Feedback on the CITIZENARTS snapshot series Voices from Around the World:

 

 

Dear CITIZENARTS,

 

I want to commend you for doing your CITIZENARTS series. I think part of the way forward is to have conversations with one another, that are in some depth, and where we have a better understanding of what drives feelings and actions thatpeople make. And I think that we lack that in our society today. We don't really know what other people value because they don't declare themselves. And that has led, as we all know, to a terrible divide in our society.

Bill Nielsen,

Former Corporate Vice President, Public Affairs,  Johnson & Johnson

Communications consultant

Wittman, MD

Dear CITIZENARTS,

 

Just watched the initial episodes in your series that dealt with the pandemic reaction in the US and China. Nicely done. It is good to make a deep analysis of cultural differences during the pandemic situation while we are encountering it. Your series is an important initiative on this.

 

Using Dr. Li Wenliang’s case to illustrate the cultural differences is a very smart way to lay out the details. I thought you might be interested in a comparison of how local authorities in Wuhan treated Dr. Li and some other medical professionals who also reported about the virus at the very start of the outbreak.

 

For example, the head of the Wuhan University affiliated Zhong Nan Hospital. He reported cases of an unknown virus infection to the local authorities before early January. With their knowledge, he initiated a hospital-wide response plan. This occurred even before the government had reported interpersonal transmission of the coronavirus. Also, doctors in that hospital raised concerns to the local authorities about ineffective testing kits and recommended using CT scans to evaluate the infections.

 

Those efforts at Zhong Nan Hospital were not silenced or changed by the authorities. Actually, what happened was the local authorities followed up with the hospital and then consulted with the central decision makers in Beijing. Zhong Nan Hospital’s efforts were well received by the national authorities. By comparison, my takeaway is that Dr. Li did not follow the chain of command. He spoke publicly. His message was therefore considered undermining and unproductive by local authorities.

 

The video series you are presenting talks about the Chinese cultural behaviors of obedience and orderly structure.  Dr. Li may have stepped outside of those cultural behaviors. This of course does not justify the treatment (silencing) he received – but it is helpful when trying to understand why the local authorities reacted to him in a different way from the doctors at Zhong Nan Hospital.

 

Thanks to the CiTIZENARTS team for making this timely effort and sharing it with me.

 

-- From a Chinese educator located in the US

Dear CITIZENARTS,

 

I have been very favorably impressed with the thoughtful and informative series you have been doing on the Covid-19 pandemic. Thank you for doing this.

 

Ronald Suleski, PhD

Professor and Director

Rosenberg Institute for East Asian Studies

Associate in Research, Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Reischauer Institute for Japanese Studies, Harvard University

Suffolk University, Boston

Dear CITIZENARTS,
 

Fabulous presentation. Diplomatic and correct. Our dear country is in trouble. 

 

Admiring your intelligence and hard work from a distance.

 

As always,

Michael March

President, Prague Writers’ Festival

Dear CITIZENARTS,

Congratulations on your CITIZENARTS snapshot series. You have lots of passion and knowledge on the topic.

Stay well,

Peter Russo

Producer/Writer/Director: News Specials & Documentaries

Dear CITIZENARTS,

 

I want to congratulate you on this great initiative to connect cultures and learn from each other. It is something very timely at the moment.

 

This type of work dovetails beautifully with the biography I am currently writing about the Peruvian novelist, poet, and anthropologist, Jose Maria Arguedas. Arguedas valued the need for intercultural dialogue and it was an essential component of his successful career. I think he would appreciate your topical approach. 

 

Once again I congratulate you on the initiative.

 

Warmly,

Carmen Maria Pinilla

Author and rancher

Lima, Peru

Dear CITIZENARTS,

I watched the snapshot series and am sharing it. I especially liked the cultural touchstones. I’m looking forward to hearing Lily Wang’s input!

 

BJ McElderry

Educator, Maryland

Dear CITIZENARTS,

 

I watched the series and it is very good. It is upsetting for me when I look at social media in China and the US when it comes to the COVID-19 discussion. I've seen a lot of untrue or biased reports on both sides that seem to bring out hatred towards each other, but I think the videos you showed me are honest and neutral. Thank you for doing this and sharing them!

