PITTSBURG — A cultural simulation called Bafá Bafá could give students, faculty and the public an opportunity to experience what it is like to interact with a different culture, whether that be living in a different country or working with different departments, disciplines, genders, races and ages.
The event will be at 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Thursday at Pittsburg State University’s Overman Student Center in the Governor’s Room and Heritage room. It is hosted by the Tilford Group at PSU, which encourages diversity within the community. It is free and open to the public.
PSU Associate Professor of Spanish Grant Moss said students who plan on studying abroad and even social work students can all benefit from the event they will experience different cultures through in their professional careers — inevitably they will run into different cultures.
Bafá Bafá was created by Doctor R. Garry Shirts in the 1970s to help people with intercultural communication and understanding the behavior of other cultures.
Bafá Bafá has been used in different classroom settings — including middle schools, high schools, universities — and in professional development for businesses and organizations.
The university has hosted the event on and off for several years, since before 2010.
The way it works is different “cultures” are established and each culture group separate into different rooms. The group members eventually find themselves in the other cultures’ terrain.
There, they respond through activities which simulate what it’s like to communicate and interact with other cultures.
“They watch each group and go be a part of the other,” Moss said. “After going to the other room, they have a briefing and they talk about what’s going on in different culture and they are asked, ‘how did you feel in their culture?’ — it’s really powerful.”
— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.