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The Home of Blogs for Culture Vultures

Honour, Face & Shame in Arab Culture

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Doing business in the Middle East?

Then you need to understand the role of honour in the Arab world.

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Why is Cultural Competence Important in Training?

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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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Japanese Culture and the Art of Words

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If you're doing business in Japan or working with the Japanese culture, it's crucial to get your head around some key language phrases.

The Japanese have a way of using words to beautify their communication.

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Why is the Issue of Discrimination so Important for Expatriate Staff?

Why is the Issue of Discrimination so Important for Expatriate Staff?

Global Mobility staff are routinely faced with complex challenges when it comes to effectively managing relocation assignments. The fact that not all countries promote equality and respect for human rights to the same degree being one of them. 

Although demanding, the complexities don’t stop at matters such as contractual amendments, cost of living and bridging loan calculations.

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The Cultural Lens

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Self-awareness is fundamental in raising cultural competence.

If you are unable to understand yourself, it will be very difficult to understand another.

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Understanding the Arab Middle East - Identity, Culture and Values

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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.

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Why is Cultural Awareness Important?

Why is Cultural Awareness Important?

Why focus on 'culture' in the workplace?

Why do we need to look at 'culture' specifically?

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The Importance of Apologies in Japanese Culture

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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.

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Is Cultural Awareness a Skill?

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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.

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Ramadan - Why are your Muslim colleagues are fasting and how can you support them?

Ramadan - Why are your Muslim colleagues are fasting and how can you support them?

For those of us working in multicultural environments, it’s fair to say that our colleagues may ocassionally observe traditions which we aren’t familiar with. Ramadan is one such occasion.

In the same way that non Muslims may avoid asking questions for fear of intrusion, Muslims may equally avoid going into too much detail about Ramadan for fear of their colleagues not being interested.

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Dubai First Gov Games - a Great Lesson in Driving Cultural Diversity

Dubai First Gov Games - a Great Lesson in Driving Cultural Diversity

With over 7 million of its 9 million population classed as non-Emirati, the UAE has become an incredible melting point of cultures and nationalities.

Owing to Dubai’s relatively relaxed attitude and job opportunities, the majority of these expats reside in Dubai itself. Of these expats, South East Asians make up the largest proportion with approximately 8% of Westerners making up the smaller portion.

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Israeli Chef Makes Etiquette Blunder with Dish Served to Japanese PM

Israeli Chef Makes Etiquette Blunder with Dish Served to Japanese PM

During a two-day visit to Israel last week, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attended a meal created and served by celebrity chef Moshe Segev at Israeli PM Netenyahyus residence.

All was going well, and the meal proved to be outstanding until desert arrived, rather curiously, in a metal decorative shoe.

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Fighting Witchcraft in Saudi Arabia

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For many Western cultures, witches are an innocuous subject.

Long gone are the days where innocent women were dragged from their homes to be burned at the stake.

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Gift Giving Etiquette in the Middle East

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The giving and receiving of gifts is an important part of professional and personal life in the Middle East.

Closely tied up with the need to maintain relationships and as a way of gaining and giving face, gift giving bonds people together.

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French Waiter Cites Cultural Differences for Being Rude

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The following incident provides a great case study for the influence of cultural differences.

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

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Why Translators & Interpreters Should Consider a Career in Cross-Cultural Training

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Freelance linguists often complain of isolation, monotony and increasing competition within the profession.

Those looking for something new should consider cross cultural training as it naturally lends itself to the talent of translators and linguists.

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Cross Cultural Training Essential for Foreign-Bound Personnel

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Ignorance Is No Excuse and Can Land You in Jail

In light of the story of the British woman jailed for smuggling painkillers into Egypt, Punter Southall Health & Protection have warned companies sending personnel abroad that it is their "duty of care to ensure employees understand the legislation and cultural differences of that country."

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Does Living in a Multicultural Environment Give You Cross Cultural Skills?

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As cross-cultural training specialists, we sometimes come across resistance from delegates who have been obligated to attend a cultural awareness session by their boss, HR or the Learning and Development department.

Resistance may stem from many factors, not least of which may be that the benefits and background to the training course have not been fully communicated.

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Cross Cultural Training Tips for International Sales

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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.

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Culture is an Essential Consideration for Global Training Roll Outs

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In a global market place, companies are increasingly rolling out training courses across international offices with the intention of providing consistent and homogenised messages to all their staff – regardless of location.

There is sometimes little, if any thought, given to whether the materials will be well received by the recipient international office.

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