It rained yesterday and its raining again today. Greenlanders keep telling me this is abnormal. Usually by now, Sisimiut and many other Greenlandic cities would see only snow for precipitation. But instead, a cold rain has descended. It's covering the small amount of snow sitting on the ground and turning it to ice. Still, like Nuuk, even drizzle cannot mask the colorful beauty of this place.
Despite the looming presence of rain clouds, my first views of Sisimiut in daylight were impressive. The city is built on rock, with homes and public places perched high on different rock formations around the city. It is a place where ocean and mountains meet in a dramatic display of nature. Like in Nuuk, the houses are colorful. This Greenlandic tradition is a rather iconic representation of the country. I can already see this city has a lot of personality.
We had the chance to meet Dorthe Katrine, the Director of the Sisimiut Museum. She gave us a quick tour of the many buildings that make up the museum's campus. There you can learn about the Inuit and Danish cultures that have defined Sisimiut throughout history. We also saw the MANY artifacts that have flooded into the museum from a recent construction project that uncovered a midden (garbage area) from an early historical period. The preservation of these objects is unbelievable. Bone, antler, ceramics, glass, leather, metal objects some looking like they were placed in the ground just yesterday. How to preserve, study, and share this sudden influx of important artifacts will be a challenge for the museum. Overall, the tour of the cozy museum buildings and a warm coffee with the Director and her staff helped chase away the cold afternoon.
Yesterday was also full of preparations for the workshops that Alice, Hans, and I are offering as part of Greenland Science Week in Sisimiut. Led by Alice, a digital artist, archaeologist, and animator, we spent yesterday setting up. We found a perfect workshop space to host the 3D digital events, where small groups of participants will see three different methods of 3D photogrammetry and digital scanning. They will also hear ways to combine this technology with storytelling to share (and preserve) heritage. Planning a public event is always nerve-wrecking, but adding an entirely new place and a language barrier adds stress. Still, we prepped as much as possible in anticipation of the events that will start today.
Today will be a full day. After the workshops, Hans, Alice and I are giving an evening presentation on our collaborative project melding together 3D technology, virtual international learning, and Greenlandic heritage. Giving a presentation that needs to be simultaneously translated can also be a bit stressful. Have you ever given a presentation to an audience you didn't share a first language with? Applying Anthropology students, can you imagine presenting on the impact projects you are developing to a room full of professionals from a culture or language different from your own? What do you think that experience would be like?
11/3/2021 11:54:32 am
The vibrant colored houses actually bring out the beauty of the landscape even more! I have never given a presentation to an audience of people I didn't share a language with but if I were to present my impact project in a scenario as such, I imagine it would be extremely nerve wracking as I am someone who fears public speaking. Although if I do mess up and trip over my word there's a possibility no one would catch it which does seem a bit more relieving (lol). I have run into some language barriers at my old job back at home (retail) but the customer and I always found a way to communicate whether it be with gestures or pen and paper.
11/3/2021 12:15:48 pm
My experience with presentations to audiences that do not share my first language comes from working as a professional theatre actor in touring productions. While touring in international and national theatre productions, I performed in Japan for Japanese speaking audiences, in Canada for some predominately French speaking audiences, on Cruise ships for international audiences, and for predominantly hearing impaired audiences that communicate using ASL. In order to translate the show, surtitles/supertitles were often used to project text onto screens above and on the sides of the stage for non English speaking audiences and sign language interpreters were used for the hearing impaired. It was interesting to feel the difference in how a show, which was performed eight times per week, was received by audiences of different regions and languages. For example, the Japanese audiences, which give tremendous and enthusiastic applause during curtain call, are completely silent during a show. There is no laughter, talking, or coughing of any sort from Japanese audiences. When performing for different cultures and language speakers, some of the moments and jokes would translate better than others. The element of cross cultural variation to audience reception of show was even felt while performing throughout different regions in the United States. By relating my experiences, I can imagine the challenges that presenting an impact project to professionals who do not share the same culture or language as my own. Hopefully, the concepts in my impact project would be translated more successfully than some of the jokes that did not work different regions. I believe that the success of the experience would rely heavily upon an interpreter’s effectiveness in understanding the project as well as the languages and cultures of all involved in the presentation.
