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Archives

27
Mar

How Do You Celebrate Birthdays?

When US Americans think of birthday celebrations, images of parties, cake, blowing out candles, and the Happy Birthday song comes to mind. For a baby’s first birthday, some parents will even get the birthday child a smash cake, which the baby with play with, and hopefully eat, smashing it to pieces in the process.  However, …

20
Mar

Persian New Year

Persian New Year (Nowruz) is upon us.  Today, March 20th, Persians will celebrate the New Year. Nowruz marks the first day of spring, the equinox, and the beginning of the year in the Persian calendar. Nowruz is celebrated by many different ethnic communities and religious backgrounds. Though it is a secular holiday, Zoroastrians hold it …

13
Mar

Breakfast Around the World

Experts say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Your first meal provides the nutrients and energy needed to start your day and function earlier in the morning. When traveling or moving abroad, it is important to realize that common breakfast foods in your host country may be greatly different than what …

4
Mar

Celebrating Spring in Slavic Cultures

While IHOP in the USA has national Pancake Day, people in Russia and the Ukraine celebrate a pancake week! Maslinitsa or Blini (Ма́сленица) are ultra-thin, slightly tart pancakes more akin to the French crepes or German blintz. The week-long pancake holiday, also known as Maslinitsa, is the oldest surviving Russian holiday. Evidence suggests it may …

26
Feb

China’s Newest Status Symbol

A recent article from BBC pointed out one of China’s latest social problems: etiquette. China has become one of the most powerful countries in the world. In a 30 year span, the country has moved from an isolated state to a powerhouse requiring more interaction with other cultures. China has also gained an incredible amount …

19
Feb

Cricket World Cup 2015

Cricket is a widely popular sport mostly associated with the UK and countries that were at some point under British rule.  This year, the Cricket World Cup includes some unlikely teams.  Afghanistan for one, a team made up of Afghanis and Pakistanis, made its debut onto the world stage this year.  While their fight is …

13
Feb

Chinese New Year 2015

This year the Chinese New Year, also called the Spring Festival, begins on February 19th.  It is the longest celebration on the Chinese calendar, and many consider it to be the most important holiday in China. The belief behind the holiday is that people born on the corresponding years of animals will take on some …

4
Feb

Let the Good Times Roll: Mardi Gras and Carnival Celebrations

Colorful celebrations are about to begin!  All around the world, countries are preparing for Carnival or Mardi-Gras.  This period before Lent has turned into a spectacular event, with a week or month-long celebrations in some parts of the world.  Carnival refers to the period of feasting and fun that begins on January 6th, the Feast …

28
Jan

Do You Want to Build a Snowman?

With “snowpocalypse” and snowstorm Juno wrapping up in the Northeastern US, people are finding creative uses for their snow. Many build snowmen or form ramps to go sledding, skiing, or snowboarding on, or simply use the snow as an extra cooler and place anything from meat to alcohol in the packed snow. Around the world, people …

22
Jan

Fasting Around the World

It is almost February, which means that Mardi Gras is just around the corner!  After all the Mardi Gras festivities, the season of Lent will begin, and many around the world will adjust their normal diet for religious reasons.  During the season of Lent, Christians, specifically, Catholics, give up a certain food or practice fasting.  …

14
Jan

Repatriation: Common Challenges and How to Overcome Them

Everyone expects expats to have an adjustment period when moving to a new host country, but what about when they return home?  Most expatriates underestimate the potential challenges to readjusting to life in their home country after an international assignment.  However, studies have shown that repatriation is often the most challenging phase of an expatriate …

7
Jan

“Culture” is 2014’s Word of the Year

Cul•ture noun ˈkəl-chər : the beliefs, customs, arts, etc., of a particular society, group, place, or time : a particular society that has its own beliefs, ways of life, art, etc. : a way of thinking, behaving, or working that exists in a place or organization (such as a business) Last month, dictionary giant Merriam-Webster …

30
Dec

New Year’s Traditions in Russia

For many countries, the majority of winter holidays have passed, but this is not the case in Russia!  In fact, Russian New Year’s Eve trumps Christmas in importance, with significant celebrations occurring all over the country in recognition of the holiday.  There are actually two New Year’s holidays celebrated in Russia.  Russia’s “Old” New Year …

23
Dec

Holiday Traditions Around the World: Part 3 – Sweden

In our last installment of Holiday Traditions Around the World, we will uncover traditions of the St. Lucia holiday in Sweden.  We at Cultural Awareness International thank you for following this series and wish you and yours a very happy holiday season! St. Lucia’s Day in Sweden The Swedish Christmas season begins each year with …

17
Dec

Holiday Traditions Around the World: Part 2 – Ethiopia

Timkat in Ethiopia Each January, the remote city of Gondar is inundated with pilgrims during the religious festival of Timkat, the Ethiopian Orthodox celebration of Epiphany. One of the most important holidays of the year, Timkat is a two-day festival beginning on January 19th that celebrates the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River. On …

29
Aug

Qahwah, Anyone?

A recent museum opening in Dubai seeks to combine our favorite things here at CAI, coffee and culture. Khalid Al Mulla, a Dubai-based coffee trader, is the founder and curator of the Middle East’s very first coffee museum, the Dubai Coffee Museum, now open to tourists and coffee enthusiasts alike. Ever since being cultivated in …

9
Jul

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

In 2008, when the US housing bubble burst, the effects were felt worldwide. Banks collapsed, economies went into a tailspin and too many people lost their homes. As the real estate market saw housing prices plummet, the relocation industry had to reevaluate many practices revolving around home sale for assignees. Effective January 2014, the Consumer …

3
Jul

The US Global Entry Program

Traveling internationally is perceived as glamorous or adventurous.  Coming home, not so much.   Fatigue and over exposure to confined spaces can leave the best of us looking like our passport photo.  After a long trip, the long lines one encounters in the Customs department can sap the glamour out of traveling.  Recently, however, the US …

22
May

Military Coup in Thailand

Relocating internationally has many challenges for an assignee and any accompanying family members.  From housing and utilities to understanding local values and customs, these problems can seem insurmountable at times.  For assignees going to and already in Thailand, this process just got a lot more complicated. Effective 4:30 pm on May 22, the Royal Thai …

20
May

2014 World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development

In the great words of Dr. Seuss’ Butter Battle Book “And the things that you’ve heard about Zooks are all true. The terribly, horrible thing that they do, and in every Zook house and in every Zook town every Zook eats his bread with the butter side down. But we Yooks, when we eat, when …

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