the way the interviewees practice their religion? Differences may be found in how often a person attends worship services, how important they consider religion in their life, ways they worship, and holidays they celebrate.

3. Now have students read the Religion section of each interviewee’s country in the World Edition report. What do these sections say about the religion? How does the information in the report compare to the information in the interviewees’ answers? How does the practice of the religion vary between countries?

4. Have students write a short essay on their observations about the ways a single religion varies in different areas and between individual observers of that religion. They may also speculate on why this could be.

Try out CultureGrams’ Teaching activities in your classroom and let us know what you think by tweeting us @CultureGrams.

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.