The Blog for Culture Vultures

Satiate your inner Culture Vulture with regular news and posts about cultural awareness, doing business abroad, working in a multicultural environment, HR diversity and global mobility.

Quirky Cultural Facts About The US of A

Quirky Cultural Facts About The US of A

We spend most of our time at Commisceo working on serious cultural stuff, such as, how to negotiate successfully with the Americans, or, how to give good service to American customers.

Every so often however, we feel that need to go off at a tangent and indulge in some of the quirkier aspects of culture!

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Thai Culture and the Royal Family

Thai Culture and the Royal Family

Love for the royal family is deeply ingrained in Thai culture.

You can’t help but see pictures of the recently deceased King and his newly appointed son wherever you go in Thailand.

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Japanese Cultural Values and their Influence on Business

Japanese Cultural Values and their Influence on Business

Values are a useful way of trying to understand another culture.

It is often a combination of the values held close by a culture that shape and drive much of their beliefs and behaviours.

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Stereotypes & Bias in Cultural Competence Training

Stereotypes & Bias in Cultural Competence Training

Essential to any sort of cultural awareness training are the two key concepts of stereotypes and bias.

As we touched on in an earlier blog, a common trap many of us naturally fall into when we are working in cross-cultural situation is to let our own cultural lens get in the way.

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Honour, Face & Shame in Arab Culture

Honour, Face & Shame in Arab Culture

Doing business in the Middle East? Then you need to understand the role of honour in the Arab world.

The concept of personal dignity, honour and protecting one’s reputation is very important in the Middle East.

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Why is Cultural Competence Important in Training?

Why is Cultural Competence Important in Training?

Why do we focus on culture in corporate training? Is it really all that important?

Understanding the role culture plays in our lives is very important.

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Understanding the Arab Middle East - Identity, Roots and Values

Understanding the Arab Middle East - Identity, Roots and Values

As with any people, the Arabs look to the past for their sense of identity.

Arab history is tied to tribalism and the nomadic life of the desert. Although in most places the nomadic lifestyle has all but disappeared, the influence of the desert and especially the importance of tribal identity are still prominent today.

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Why is Cultural Awareness Important?

Why is Cultural Awareness Important?

Why focus on culture?

When working across different cultures it's critical that you understand the rules and cultural expectations of others.

If you don't, you can make mistakes. These mistakes can be harmless, or, they can also be very serious. We'll look at some examples below. 

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The Importance of Apologies in Japanese Culture

The Importance of Apologies in Japanese Culture

Did you know the Japanese have over 20 ways to say 'sorry'?

If you plan to do business in Japan, you need to get up to speed with how apologies work in Japanese culture.

The BBC recently published a great little artice that examines the Japanese culture of apologies and politeness on the island nation.

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Is Cultural Awareness a Skill?

Is Cultural Awareness a Skill?

A common misconception held by many is that cultural awareness is a skill you either have or you don't have, or, at the very least, is a skill that can be learned through training.

Well, this simply is not true.

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French Waiter Cites Cultural Differences for Being Rude

French Waiter Cites Cultural Differences for Being Rude

Guillaume Rey, a French waiter, was sacked from his job in a Canadian restaurant for being ‘aggressive, rude and disrespectful’

Upset by the sacking Rey believes his employees simply did not understand French culture. A complaint was filed
his previous employer, Vancouver restaurant on Canada’s Pacific coast, under British Columbia’s Human Rights Tribunal in which the waiter claiming  “discrimination against my culture”.

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Cross Cultural Training Tips to Launch Your International Sales

Cross Cultural Training Tips to Launch Your International Sales

Do you want to sell your products or services internationally? Global sales are important for businesses looking to expand their client base, increase revenues or attract investment.

As many who work in international sales can attest to, finding and bringing in sales can be tough but also very rewarding...when you get it right.

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Cross Cultural Training Vital When Relocating to Asia

Cross Cultural Training Vital When Relocating to Asia

As 2017 draws to a close, expectations that Asia will overtake the US as the largest global consumer market in the next couple of decades, are becoming increasingly credible.

The Asian Development Bank reported in 2017 that growth prospects for Asia are continuing to strengthen following economic expansion of 5.9% in 2017 and anticipated expansion of 5.8% in 2018. 

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Understanding Diversity is Key to Doing Better Business in Brazil

Understanding Diversity is Key to Doing Better Business in Brazil

Doing Business in Brazil?  
A ‘One Size fits All’ approach will sink your ship in Brazil.  Here’s why….

With the largest economy in Latin America and the seventh largest economy in the world, there is every reason why companies and investors have their eye closely set on Brazil.

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Relocating to Japan? 3 Great Videos That Introduce Japanese Culture

Relocating to Japan? 3 Great Videos That Introduce Japanese Culture

Relocating to a foreign country for work is a big deal. New home, new language and new culture! There is a lot to get your head around.

Without doubt Japan is one of those countries that, culturally speaking, does cause confusion for the foreigner.

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Globalization is Not Killing Our Cultures Finds New Research

Globalization is Not Killing Our Cultures Finds New Research

For some, globalization is dangerous for cultural diversity. 

The fear of cultural dilution and being imposed upon by a foreign, sometimes corporate, culture drives many people to deduce that the global economy is doing us more harm than good.

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How to Avoid Cultural Appropriation & Promote Cultural Awareness Instead

How to Avoid Cultural Appropriation & Promote Cultural Awareness Instead

Once upon a time cultural appropriation was something theorised and discussed solely at universities.

Now, due to our globalized, interconnected, social media fuelled world, the use (or in this case, misuse) of another’s cultural property can turn into big news.

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10 Very Cool Facts About South Korean Culture

10 Very Cool Facts About South Korean Culture

Discover some of the more unknown aspects of South Korean culture and society!

At Commisceo Global, we know South Korea is hot stuff!

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Stereotype-Busting Documentary Reveals Hidden Afghan Culture

Stereotype-Busting Documentary Reveals Hidden Afghan Culture

Girls dressing as boys is a hidden Afghan cultural tradition; not encouraged, yet, equally not taboo. 

Watching an excellent RT documentary last night, I was introduced to the incredible world of the ‘Bacha Posh(Persian: بچه پوش‎‎, literally "dressed up as a boy").

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Killing Your Family: Why Kim Jung-'s Cultural Taboo Might Spell the End of North Korea

Killing Your Family: Why Kim Jung-'s Cultural Taboo Might Spell the End of North Korea

Executing your uncle is not a great move in any culture.  When Kim Jung-Un accused his uncle and former second in command of being ‘anti party’ and ‘political scum’, most of our global family – regardless of culture, would likely have considered sacking his uncle (and perhaps imprisonment) as an appropriate outcome. 

Having him killed by firing squad though, made even the hardiest of us wince.

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