Blog

Proper Protocol: A Gift Giving Guide

The phone rings in the Office of Protocol at The International Center. It’s a representative from one of our local university partners. The dean of the business school is traveling to Swaziland to establish a new partnership. As part of the visit, the delegation will meet with the Queen Mother, the spiritual and national head of this land-locked country in southeast Africa. The question is, “what is an appropriate gift to present to this important national leader?” Before answering the question, we must first do our due diligence and answer the question “what not to give?” In many countries,
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Happy Birthday, Indiana! A Special Present for Indiana’s Bicentennial

Click here to view the Chinese translation. “Chinese Hoosiers,” a book documenting the lives of 21 exceptional Chinese or Chinese Americans who lived in or are still living in the Hoosier state, will be available to the public in August, 2016. We invited one of the authors, Lu Wang, to share some of her experiences while writing the book. This year, the State of Indiana is celebrating its bicentennial. Throughout the past 200 years, many Chinese individuals with outstanding talents have called Indiana home. Endorsed by the Indiana Bicentennial Commission, the Confucius Institute in Indianapolis initiated the book project
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A Monumental Evening

As the operations manager at The International Center, I sometimes lose sight of the great people we welcome to Indianapolis because I do not see them on a daily basis. However, I recently had the opportunity to make new friends by hosting a home hospitality dinner through our International Visitors and Leadership Program (IVLP). The home hospitality program provides the opportunity for emerging world leaders visiting Indianapolis to experience an evening with a local citizen or family in order to gain a perspective on home life of Americans. At first I was a bit nervous, much like many of
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Elaine Wagner: First Chinese American City Council Member in Columbus, Ind.

Click here to view the Chinese translation. On January 1, 2016, Elaine Wagner was sworn in as the first Chinese American city council member in Columbus, Indiana. We asked Wagner, a millennial, a woman and a second-generation Chinese American, to share her journey into the American political arena. What prompted you to run for the Columbus City Council and how do you see yourself contributing? My father, Ryan Hou, and one of my mentors, Fred Armstrong, who had been the previous mayor of Columbus for sixteen years, played a significant role of encouraging me to run for office. Although I have
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INTLCXN: Feeling at Home in Indiana

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou Several years ago, I spoke with a Peruvian woman who lived on one of the wondrous floating islands of Lake Titicaca about our hopes for our children.  Like me, she wanted hers, who happened to be playing nearby, to have a good education and fulfilling opportunities in life.  Before we parted, she asked to see a picture of my boys, which I was most happy to share. Later I was reading
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Earth loves you! Love it back.

Happy International Earth Day my fellow earthlings! Here at The International Center we are all about bringing people from different backgrounds together, and I would say there is almost no better reason to come together then to promote the concept of peace and to celebrate this beautiful planet. The official International Earth Day is April 22.  However Earth Day festivities take place around the world all week. This week over 500 million people in more than 192 countries will participate in Earth day events. This makes Earth Day the largest secular observance in the world, celebrated by people from
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Children of Globalization: The Trend Toward Language Immersion

The population of the United States is exploding through legal immigration of multilingual people, leading to a more diverse country. Today, America is defined by her constituencies, who represent peoples of every nation. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources, “The foreign-born population in the United States has increased substantially since the 1970s, largely due to immigration from Asia and Latin America. In 2008, 22.0 percent of children in the United States had at least one foreign-born parent.” This means nearly 1 in 4 children in the U.S. in 2008 had foreign heritage only
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Congratulations to Our Sister City Hangzhou, 2016’s Host of the G20 Summit!

Click here to view the Chinese translation. Some people may not be aware that Hangzhou, Indianapolis’s sister city in China, is gearing up to host the “Group of Twenty” (G20) summit on September 4-5, 2016. G20 is an international forum for governments and central bank governors from 20 major economies. The members include 19 individual countries—Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States—along with the European Union. The G20 Summit was created as a response both to the financial crisis of
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Buona Pasqua! The Diverse Easter Traditions of Italy

Easter is a religious holiday celebrated in countries all over the world, and although the basic celebration is generally the same, each culture has its own traditions. Some of the most random (and exciting) traditions take place in Italy! What can one expect when spending Easter in beautiful Italia? Well, you will not find many chocolate bunnies like here in the United States, but the Italians do love their chocolate. On Easter morning, it is tradition to give giant hollow chocolate eggs to children and loved ones. These eggs come beautifully wrapped, but are quickly destroyed as the receiver
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Strong Cities: Doing our part in building community resilience to radicalization and violent extremism

The U.S. Department of State sponsored an International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) multi‑regional project entitled “Strong Cities: Building Community Resilience to Radicalization and Violent Extremism,” administered by Meridian International Center and conducted from February 27 to March 19, 2016. Starting in Washington DC with the Project opening, the Strong Cities Network participants were exposed to American system of federal and state government, U.S. government efforts to counter violent extremism, the roles of community engagement, youth alienation, and women preventing violent extremism.  In 22 days, the 19 participants visited 5 cities and explored various themes that work together to build
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