11/3/2021 03:07:35 pm
The pictures are amazing again! The colors of the buildings bring so much life to them! I have never given a presentation to a room of people I don't share the same first language. If I had to present my impact project to a room of people that don't share the same first language as me I would be so nervous it would probably make me sick. As a respect to their language and culture I may try to learn/memorize a small phrase or two in their first language to introduce the presentation to make them feel a little bit more comfortable with it as well. Even though you are nervous to present, they are on the opposite side and have to have enough knowledge to understand you.
11/3/2021 03:14:41 pm
I noticed you had put "the Greenlanders tell me this is abnormal" when talking about the rain vs snow for precipitation. Just out of curiosity do you get to talk to many of the locals who live there? Are they friendly toward tourists?
11/4/2021 03:26:53 am
So glad you asked Amaya! I have actually started to do some video recording with a few Greenlanders, asking them to share their experiences and the culture of Greenland. Yesterday I had the opportunity to record a chat with three young Greenlanders (about 18-21 years old) ...hoping to get that and other clips on our website soon so you guys can 'meet' them! Everyone is very friendly and forgiving of my language limitations.
11/3/2021 08:53:30 pm
Do you think that it has been raining so much in Greenland because of the climate change ? I have never given a presentation to an audience that didn't share the same language as me. Nor do I think I could present a project to a room full of professionals from a different culture or a room of professionals that seek a different language that I do not speak. especially since they may have years of experience on said language and experience with speaking the language. I would actually be nervous.
11/3/2021 11:54:00 pm
onestly don't know what exactly to do if I had to present in a language im not really known of. I think it would be possible because I witness it in my school in my chemistry class one time. He had someone from Spain pronouncing this theory of chemistry in rural and cattle aspect of things. it was confusing at first but then became somewhat educational at the same time. It was difficult to process at first but I understood the main concept of it. I think the experience will go well just for the people on the learning end or viewing it will get confused but still understand and learn from it.
11/4/2021 05:51:21 am
I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to give a presentation to such a group, you amaze me!! I went to Bible Presbyterian Church for twenty years, but would not become an actual member because I would have had to answer a couple of questions in front of the congregation, lol. I hope all is going as wonderful as you hoped it would, it’s very interesting following along, so much I didn’t know about Greenland.
11/4/2021 01:20:57 pm
The preservation of detail in those artifacts is amazing. In the picture you can still see the bright colors on some of the artifacts. Those were very interesting to see. Does the level of preservation have something to do with the Arctic environment?
11/4/2021 04:57:30 pm
I could spend hours and hours at this museum just looking at the artifacts and all the intricate details that they contain. The bright colors of Sisimiut popping through the cloudy rain is amazing and it left be speechless. As for presenting my impact project to a group of people that speak another language, I know that the ability to do this would definitely be a struggle. Especially because of how something in one language can mean an entirely different thing in another. I think the experience would be one to remember but also to learn from because some people tend to forget about how there is an entire world outside our front door and opportunities like this give us the chance to learn about it.
11/4/2021 05:00:03 pm
Wow these views of the village are spectacular, the snow sprinkled all along the ground and the houses makes it all the more extravagant! I have never given a presentation to an audience that I didn’t share a first language, I think that this would definitely be difficult but interesting at the same time. I think it would give a different light and perspective amongst the topics! I think that it would also be more helpful in getting a more accurate feedback coming from a different cultural group!
11/4/2021 09:00:52 pm
I think it is so neat and interesting that the houses there are so bright and colorful. It is very cool you got to see all of those artifacts including bones, antlers, ceramics, and more. I have never given a presentation to an audience that I did not share a first language with. I think it would make me really nervous to present a project that I was developing to a room full of professionals from a different culture or language. I think it would be a challenge just because things such as phases, words, context and gestures can be taken differently by people of a different culture. It may create a barrier. I think the experience would be challenging but rewarding at the same time. Even though I may be presenting to professionals of a different culture or language, it would be cool to share the similar interests you’re presenting.
11/4/2021 09:13:07 pm
These pictures are so beautiful! The well-done preservation of these ancient artifacts is quite telling of the importance of Greenlandic culture to its people.
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I am an anthropology professor, writer, researcher and global traveler. In fall of 2021, I led an experiential eLearning project connecting US students (and others) with the people, places, and industries of Greenland. I redesigned a research trip into a virtual field trip for my students who didn't have any Study Abroad options. All of the videos, photos, interviews, and storytelling are still here to enjoy!