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  • six minutes english from BBC Learning english dot com.

  • Hello, this is six minute english from BBC Learning English.

  • I'm Neil and I'm Sam if you browse through a library, you'll find a variety of different books, from fiction to crime to romance.

  • And if you walk through a city you'll see a variety of people of different ages, body shapes, skin colors and genders.

  • In this six minute english will be hearing about an unusual library where the books are people made of flesh and bone instead of paper.

  • It's called the Human library.

  • And the books are individuals who have faced prejudice, which means an unreasonable dislike of certain types of people.

  • Readers may borrow these books who are people from all walks of life for a 30 minute conversation.

  • The book titles are short and to the point titles like transgender, former criminal or immigrant.

  • The human books are volunteers and visiting readers are encouraged to ask those awkward or embarrassing questions they've always wondered about this means the human library needs to be a safe space, a place where people feel protected from danger and harm.

  • It's a fascinating idea.

  • But before we find out more, I have a question for you Sam The human library started out in Denmark but soon spread across europe and the world.

  • So how many countries have a human library now?

  • Is it a 75 b 85 or C 95.

  • Well, everyone likes to hear a story.

  • So I'll guess C- 95.

  • OK, Sam, we'll find out if that's right later in the program.

  • The first human library was founded in Copenhagen by Ronnie a bagel.

  • Here he is telling BBC World Service program, People fixing the world about the inspiration behind his original idea.

  • We don't have time on the street to stop and get to know everyone so we drop people in little boxes.

  • So it's instinct that's guiding us and we never get beyond the instinct if we don't get to know the person.

  • So at our library we recommend sitting down and meeting some of the people that you normally might actually not feel interested in sitting down with because there's something about them that you may feel a little bit uncomfortable about.

  • You learn tremendously not only about them, but also about yourself.

  • When we meet someone new, we often already have ideas about what they are.

  • Like, Ronnie says, we put someone in a box an expression meaning to judge what kind of person someone is based on their appearance or on a limited understanding of who they are.

  • He recommends meeting people who you wouldn't usually spend time with, even if this makes you feel uncomfortable, feel slightly worried or embarrassed in a social situation.

  • So the main idea of the human library is to challenge the assumptions and stereotypes that we all have about other people.

  • Ronnie uses social media to find volunteers who are willing to talk about their lives at public meetings, which anyone can attend as the human library spreads around the world.

  • More money is needed to keep the project going.

  • This mostly comes from hosting events for private companies including famous businesses like google transgender volunteer Katie john went is a regular host for the human libraries business events.

  • Listen to this clip of her introducing the project to a group of dutch businessman from BBC World Service program, People fixing the world when we're in the workplace or on social media.

  • What we often find is we're walking on eggshells around diversity and difference and many people don't want to get it wrong.

  • Quite understandably, the important thing to remember is that you can ask them anything.

  • They're never going to make you wrong for the question you asked today, which is an incredibly rare offer when meeting someone with completely different life experiences.

  • People can be worried about saying the wrong thing or asking embarrassing questions.

  • Katie says they are walking on eggshells, an expression which means to be very careful about what you do and say because you don't want to offend or upset anyone.

  • But in fact, the human books are rarely offended.

  • The event is all about celebrating people's difference and diversity, a term which describes how many different types of people are included together.

  • Exactly.

  • It's a celebration for everyone, regardless of race, age or gender or nationality.

  • And that reminds me, what was the answer to your question now?

  • Oh yes.

  • I asked how many countries today have a human library.

  • What did you say?

  • Sam I guess it was C 95 countries.

  • Which was the wrong answer I'm afraid The correct answer was B- 85 countries from Norway and Hungary.

  • All the way to Australia and Mongolia Wow.

  • I bet that makes a lot of interesting stories.

  • Okay let's recap the vocabulary for this program about people sharing their experience of facing prejudice.

  • The unreasonable dislike of certain groups of people.

  • A safe space is a place where you feel protected from danger and harm.

  • When we put someone in a box we judge them based on their appearance or a limited understanding of them.

  • If you feel uncomfortable you feel slightly worried or embarrassed in a social situation.

  • The expression walking on eggshells means being very careful about what you do and say because you don't want to offend anyone.

  • And finally diversity is a term describing many different types of people being included together.

  • Well it's time to return these human books back to the library shelves because our six minutes are up, join us again for more real life stories and topical vocabulary here at six minute.

  • English from BBC Learning english, Goodbye for now.

  • Bye.

  • six minutes English from the BBC.

six minutes english from BBC Learning english dot com.

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The Human Library - 6 Minute English

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/12/02
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