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Students in Hangzhou Got a Video Call from Tallinn Estonia


After months of communications between Tallinn Central Library and Hangzhou Public Library , two participating groups were eventually organized and the first activity of cross-cultural online BOOK CLUB program has been successful held on March 7th (China Time 5 pm, Estonia Time 11 am) in the cyber world!


Cross-cultural online BOOK CLUB aims to provide a platform for peers in different countries to meet, talk and share. It takes advantage of connected libraries worldwide to find youth in their own city and produces a meeting together for one specific text discussion with the help of technologies. The main purpose of the program is to help young people today understand people from different cultures and lands better. Given the concept that the reality is largely constructed by the way how one interprets information and the information can differ depending on where he/she is and what is available to him/her, participants will be asked a set of questions during the meeting, such as (1)Would you understand the text differently if you were born on another continent? (2)Would you understand the text differently if you were a male, a female or non-binary? (3)Would you understand the text differently if you were religious or were not religious?


STEP 1: Two libraries search for participating groups in their own cities
STEP 2: Two groups decide the exact time to meet
STEP 3: Two libraries together decide the text (poems, one paragraph of a literature, lyrics) for discussion and send it to groups two weeks in advance
STEP 4: Groups prepare an introduction (to simply introduce their own homeland, city and culture) as well as study the text
STEP 5: Online meeting. Usually 60-90 minutes and in need of a host(a librarian or a teacher). Warm up + Introduction + Text Analysis + Free discussion + Group photo.


Here below we can see how it works:
Hangzhou and Tallinn, 16 hours by air away from each other, 8-hour time difference.


On 4:55 pm (China Time), students on both sides(Students from Zhejiang International Studies and Students from Tallin Lilleküla Gymnasium) were gathering for the video call.


On 5:00 pm (China Time), the phone was ringing!


 The moment they met each other on the screen, everyone got excited and a little bit shy.


This Chinese student introduced China and Hangzhou. Students in Tallinn saw the PPT through the screen.


The text we finially chose is a piece of peotry The White World by Chinese poet Jidi Majia. We managed to find texts available in Chinese as well as Estonian.


Then the students gradually came into their own. They talked about the poems and music, the difficulties they encountered when reading translated literature, the dilemma of different cultures, and they also shared how their lives were transformed by modern techologies.


After one hour of lively discussion, group photos were taken. Each team in turn gathered around the screen to be captured together with their peers thousands miles away.


Please contact us if your library has interest in this Cross-cultural Online Book Club program!
Contact: alibi_jo@163.com