+1 (214) 691-4113 cai@culturalawareness.com

Archives

28
Dec

Comedians Promote Voting Rights in Saudi Arabia

For the first time, women in Saudi Arabia have the right to vote and run for election. Saudi is the last country in the world to grant women suffrage. Nine hundred women and nearly 6,000 men ran for the competitive 284 open seats. Eighteen women won seats. Many were not running to win but merely …

11
Dec

Christmas Traditions: Imported from Germany

WARNING: SANTA SPOILER ALERT! Many of the traditions that Westerners hold so dear during the holiday season actually stem from German folklore. A Christmas tree, commonly the evergreen fir tree, has been used to celebrate winter festivals (both Christian and Pagan) for thousands of years. Some pagans would use the tree or its branches as …

12
Nov

Celebrating the Festival of Light – Diwali in India

Diwali (Deepavali) is one of the biggest festivals for Hindus, celebrated with great enthusiasm and happiness all across India. The festival is celebrated for five continuous days, with the third day celebrated as the main Diwali festival or ‘Festival of Lights.’  Different colorful varieties of fireworks are always associated with the holiday. On this auspicious …

4
Nov

Can Culture Shock Really be Good for You?

Culture Shock! The mere thought of leaving the known and launching oneself into the unknown congers up strong feelings. When one is exposed to a new, strange or foreign social and cultural environment, they experience a state of bewilderment and distress. This is culture shock. Travel to another culture and you will find yourself out …

29
Oct

How Cultures Honor the Departed

Ghosts, goblins, witches, and zombies usually dominate this time of year for the Halloween holiday in the U.S. However, around the world November 1st is acknowledged as a holiday to remember those who have passed.  The most famous celebration occurs in Latin America, specifically Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead) in Mexico. The festival …

14
Oct

Cultural Agility – It’s a Process

In survey after survey, business leaders (CEO’s, CHRO’s, and Directors of Mobility) identify that there is an urgency to search aggressively for competent cross-cultural business professionals. Why is it that some leaders seem to be so much more effective working cross-culturally than others? Paula Caliguiri helps us understand that cultural agility is a key indicator …

8
Oct

Why Can’t You Read My Mind?

Wouldn’t communicating across cultural divides be easier if we were like the character in Star Trek, Dr. Spock, and had the ability to mind meld and read other’s thoughts? The art of communicating goes well beyond the actual words spoken as is seen in the gap between Individualistic and Collectivist cultures. This gap was difficult …

17
Sep

Making the Case for Cross-Cultural Training and Coaching

Success in an overseas work assignment or the ability to drive business performance in others who differ culturally is directly correlated to having higher levels of cultural awareness, whether one has “boots on the ground” or is working virtually. Today we have a radically different world than ten years ago. Today’s marketplace can be defined …

25
Aug

Asia’s Ghost Festivals

  The Ghost Festival is a traditional Buddhist and Taoist festival held in many Asian countries. Taiwan is celebrating the Ghost Festival on Friday, August 28th, though in some countries the date is different. Traditionally, locals believed that ghosts haunt the island of Taiwan for the entire seventh lunar month, when the mid-summer Ghost Festival …

6
Aug

Singapore Turns 50

Singapore is 50 years old! In just 50 years, this city-state has gone from swamp land to skyscrapers, and its booming economic structure has created one of the world’s wealthiest populations. In such a short time, and without having natural resources, Singapore has become a worldwide business center that has brought many expats into the …

17
Jul

Cultural Brief: Bastille Day

This past Tuesday was Bastille Day, a French holiday celebrating the country’s independence. The French National Day is celebrated on July 14 and is celebrated to commemorate the storming of the Bastille prison in 1789, which helped spark the French Revolution. This was the culmination in Paris of a violent revolution that had begun two …

9
Jul

A Cultural Adrenaline Rush: Spain’s Running of the Bulls

This week the annual Running of the Bulls took place in Pamplona, Spain. Every year from the 6th to the 14th of July the fiestas of San Fermin are celebrated in Pamplona. These fiestas are celebrated in honor of San Fermin, a patron saint of Navarra, the region of Spain where Pamplona is located. Though …

25
Jun

Kids & Culture: Empowered Skateboarders in Afghanistan

The joyous activities that many people experience from recreational sports such as rollerblading and biking are often taken for granted. In Afghanistan, however, there has been a recent emergence of skateboarders, typically females. Afghanistan inhibits a very traditional culture where women often stay within the home. In fact, often, Afghan girls are restricted from participating …

17
Jun

Ramadan Kareem

The world rotates around a variety of calendars: most people follow the Gregorian calendar which is used widely throughout the continents; the Chinese follow their own lunisolar calendar, while Jewish people follow a calendar that shares similarities with the Chinese one. Meanwhile, Muslims follow the Islamic calendar. Within this calendar, a variety of events occur, …

11
Jun

Singapore: An Expat Utopia

Singapore is considered by many to be an expat metropolis. Companies from all around the world are sending their employees to Singapore, where four main ethnicities (Chinese, Malay, Indian, and Eurasian) co-exist in tropical tolerance. A large community of foreigners lives and raises their children in the country without fear of crime or even impolite …

20
May

Kids & Culture: End of School Celebrations in Eastern Europe and Russia

As schools across the USA prepare for the summer break, schools in several Eastern European nations and Russia are also celebrating end of year festivities. The end of year celebration is known as последний звонок (posledni svonok) or last bell. Traditionally during this ceremony, boys wear suits or formal attire, while girls wear the traditional school …

8
May

Tricks for Mastering a Foreign Language

Most people would agree that one of the most visible elements of culture is language.  Language barriers can be a major hurdle for expats taking on new assignments and for companies working with overseas partners and customers.  In either of these situations, mastery of a common language is often the first thing people notice.  For expats, …

27
Apr

Happy King’s Day!

King’s Day in the Netherlands is known as the biggest street party of the year.  City streets and squares become a sea of orange as most citizens wear the national color in celebration.  The name of the holiday changes depending on whether a king or queen is ruling and the day is a celebration of the …

17
Apr

Personality Traits Critical to Expat Success

  The majority of expats face difficulties in their new surroundings. A recent poll shows that the top three personality traits that lead to successful expat assignments are: flexibility, sense of humor, and resiliency. While some of these characteristics may seem obvious, putting them into practice can be challenging. Flexibility is needed when dealing with …

1
Apr

Language Differences between British and American English

Culture may seem like a very visual concept, with emphasis often put on clothing, food, or historical landmarks, but culture goes much deeper than this. One way culture breaks through the barrier into the intangible is through language. Because the United States of America and England both speak English, many would assume that the cultures …

Page 2 of 4