• Phone+44 01963 232530 or +1 (818) 532-6908

A Home for Culture Vultures

Why Merging Cultures is Crucial for Merging Companies

merging-culture

As a company, it is never easy to unify an existing business with a newly acquired one through a merger or aquisition.

In fact, a study by Isaac Dixon, "Culture Management and Mergers and Acquisitions," showed that cultural differences were at the heart of 30% failed mergers and aquisitions. 

Continue reading
  11557 Hits

Is Anglo-Indian Culture Fading into Oblivion?

indian-women-in-red

Even though modern-day society seems to become more intercultural every year, the opposite is true for the Anglo-Indian community where Western traditions and appearances meet those of the Indian subcontinent.

The BBC recently looked at the fate of the Ango-Indian culture which offers a fascinating insight into this little known group.

Continue reading
  15128 Hits

Cultural Differences and Christmas Decorations

Cultural Differences and Christmas Decorations

We are all familiar with traditional Christmas decorations.

The Christmas trees, mistletoe and other red, gold and green ornaments.

Continue reading
  15087 Hits

Cultural Training will Not Solve Racism in Football

racism-is-a-pandemic

It's 2021 and racism is still continues to rear it's ugly head in football. 

From comdemnation, to campaigns and zero tolerance in the stadiums, the FA is facing an unrelenting struggle.

Continue reading
  8970 Hits

Civil Engineer Helps Construction Industry Go Global

construction-workers-dusk

Ever thought of going global in the design and construction world?

You might run into problems you didn’t expect to occur.

Continue reading
  8988 Hits

What are Some Examples of Different Christmas Celebrations Around the World?

What are Some Examples of Different Christmas Celebrations Around the World?

In many Western cultures, the Christmas celebrations are more or less the same or thereabouts.

The family gathers on Christmas Eve, a Christmas mass is possibly attended and presents are unwrapped.

Continue reading
  16308 Hits

Afghan Jokes on Cultural Differences

happy-afghan-girl

You wouldn't think war would bring out a people's sense of humour but, in Afghanistan, the cross-cultural interaction between locals and troops actually became the subject for of some very funny stories.

When a country is involved in a war, humour is usually miles away.

Continue reading
  13577 Hits

Cyber Monday and Other Cultural Celebrations in December

december-sales

Cyber Monday isn't the only part of December celebrations.

There are some fantastic celebrations taking place in other cultures and countries which are not widely known, but still deserve online retailers' attention.

Continue reading
  10410 Hits

Gary Lineker, the Prostrating Muslim Footballers and Cultural Sensitivity

footballers-sajda

Gary Lineker is facing criticism for his live comments on Al Jazeera that were seen to be offensive to Muslims.

You can hear what he said in the video below.

Continue reading
  15790 Hits

HR Directors, Basil Fawlty and Cultural Training

basilfawlty-graffiti

Some recent findings by The London School of English show language and cultural training are still not getting the attention they deserve within companies today.

In fact, the spirit of Basil Fawlty seems to live on within some British businesses!

Despite the Government pinning hopes on UK PLC exporting, it brings into question whether UK companies are thinking globally and making the effort to understand their target cultures, or whether they are instead relying on the rest of the world to think and act like them?

The findings suggest that, "UK-based businesses could be risking international growth by failing to invest in cross-cultural and communications training."

The results spwan from research carried out that questioned 100 HR directors on their attitudes towards communication skills and their approach to training.

These centenary research results show a shocking lacking of regard for our international business partners,” says Timothy Blake, Chief Executive of the London School of English. “The Brits may be reluctant to learn other languages, but this research suggests that we are not even prepared to invest in understanding the cultures they work with."

Headline findings in the report include:

•    98% of HR Directors believed their non-native English speakers should communicate effectively in English.
•    Although 67% of those questioned believed that it was “very important” for business people to have a good cultural understanding of their trading partners; only 23% would offer training.
•    Only 4% believed the “Basil Fawlty” approach of speaking “more loudly” would be effective in communicating with non-native English speakers.

Worrying stuff isnt it?

