Melton fellows share, exchange culture at forum in Germany

A group of six students from Dillard traveled toBerlin, Germany Oct. 7-17, 2004. There were 26 studentsrepresenting five delegations from across the country, includingChile, Germany, China, India and the U.S.

During their 10-days in Germany, each delegationshared a cultural presentation with the other delegations. Dancingto hip-hop music was just one of the many ways the Melton Fellowsshared their culture with the other delegations.

The theme of Dillard’s Fellows was music and dancegenres. The Fellows introduced a Power Point presentation withvideo clips of different dance styles and music. The dance genresincluded hip-hop, pop, country, dance-hall, swing and ballroomdancing. The fellows, themselves, shared a choreographed dance to acombination mix. The ‘Nolia Clap’ and the ‘Jiggalator’ were just afew of the songs the Fellows broke it down to.

Melton Fellow James Jenkins, a sophomore biology/pre-med major from Baton Rouge, said the main purpose of the tripwas, “to present an aspect of our country that other delegationsmight normally be unaware of.”

Jenkins said, “It was an eye opening experience. Ihad an opportunity to meet and learn the cultures of four differentcountries.”

The 7 a.m. wake-up calls were a part of the Fellowsweekly schedule. The mornings were filled with Melton exercisessuch as team building, communication skills and cultural bonding.They were able to socialize during the evening. They explored a fewof Germany’s nightclubs, which Jenkins said, were not muchdifferent than the clubs he has attended in the United States. Healso said, “they played all recognizable songs.”

The students had a five-day orientation and thenwere able to explore Germany in its entirety for the remaindingfive days.

The tasty part of the trip happened at the’Cookeria’. All five delegations cooked one dish from theircountry. Together the students sat down to eat what was prepared.Dillard’s Fellows prepared jambalaya. International business andJapanese studies major, Megan Williams, was one of the main chefsin preparing the meal.

Williams, a sophomore from Pine Bluff, Ark.,reflected on her experience in Germany.
“We got to practice cultural relativism. Which is being able toaccept another person’s culture even though it’s different fromyours and understanding your way of life is not the only way oflife,” Williams said.

Anthony Pinder is the chair of Dillard’s delegationof the Melton Foundation.

The Melton Foundation was formed 10 years ago onthe foundation of bringing a community of talented people fromdifferent cultures that could interact and address issues based onthe ideals of open communication and mutual respect.