culture

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias said that the upcoming Forum of Ancient Civilizations conference, hosted by Greece, will bring together countries with some of the world's oldest cultures to find ways of exercising soft power across the world.[...] The two-day conference is due to take place in the Greek capital of Athens on Sunday and will feature representatives from China, India, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Italy, Mexico, Peru, Bolivia as well as Greece.

In 2016, New Zealand and the Philippines celebrated 50 years of good diplomatic relations with a series of activities that included sports events, seeing how such is a good platform to bring people together. And taking cue from it, the two countries recently engaged in another session of sports diplomacy with a couple of rugby matches. [...] “Rugby is a huge part of New Zealand culture. We are delighted to see how much rugby has grown in the Philippines,”

The Trump administration has proposed cuts in FY18 of 28 percent to the State Department, with much deeper cuts likely to the Bureau for Educational and Cultural Affairs, and a significant narrowing of the types of exchange programs our country supports. If enacted into law, these combined changes would greatly harm our nation’s public diplomacy efforts and, ultimately, our national security and economy. 

An Abu Dhabi-based Arabic TV channel launched a series of new Chinese entertainment and cultural programs for the first time in the Arabic language. The line-up, entitled USILK, broadcast different programs and series not only on China’s culture and entertainment, but also on China’s politics and new strategies under the Xi Jinping leadership. The move indicates China’s willingness to expand its media footholds and to better communicate China’s messages to the region.

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Thailand got known as a destination, for people with light wallets, raging hormones, or both. It got saddled with being the perpetual bachelor party destination in spite of having a lot to offer in terms of the natural beauty, adventure sports, food and local culture. And now Thailand wants to reboot that perception even as it reaches out to a newer, younger and richer set of travellers. 

The 24-year-old Massey masters student, along with her sister, Tamra Ewing, now heads up a literacy charity called Motorbike Book Club - a mobile book library for village children in Vietnam. As the name suggests, the books are transported on the back of a motorbike to places where books - let alone libraries - are hard to come by. "I'm passionate about education. I see the value in it - the power of literacy to really transform and open up children's worlds."

The Embassy of the United States of America today partnered with United Village Transformation (UVT), an American NGO, to present a “Culinary Diplomacy” program highlighting the orange-fleshed sweet potato (OFSP). [...] “There’s another first in Malawi: Malawi is the first country in Africa to host a “culinary diplomacy” program. Culinary diplomacy is a wonderful way to share culture and traditions.

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