Tour of the Globe is always a learning experience for visitors and guests. This year, host students made sure to share cultural nuances, fascinating history, and interesting geographic facts.
Students built on one of Missouri State’s Public Affairs pillars to teach common cultural norms to guests.
In Brazil, it’s rude to show up at a party at its announced start time. If the party is planned for 9 p.m., you should arrive at 11 p.m.
Shamrocks aren’t only lucky in Ireland. In Germany, pots of four-leaf clovers are often given as gifts on New Year’s Eve to bring good luck in the new year.
You’re crazy if you believe Santa Claus lives at the North Pole. You can visit his home in Rovaniemi, in the northernmost province of Lapland, Finland.
When dining in China, don’t empty your plate unless you want another. Good hosts offer enough food to guests to have leftovers.
Some of these facts may seem silly, but they often point out important cultural nuances and norms that can help us understand perceived differences in others. We’ve all heard stories or experienced cultural misunderstandings. Commonly on campus, we hear that a department has planned an event and students show up late. By understanding that some cultures see time in different ways, we can make adjustments to plans and be more clear when communicating start or end times. Learning seemingly small, unmeaningful practices can help with overall cultural intelligence. It can also help avoid bigger, less humorous misunderstandings.
Tour of the Globe Traditions
We’ve grown to expect great cultural displays from students who host Tour of the Globe.
Old favorites stayed strong this year, with China offering a variety of performances in addition to tea, calligraphy, and delicious cuisine. Japan offered sushi, origami, and an opportunity to try on traditional clothing. Saudi Arabia created a multimedia presentation accompanied by live music. The USA room called back to our Ellis Island roots, welcoming all who traveled with open arms.
New faces joined us from the South Asian Student Association, representing Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Live music was a big hit for them. Peru wowed guests with amazing foods. East Timor was represented for the first time ever, by Missouri State’s first and only student from East Timor.
Each year, one display is honored as the “best.” It doesn’t have to be the biggest, most ornate, or most expensive. It’s always the crowd favorite though. This year the honor goes to Mongolia, who showcased traditional art, music, games, and food.
We’re proud to offer Tour of the Globe as an annual event at Missouri State as part of International Education Week. Exchanging culture with the Missouri State and Springfield communities is a top priority for International Programs, and an important part of the Missouri State experience.