Keeping Pace

    “Keeping Pace,” Ensign, Jan. 1984, 79

    Keeping Pace

    Culturgrams Offer Tips on Other Cultures

    Planning to travel or live abroad, but worried about adapting to another culture? You can begin preparing for the experience by studying one of the “Culturgrams” available through the David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies at Brigham Young University.

    The four-page Culturgrams provide short informational summaries on subjects ranging from customs and courtesies to history and government of the nations they cover, as well as a short list of useful words and phrases and of additional resource materials. There are now eighty-one Culturgrams available, for nations from Argentina to Zimbabwe.

    The Culturgrams were developed several years ago for Church leaders attending conferences in various parts of the world, but as others learned about the research, BYU received a growing number of requests for them. V. Lynn Tyler, administrator of International/ Intercultural Resource Services for the center, said the Culturgrams are now widely used by educational institutions, military and civil government officers, businesses, libraries, travel agencies, and LDS and non-LDS religious groups. Some 150,000 Culturgrams have been sent out during the past year, said Deborah L. Coon, publications manager for the center.

    Brother Tyler said the Culturgrams deal with whole nations or, in a few cases, regions within a nation. If it were possible, they would deal with each distinct culture, but there are approximately 25,000 identifiable cultures in the world, too many to treat individually.

    The Culturgrams are revised periodically so they will not become outdated. They have all been updated since the summer of 1982, and several new ones have been added.

    The center is also offering a new series of Infograms—briefings on international or intercultural topics of general interest. They include such titles as “The International Family: Successfully Meeting the Challenge” and “Coming Home Again: Absorbing Return Shock.”

    Brother Tyler said the Culturgrams and Infograms are intended as a service rather than a profit-making enterprise, but those ordering them must pay postage and a small charge to defray expenses. They may be ordered through the David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies, Publication Services, Box 61-P, Faculty Office Building, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, 84602. The Center’s telephone number is (801) 378-6528. A complimentary sample and list of available Culturgrams will be mailed to those who send a stamped, self-addressed envelope.