According to The Economic Times the visit by Jennifer McCormick – who is the state’s Superintendent of Public Instruction – will have a long-term impact in fostering people-to-people relationship between the US and India. [...] The Memorandum of Understanding will allow both schools to collaborate on research, faculty and student exchange as well as programmes to allow students to spend a semester abroad.
Olga Krasnyak on how understanding different diplomatic styles is essential to creating a solid relationship.
Mercer County will host five judges from Mongolia later this month to learn the ins and outs of the U.S. legal system. [...] Jamkhandi said host families are a significant ingredient of U.S.-sponsored exchange programs, allowing international professionals a “unique perspective of American life and culture. More importantly, home stays foster friendships, a key element in people-to-people diplomacy.”
To move beyond transactional ties, India and Israel must make an effort to encourage cultural connections. This is best done through education, tourism and the arts.
Inside the red-brick building that now houses the German capital’s newest and perhaps most unusual mosque, Seyran Ates is staging a feminist revolution of the Muslim faith. [...] The inaugural Friday prayers at Berlin’s Ibn Rushd-Goethe Mosque came to a close — offering a different vision of Islam on a continent that is locked in a bitter culture war over how and whether to welcome the faith. Toxic ills like radicalization, Ates and her supporters argue, have a potentially easy fix: the introduction of a more progressive, even feminist brand of the faith.
Native American Choctaw leaders have arrived in Ireland to unveil a sculpture celebrating the financial contribution made by the tribe to starving Irish people in 1847. At the height of Ireland's Great Famine, Choctaws in southern states of the USA sent a donation of $170 (£111). [...] A million people died in Ireland and another two million left the country when the potato crop failed for successive years, removing a vegetable that poor people ate every day. [...] The Choctaw people empathized with Ireland's famine victims.
I believe that a final, negotiated FY 2018 budget request for the State Department should include continued funding – if not a gradual increase – of what has been a relatively small amount of money allocated every year to the soft power of “cultural diplomacy.” Roughly defined as the use of an exchange of ideas, traditions, and values to strengthen relations and encourage engagement, cultural diplomacy is perhaps most easily seen in the use of music, arts, and sports to build cross-cultural understanding.