 

-- From a Chinese university student in the US

Dear CITIZENARTS,

 

If I may say so , India's response has been "somewhere in between". A mixture of caution and aggression,  leading to largely effective COVID19 management in one of the most populous country in the world. Despite all that the media reports, India has done very well in managing this pandemic in these very troubled times for humanity. 

 

Stay safe and stay blessed. 

 

Sincerely,  

 

Milan R Zatakia

Chairman and CEO, Millennium

 

 

Dear Milan,

 

It’s great to hear from you.

 

I’ve been following developments in India closely.  That the Modi government decisively took on COVID so early and swiftly surely enabled India to avoid the catastrophe that has engulfed the US. I was most concerned about India because of its density, high level of poverty and health care limitations. 

 

And now we all must be vigilant. That is a mixed bag in the US. China is pulling out all the stops. India has an historic opportunity to do good for itself while setting a healthy example for the world. 

 

Take care, my friend. 

Jim

 

 

Dear Jim,

 

Thank you for reaching out. Always a pleasure to hear from you. Reciprocate your fine sentiments, and am hopeful this unprecedented COVID19 pandemic becomes history sooner than later. 

 

Indeed very challenging times for humanity at large. 

 

Stay well my friend, and stay safe. 

 

Sincerely,

Milan

Dear CITIZENARTS,

Good work on this US - China series. I must say you have done excellent research on both China and the US. As you point out in prior episodes, from the era of the Dynasty rule to this present day, there was/is always a certain obedience factor among China's People toward its rulers. This obedience factor has made it easier for the Government to control this present epidemic of virus. I agree when you mention that the Chinese are a people who are very proud and "face saving," no matter which part of the world they are living in.

 

You hit it right on the head with regards to the mask among the people of the USA. 

 

ARVIND BHORILAL - BANGALORE - INDIA

Dear CITIZENARTS,

 

I just watched the last intercultural discussion about India. Fantastic! Even with the huge differences in terms of population the problems on how to deal with the pandemic in societies dealing with such disparities are very very alike. 

 

Congratulations for this initiative!!!!!  Looking forward when you will include Latin America in your programming.

 

Teresa Pinilla

Décor designer/entrepreneur

Lima, Peru

Dear CITIZENARTS,

 

I think you and your team have done an outstanding job in producing video episodes for the current global pandemic. I don’t have enough knowledge to comment on the culture and political side. I've got a lot of learning to do in the future. That’s why I appreciate your efforts to produce such video episodes. 

 

From public health perspective, It seems like the proper Vaccines are the key to the current Pandemic situation. It is challenging for private companies to increase their budget for vaccine development unless there is significant market potential/assurance. The non-profit research organization may not have sufficient funding for vaccines development either. I hope various government and health care agencies can collaborate more and support each other more.

 

Most importantly, I hope more funding can be spent to establish advanced Vaccine development program/platform that has capability to produce any vaccine for any potential virus very quickly. After all, we may have other Covid-19 like viruses in the future. 

 

Please do keep up with your outstanding work! Please stay healthy and be safe!

-- From a Chinese university student in the US

Dear CITIZENARTS,

 

The India episode was excellent — the interviews were personal and informative and the scenes from “To the Mountaintops” enhanced the discussion. Mr. Bhorilal’s feedback is very enlightening!

 

Stay well,

BJ McElderry

Educator, Maryland

Dear CITIZENARTS,

We have watched with great interest the first several episodes of your series about the US and China's different responses to the Covid-19 pandemic and looking forward to the rest. The series is smart, articulate, thoughtful and caring. Thank you for doing this.

 

- Dr. Vera Michaels Hearn

Professor, NYU

Dear CITIZENARTS,

Many thanks for making this kind of educational series. My wish is that there will more people and organizations like yours who strive to foster mutual understanding and respect. Stay safe and be healthy! 

