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10
Dec

Holiday Traditions Around the World: Part 1 – Peru

Join Cultural Awareness International for this three-part series as we explore holiday traditions around the world . . . Christmas in Peru Christmas traditions in Peru date back to 1535.  The holiday has a long history in the country as the majority of the population practices Catholicism.  December 24th is La Noche Buena, or “Good …

2
Dec

Know Your Rights

December 10th will mark the 64th annual  Human Rights Day, which seeks to commemorate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations in 1948. The holiday was first observed in 1950 and has remained one of the UN’s most important holidays ever since. Although the Declaration is comprised of a broad range of …

7
Nov

Sea Dogs and Swashbucklers Welcome!

Do you enjoy adventurous voyages on the open seas? Do you appreciate a nice swig of Rum? Are you constantly in search of buried treasure? Do you currently sport a black beard? If so, you might want to check out the annual Pirates Week festival! The festival hoists anchor in the Cayman Islands for ten days, …

22
Oct

Calaveras and Marigolds: Celebrating Dia de los Muertos

Día de los Muertos, the Mexican ‘Day of the Dead’ holiday is celebrated annually from October 31st to November 2nd. During the 3-day-long festivities, family members celebrate loved ones who have passed away by bringing sugar skulls (Calaveras), marigolds as well as photographs to decorate family members’ graves with. Marigolds are used in these rituals …

20
Oct

United Nations Day 2014

“The United Nations is needed more than ever at this time of multiple crises. […] At this critical moment, let us reaffirm our commitment to empowering the marginalized and vulnerable. On United Nations Day, I call on Governments and individuals to work in common cause for the common good. ” – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon   …

2
Oct

Shalom Y’all!

Together with Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur forms the ten-day period known as the Days of Awe or Ten Days of Repentance. While God passes judgment on Rosh Hashanah, the Book of Life and the Book of Death will remain open during the 10 day period leading up to Yom Kippur, during this time is it …

22
Sep

It’s Time For Diwali!

The Diwali festival, also known as the festival of lights, is arguably one of India’s largest celebrations. Signifying the start of the Hindu New Year, Diwali also marks the beginning of winter. The dates of the festival are based on the lunar calendar, with this year’s start date falling on October 21st. However, the main …

8
Sep

On A Scale of 1-10, How American Do You Feel?

Did you know that when you renounce your U.S. citizenship, you have to pay a fee? The subsidized fee used to be $450, but this week the State Department has announced that they plan to raise the fee to $2,350. The process has also been become increasingly more complicated. Now, not only do you have …

4
Sep

Dis-United Kingdom: Will Scotland Become Independent?

A referendum on whether Scotland should become an independent nation, thus breaking away from the United Kingdom, will take place on Thursday, September 18th. The vote is a long time coming as Scotland has been toying with the idea of independence since it first sent 11 members of parliament to Westminster in the 1970s. Were …

25
Feb

Exchanging a foreign driver’s license in Switzerland

Exchanging a foreign driver’s license in Switzerland:         Switzerland recognizes foreign driver’s license and people can drive for the first 12 months with their existing license (an International Driver’s license is needed when the language of the driver’s license is not recognized by the Swiss authorities.) After 12 months people need to …

18
Oct

“C’est la vie” in France

Living and traveling in a country offer two completely different experiences. No doubt that’s why the French, who live in one of the most popular vacation destinations in the world, are more likely to thoroughly explore their own country before setting foot into another. This doesn’t mean that the French don’t appreciate other cultures. On …

17
Oct

L’Italiano Una Bella Lingua!

“Bravo”, “ciao”, “arrivederci” you don’t have to be in Italy to understand what someone is saying to you. These are all words most of us not only understand but possibly even use in conversation.

16
Oct

Norway: Land of the Midnight Sun

Norway is a small country of 4.5 million people in northern Europe. This stunning country has a lot to offer: Vikings, Leif Eirikson who first discovered America, the Nobel Peace Prize, Henrik Ibsen, and Edvard Munch among others. Nevertheless, what makes Norway so extraordinary is its beautiful and unique nature, which has shaped Norwegian life …

12
Oct

Being Colombian is an Act of Faith

by Jorge Luis Borges, writer. From a very early age, we are taught in school that Colombia occupies the premium corner of the South American continent: coasts in both oceans, a breathtaking piece of the Andes, magnificent extensions of rainforest, deserts, valleys….name practically any topographical miracle: it exists. As with all self evident truths, we …

8
Oct

India: The Land of Mystery and Diversity

India is a fascinating country. It is home to thousand year old ornately sculptured temples, the world famous Taj Mahal, modern skyscrapers, and prevalent slums. It is framed by the daunting Himalaya’s in the north, the Arabian Sea and Pakistan in the west and the Bay of Bengal and Bangladesh in the east. The southern tip …

5
Oct

Talking Politics, British Style

So closely tied in history and philosophy, so interwoven culturally, and of course, “divided by a common language” (to borrow from George Bernard Shaw), one can too quickly overlook the differences between the UK and the USA. This runs in spades when it comes to politics. Differences in the nature of government and in how …

1
Oct

International Schools: A Refuge for Children Abroad

Adolescence can be a difficult time, and experiences such as these can add to the already stressful lives of children living abroad.

20
Sep

Communicating Effectively with Non-Native English Speakers

If you can read this sentence with ease, then you might be one of many who take communicating in English for granted. Not only is English the second most spoken language in the world, impressively, but it is also the most widely used language on the internet and the most commonly used platform for business and …

15
Sep

The Adaptation of Culture

Borrowing ideas from other nations and adapting them to fit your own culture has been the norm since the history of human civilizations. The Greeks took papyrus and scrolls from the Egyptians, made libraries, and educated the world. The Italians learned how to make noodles from the Chinese and established a world-renowned cuisine. Recently, US …

20
Aug

The Past Lives on in Belgium

Belgium. This small country offers an abundance of delights for any visitor through its culture, food, architecture, languages, and history. Arriving in Brussels on my annual trip home, I am immediately taken back to fond memories of my youth. I am humbled to think that as a child I ran through the cobblestone streets of what …

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