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Category Cultural Education

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, …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

13
May

FIFA: Bridging Cultures and Uniting People

In less than one month, Brazil will be hosting the World Cup.  Much has been in the news regarding the event and the internal tensions it has created in Brazil.  With so much stress and negative media attention, why would a country want to host the competition?  Why is it so important? Football, also known …

6
May

Why Do We Celebrate Cinco de Mayo

Yesterday was Cinco de Mayo, a festive celebration held in many regions around the globe.  Mistaken by many outside of Mexico to be Mexico’s Independence Day, it is actually a day to commemorate the military victory at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862 (an underdog’s story of a people’s struggle to remain independent).  …

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 …

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 …

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