CARE to Globalize?

We had our first multi-national CARE meeting last week with our feet grounded in Singapore (Daniel, Mohan, and me) and our arms extending to India (JT) and China (Kang). I was struck by several things in the process of this technologically dependent meeting including that communication cross-nationally can be COMPLICATED.

Reflections (Part 1): First Interview with the NGO Partner

Sarah and I conducted our first round of interviews with one of CARE’s NGO partners. We interviewed the staff members of the NGO to gain an understanding of how the organisation is run, and the problems and challenges that they face in their everyday work helping the disenfranchised. The staff comprised both Singaporeans and non-Singaporeans. That’s where I saw a stark difference in the responses from the interviewees, although, now that I think about it, it’s probably because I’m Singaporean.

CARE Has Moved (Temporarily)

CARE has had to vacate our office as the school is having renovation work done on the building. We have temporarily moved to AS6 #03-16 (Tel: 6516 8225). The renovations are expected to be completed by the end of February. Please direct all phone calls and mail to:

Department of Communications & New Media Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences National University of Singapore Blk AS6, #03-41 11 Computing Drive Singapore 117416 Tel: 6516 4670 Fax: 6779 4911

The “Forced Upon” Interview

Jan. 14, 2013 Monday The Third Day in Sun Village I arrived at Sun Village at 6 a.m. Jan. 12, 2013. Tired from the sleepless night before, I went to bed after talking with family members for about 2 hours. I did not wake up until early afternoon, when the extended family had gathered at my home to see me. It was quite uncomfortable to me since it is only natural and culturally acceptable for me to see the elder generations. Yes, it is still very traditional: The younger generation, in a good family, is supposed to pay his visit to every household of the extended family – and the extended family can be as big as having more than ten families already, which literally means that I need to carry gifts to all these ten houses. Besides, the next-door neighbors and next-next-door neighbors are usually very close to any given good family. So, respect must also be paid to them. If a younger generation fails to do so, he risks being talking about secretly. It would not usually happen for the elder generations to come to the younger generations. They have obviously made an exception for me because I am from a different country, first the US and then Singapore. Taking flight is still not that common in Sun Village. Exceptions can be made to me who has come from afar. But, even so, it is culturally/customarily very risky for the younger generation if he fails to pay visit to the older generation.