Continue reading
  6498 Hits

New Zealand teachers to improve knowledge of Maori culture

maori-statue

New Zealand Education Minster, Pita Sharples, has launched a new initiative ‘Tataiako’ that aims to help teachers to improve their understanding of Maori culture.

The resource, which acts as a set of guidelines, enables teachers to reflect on their past cultural sensitivity, to assess their existing knowledge,  and also to take responsibility for improving their cultural awareness for the future.

The important aspect of this particular programme is that it looks to establish a long-term reflexive attitude within the teaching commuity. The stress is not to enforce rules or test teachers, but instead to encourage them to contemplate upon their own experiences and behaviour throughout their careers.

New Zealand is popular with tourists from all over the world and is famous for accommodating and welcoming their needs. However, as with every country, it is vital that it considers the cultural integration of its own citizens before true pluralism can be achieved. It is not about a short-term activity-based integration or homogenizing of migrant communities, it is about the existing people of New Zealand having respect for the cultures of their own islands.

“Engaging in respectful working relationships with Maori students and their families” (quoted from: New Zealand news platform ‘Stuff’) is a key point taken from the new guidelines. It extends from the classroom discussion and integrity of cultural awareness to broader social integration of different communities within New Zealand (school) life. A further three guidelines outline “sincerity and respect towards Maori beliefs, language and culture”, taking responsibility for the learning of Maori students and the deliberate recognition of Maori student’s heritage as the core competancies for teachers to work for.

The main need is to understand the importance of identity to Maori students and their communities. Without understanding the unique perspectives of these children and young adults, you cannot fully engage in understanding how school and learning can and will come across to them.

Statistical evidence over the past decade has shown that students from a Maori background are falling behind those children from other ethnic groups. Improving cultural awareness will not only improve the continuity of Maori childrens’ lives, but will also make it easier for communication to exist between schools and Maori communities on the issue of education.

Finally, from the development of more culturally aware and skillful teachers should come the formulation a of more respectful, united and happy student population.

Continue reading
  6377 Hits

Culture and the Michigan Fish Test

fish-test-image

Stop! Before you read any further, and we explain the Michigan Fish Test, take a look at the picture for a few seconds.

Now look away and describe what you have just seen...

Continue reading
  7754 Hits

Is Australia Tolerant of Other Cultures?

aussie-zoo

In this blog, we give a synopsis of research carried out by the Challenging Racism Project.

As a cultural training company, this research is particularly interesting to us as it highlights the importance of cultural understanding in the battle against racism. 

Continue reading
  3596 Hits

Do you have to be ‘Cultured’ to Understand other Cultures?

pakistani0lady

Life in Britain is becoming more multi-cultural.

We hear this view from the media, the government and experts all the time. But what does this ‘culture’ for which we are diversifying actually mean?

Continue reading
  2615 Hits

The Middle East Unveiled: A Review

ME-unveiled-crop

As someone in the intercultural field, a Muslim and having spent many years living, working and travelling throughout the Arab world, I am always keen to scrutinize literature aimed at business professionals seeking to improve their knowledge of the region.

Donna Marsh’s “The Middle East Unveiled” is a recent edition to such literature.

Continue reading
  4692 Hits

What is a 'Third Culture Kid'?

third-culture-kid-on-beach

Gone are the days when extended families lived within a few miles of each other.

Ease of travel and global working have facilited a world in which children are increasingly likely to grow up in countries outside of their parent's passport cultures.

Continue reading
  4935 Hits

Why is China Becoming a Top Expat Destination?

shanghai-timelapse

The annual Global Relocation Trends report, from  Brookfield Global Relocation Services, reports that China is the top expat destination followed by the U.S., UK, Singapore and Switzerland. 

 China has some great advantages for inbound expats

Continue reading
  4358 Hits

Cross Culture Kids

cross-culture-kid

I recently attended the 11th annual Families in Global Transition (FIGT) conference – (an idea which was first planned at a kitchen table in Indianapolis). 

That kitchen table belonged to author and Cross-Culture Kid (CCK) expert, Ruth van Reken. The first conference attracted 80 delegates but this year's boasted over 200.

Continue reading
  4303 Hits