-- From a Chinese university student in the US

Dear CITIZENARTS

I've just finished the US/China episodes of the snapshot series. Fantastic! In particular, I found the emphasis on cultures in response to the pandemic really interesting.  That's a perspective on it that is not being explored as equitably as you all are doing it and I really learned a lot. Looking forward to more.

- Adolfo Rodriguez

High School Educator

Dear CITIZENARTS,

Just sending along my appreciation to the CITIZENARTS team for your Snapshot Series episodes exploring how the great superpowers of the US and China should work together and to address this global pandemic. I thought it was genuinely a good effort. Good job!

- Karthik Durgaprasad

Business Development Executive

Dear CITIZENARTS,

 

Thank you for having given me the opportunity to participate in the Snapshot Series. And it was a true privilege to be a part of this conversation with Divya Gupta, a person with such high qualifications, intelligence, experience and her involvement with some high-end organizations. 

 

I wanted to take a few moments to expand on some of the topics we discussed.

 

1) Regarding Covid 19, in March there were 5000-plus cases reported in India. By this present day, there are 150,000-plus. How long this will last it's hard to say. You be the judge as to how competent the Central and State Governments of India have been in this matter.

 

2) Family plays the role of the state for social security. This is the reason India is not driven into being a failed State, in spite of poverty and government corruption. Emotional security is derived from family support hence, they accept and tolerate an ineffective government system. How long this feeling will last, it's hard to say.

 

3) India is a large democratic country. But in recent years, sadly, the fabric of democracy is wearing out.

 

The world was unprepared for the onslaught of Covid 19. As I mentioned online, the lock-down of India was a disaster. No basic facilities of survival, public transport and trains to get back home.The way millions of migrant labourers, who are daily wage earners, suffered, was heartbreaking. Just imagine walking hundreds of kilometers to get back to their homes and families. Some of them with wife and children. Many died on the way. Since the government had cancelled all trains, labourers slept on railway tracks at night. Some of them were run over and killed by trains. To give you an idea of the lengths to which people went to survive, a 15-year-old girl peddled her bicycle over 1000 kilometers to fetch her ailing father from the place where he works and take him home. 

 

The manner in which India was shut down -- the exclusion of other political parties, medical experts, corporate heads, IT professionals, NGOs and Army in the decision-making process -- reveals the culture of unprofessional autocratic governance. To announce the shutting down of the entire country was mainly for global visibility. A political move.

 

Though we didn't get a chance to discuss it, I want to share some thoughts on the current India/China border tension.

 

The tendency to occupy territories in the grey zone or no man's land will persist between countries. As for India and China, the border problem of 1959/60 eventually led to war in 1962. This could have been avoided had both the countries sat down and negotiated. Sadly the repercussion of this was taken out on the community of Indian Chinese across India. Elders, parents and many others were herded out of their homes, loaded into trucks and taken far away to be put into camps. The Indian government declared them as spies and enemies of the India. Children were left behind. Pain, loss, destruction of homes –endless heartbreaking stories of hard working, honest, caring, friendly, talented and skilled people who lived their lives peacefully, paid their taxes, married locals.

 

The present border skirmishes between India and China could be related to Covid and India's close relations with the USA. USA's aggression towards China. India's support to Tibet's cause. A political game. China was in the wrong for having not declared and revealed to the world about the Coronavirus.

 

Economy is through trade. Many countries have been dealing and relying on products from China. Joint ventures have been set up in China not only by Indians but also from other countries. Boycotting Chinese products at this stage is a little far fetched. India's economy would most definitely be impacted.

 

Take special care,

 

Arvind Bhorilal

Bengalaru, India

Dear CITIZENARTS,

 

Congratulations and many thanks for creating this interesting cultural initiative!

 

It is the answer to an increase demand for gaining knowledge of, and respect for, different country’s cultural particularities that represent the richest values of each one. This knowledge helps us all to grow together in a new world that communicates with each other as a beautiful symphony.

 

Bravo! 

 

Patricia Pinilla, Author and culture/arts commentator

Jaime de Althaus, Journalist and political commentator

Lima, Peru