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3
May

4 Things to Keep in Mind when Visiting a Muslim Country during Ramadan

Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, is the month of the revelation of the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad.  Muslims all over the world fast from dawn to sunset during this month in adherence to one of the Five Pillars of Islam (sawm). Ramadan officially begins after the visual confirmation of the crescent …

18
Apr

Holy Week around the World

Holy Week is a time when Christians around the world celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday and marks Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem before his crucifixion. Palm Sunday is often celebrated with a parade and procession of palm fronds that symbolize those laid at …

5
Feb

“Chunyun”: China’s Annual Mass Migration

Springtime is swiftly approaching and the Lunar New Year has arrived! Chinese New Year follows the Lunar calendar. This means that while the exact date changes every year, the New Year day typically falls between mid-January and mid-February. This year Chinese New Year, celebrating the year of the Earth Pig, falls on February 5th and …

16
Nov

Giving Thanks in North America

Each passing year brings its share of experiences, growth, and change. One constant in our lives remains: the holidays we celebrate and the traditions that surround them.  Our holidays affect us in a personal way, linking us to family and close friends. Passing seasons evoke memories and instill in us an appreciation for our culture and a desire …

18
Sep

History and Culture Tango in a Cup of Yerba Mate

Yerba mate tea is much more than the latest craze touted by health aficionados, which there are many. Conveniently packaged in tea bags, cans, and bottles, and now commonly sold in a variety of shops, mate has hit the mainstream. Nevertheless, what exactly is yerba mate? Moreover, what cultural meaning does it have? Like coffee …

8
Sep

Greetings Matter: Handshakes Are Not Always Acceptable

We do it all the time; we meet new people at work, school, conferences, social mixers, and beyond. We offer our hands, close our grip briefly, and then let go. For many of us, handshakes are the only way we know to greet someone. It is taught and reinforced time and again. Handshakes, therefore, are …

18
Aug

Why A Global Mindset Is Essential

According to the Harvard Business Review, a Global Mindset comprises three components: Intellectual capital: Global business savvy, cognitive complexity, cosmopolitan outlook Psychological capital: Passion for diversity, a quest for adventure, self-assurance Social capital: Intercultural empathy, interpersonal impact, diplomacy Forward-thinking executives across industries understand the need to create polycultural understanding to prosper in international business. Leaders …

14
Aug

Idioms: A linguistic Journey Across Cultures

Idiomatic expressions are curious in their function within language as they mean more than what each word denotes. Even if idioms are metaphorical and figurative, once understood they serve as a palpable and distinct feature of any language. They allow the speaker to express themselves, articulating certain sentiments without explicitly saying so. Furthermore, they offer …

4
Aug

The Quirks of Shopping as an Expat

Suddenly, on your way home, you remember that you need some cashew milk, eggs, poppy seed bagels, and your favorite locally brewed IPA. You swing by your neighborhood store, grab a basket, head to your designated aisles, and check yourself out in under 10 minutes. Easy, simple, done. Now imagine you recently moved abroad to …

19
Jul

China: Expats’ Family Matters

China is a very interesting country but for most transitioning employees it is a hard country to live and work in.  An executive’s success does not only depend on how well adjusted he or she is in the new environment but also how well adjusted his or her family is.  According to Betsy Neidel, a …

1
Jun

Saudi Arabia in the Spotlight

This week CAI brings you a special post with information on the Middle East from a renowned cultural expert, Grace Edwards, who has allowed us to share her expertise. Grace Edwards is a Western businesswoman, cross-cultural consultant, and author with decades of experience in Saudi Arabia and through the Middle East. Grace reveals that the …

13
Apr

Holy Week and Easter around the World

This is Holy Week – a time when Christians around the world celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Holy Week always takes place the week before Easter, but does not include Easter itself. Across the world, people will celebrate in different ways. Some have fasted from certain aspects of …

6
Apr

Say “Yes” to that Expat Opportunity

We are living in an age where, globally, people are far more equipped and educated than they have ever been in the past. Information is literally at our fingertips through various forms of technology, and the speed at which we are able to accomplish tasks and succeed at our goals is ever-increasing. However, the job …

17
Mar

Culture Shock – How to Deal

This week’s blog post comes from our Senior Intercultural Facilitator Ruth Friedman.  Ms. Friedman grew up in London, spent a year living, working, and travelling in the United States, and has now been living and working in Belgium since 2004.  She specializes in the fields of cross-cultural and intercultural trainings, non-discrimination, and personal and career development. Ms. Friedman is …

1
Mar

5 Signs you Need Cross Cultural Training

Many of us have traveled abroad and been both amazed and perhaps a bit confused by the experience. Now imagine turning your week long vacation into months or years. Imagine no longer being a tourist in a foreign country, but an active member working and overcoming challenges daily both in and out of the workplace. …

7
Feb

East Can Meet West through Cultural Training

There’s no question that the way a person views the world and functions, both in day-to-day life and in business, is built on the foundation of their native culture. Some might say there are no two cultures more different than those of a primarily Western mindset vs. an Eastern mindset. Take a moment to complete …

9
Dec

Coming Home: 3 Perspectives to Keep in Mind for the Expat Holiday

As the holidays are fast approaching, many expats across the world are gearing up for vacation, with many of them planning trips home. For some, “home” can mean a variety of things and can seem a bit arbitrary, depending on how long an assignment abroad has been and what culture one relates to more.  A …

28
Oct

Globetrotting, Meal-Hopping, and the Wonders of a Taste Bud.

"Food is a central activity of mankind and one of the single most significant trademarks of a culture." –Mark Kurlansky It’s safe to assume we all know food is different when you go abroad. Whether a staple dish is a burrito, chicken feet, or a smörgås, you know not to expect to find everything you ...
14
Oct

A Time of Thanksgiving

Continuing our theme from last week of seasonal holidays, one cannot ignore the time of thanks that is given in North America. Both Canada and the United States celebrate Thanksgiving – however the similarities and differences are of equal length. For instance, both holidays originated from a historical and religious background – Being thankful for …

30
Sep

Time and Culture: Your Perspective Matters

24 hours in a day, 24 time zones, a million different interpretations of what this actually means. Timing is everything, particularly in business, and depending on where you are, the concept can have a very different ebb and flow. This difference in time, or rather, the perspective can greatly influence one’s perception of a culture …

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