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  • (Out of Stock) Steps to Paradise and Beyond

(Out of Stock) Steps to Paradise and Beyond

Verner Bickley

English , 2013/04 Proverse Hong Kong

Tags: Literature

210 x 145 mm , 472pp ISBN / ISSN : 978-988-8167-40-1

  • US$26.00

Out Of Stock

In STEPS TO PARADISE AND BEYOND, which follows Footfalls Echo in the Memory as the second volume of his autobiography, VERNER BICKLEY describes the events and issues that were important to him during a period of his life spent in Hawaii and Saudi Arabia. In Hawaii from 1971 to 1981, he served as the Director of the Culture Learning Institute at the East-West Center, established by the U.S. Congress in Hawaii in 1960 and functioning as a U.S-based institution for public diplomacy with international governance, staffing, students and Fellows.

From 1972 to 1980, Verner led a small team of anthropologists, cross-cultural psychologists and linguists, focusing on the different ways in which individuals and whole societies cope in bicultural and multicultural contexts and how they address problems presented by different cultural norms. In this book he recalls some of the highlights of his stay in Hawaii; he touches briefly on President Obama's education in Oahu and on the life of the President's mother as an East-West Center "grantee". He recalls the impact made by Captain Cook on the Hawaiian Islands and the much later controversy surrounding Hawaiian claims to regain its independence from the United States. He mentions the support that his Institute provided for the pioneering voyage of the canoe, Hõküle'a, from Hawaii to Tahiti, disproving the theories of Thor Heyerdahl, and he describes his personal hasty retreat from South Korea when he was informed of the assassination of President Park Chung-hee.

After nine interesting years in Hawaii, Verner moved to Saudia Arabia for a two-year assignment with the national airline, Saudia. Responsible for a multi-national staff of 100 persons, mainly, but not exclusively, in Jeddah and Riyadh, he recalls in particular the dare-devil driving of newly-rich Saudis; an interesting visit to a staff member imprisoned in one of Jeddah's goals; the restrictions suffered by women, in particular the ban on their driving any form of vehicle, and the adherence in practice to the precepts of the 18th century divine, Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab.

VERNER BICKLEY was born and educated in the North-West of England, Wales and London, and has lived in Asian and Pacific countries for over fifty years. He was a naval officer in pre-independent Sri Lanka and India. He served in the Colonial Education Service in Singapore and, later, as a British Council officer in post-independence Burma, Indonesia and Japan. He has been scholar, teacher, manager, broadcaster and cultural diplomat in a life often enlivened by music and song, dance and entertainment.
Refusing to retire, Verner now lives in Hong Kong where he writes and publishes on a variety of topics and devotes himself to the English-Speaking Union (Hong Kong) as Chairman of its Executive Committee.
Verner Bickley's experiences have created in him an interest in cross-cultural experiences and attitudes and in a desire to communicate what he has learnt. He hopes he can not only interest his readers, but encourage them to build on their own desire to learn about and empathise with other cultures.

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