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Newsletter: 2019 July

July 2019 TCG Newsletter

"Are you sure that we are awake? It seems to me that yet we sleep, we dream"

- William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream (1564-1616) -

Again, it is the return of the “dog days of summer” for those living in the northern hemisphere! One may wonder why the Americans choose the month of July to call it their national month for Hot Dog, and Ice-Cream!

On a more serious note, during this month, three major nations will be celebrating their national days: starting with “Canadian Day” for Canada on 1st July, followed by “Independence Day” for the Americans on 4th, and “Bastille Day” for the French on 14th. You can click on the highlighted underlined text to learn more about those celebrations. Who knows, you might be surprised by some of the new facts you never knew before.

It is summer time (for half of this planet); So, go out, dip into the pool, take a sip, and read a good book in your hammock! Happy swinging!
Now, are you ready to participate in our photo contest?

Where in the world can you find the covered bridge above?

2019 June TCG newsletter image
Here is the answer for June’s Photo Contest:
La Boca is a vibrant neighbourhood in Buenos Aires, capital of Argentina. Its colourful houses, liven by tango artists, is an attraction to visitors. For soccer fans, the Estadio Alberto J. Armando stadium is a must visit which is where Diego Maradona once played and is home to the football club Boca Juniors.
Click the link below for Expedia’s vacation guide on Buenos Aires:
For those who love musical, here is the song “Don’t Cry for me, Argentina”:

A Journey A Month...
Your Story. Our Story. The Human Story.

TCG image of kids playing
As we discussed TCG’s reflection for July, Paul, one of our senior directors, shared with me the fondness of his growing-up years in Singapore. He was raised in a religious, practising Catholic family, attending regular Sunday masses, and going to Catholic schools, yet, he had plenty of opportunities mingling and had fun with children of other races and faiths.
In fact, Paul’s experience was not unique, many of us who grew up in multi-racial countries like Singapore or Malaysia had very similar childhood memories. I grew up in a townhouse, but my neighbours included kids from the kampung (village) just next to our newly developed roll of modern homes. My mother was as friendly to those who passed through the back lanes between our house and the village, as to her direct neighbours of those modern homes. That cordial neighbourhood spirit resulted in us getting invited to weddings and festivals from the village, mainly made up of the Malay race. Whenever we received the invitations, I would be very excited because I would get to taste foods different from what I usually had at my home. At the same time, I would get to experience new things, music, dances, etc. The sound of “Kompang” (Malay Drumming at Wedding possession) still lingers in my head, as I remember how I first discovered a cultural world beyond mine. It was an adventure, it fused curiosity, and it encouraged a child to explore…
TCG multi-racial society
I believe, growing up in multi-racial society provides us with opportunities to hone our cultural intelligence (CQ) skill. Take the example of Singapore, the three major races – Chinese, Indians and Malays, has each its deep-rooted cultural origins. Most try to retain to a certain extent, customs and practices passed down by their elders.
Because Singapore was a “new” nation, there was no interference from a particular dominant culture to stop other cultural groups retaining their cultural identities. Instead, the governing body took the approach to focus on how to integrate those cultural differences into a united common purpose. By doing so, it provided a natural environment for people to develop their cross-cultural skill.
Compared to its other larger neighbours, Singapore’s founding generation had very cleverly leveraged its multi-racial society as its strategic asset. From CQ (Cultural Intelligence) perspective, it made a brilliant move for its nation-building. Instead of letting the different cultural fragments turned into negative social tensions, the founding fathers skilfully designed policies to encourage positive exchanges, while tapping into the ancestral roots of each culture to build strong economic ties, and relations with the countries of origin. At the same time, it achieved integration by rallying its citizens with a common goal, that was to succeed under a less favourable condition versus its larger neighbours. The shared pride and desire to succeed as an underdog, united its people during the nation-building years, turning a diverse community into a strong, bonded, positive force.
Singapore’s journey from an underdeveloped country to being one of the world’s wealthiest nations was not by chance. Limited in land, natural resources, and out-numbered by populations from its larger neighbours, Singapore’s spectacular growth within such a short time frame has become envy as well as a model for many.
The very fact that Singapore is a multi-racial society, and how its people can live and thrive in a complex mosaic of a diverse community, may have been one of the key reasons why Singapore has become the fastest and most successful economies in the region. Instead of brushing it off, it has harnessed its multi-racial society as a precious national asset!
Riding on its success, Singapore is not complacent, it is on its ascension to play an important role on the global stage. Those living in Singapore can see much communication promoting community harmony and good inter-religious understanding, etc. Every year, the lightings and decorations along Orchard Road change for each major ethnic or religious festival. These actions not only support a peaceful and stable living for its people, they also provide a learning environment to develop cultural intelligence, preparing its human capital to lead in an increasingly connected world!

Let the Singapore example speaks to the world.

Have an enjoyable July!

* the Singapore example can be applied in any context, enterprises, homes, or nations.

** CQ is a trademark of Cultural Intelligence Center, LLC.

We, at TransCultural Group (TCG), are determined to play our parts in making the world a better place, and we have teamed up with the Cultural Intelligence Centre, U.S.A to bring their well-researched and designed CQ assessment tools to our clients in the Asia Pacific.
We are passionate about building bridges and breaking down walls. Please join us in our journey,
Beyond Boundaries – Crossing Cultures

We have so much in common, we just don't always notice it...

Spread the words, share the vision, do our parts!