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.

‘Foreigners’: Tebbit's Language is a Dying Relic of the Past

‘Foreigners’: Tebbit's Language is a Dying Relic of the Past

Seriously, who uses the word ‘foreigners’ as a brush reference to the diverse nationalities living in and beyond the borders of the UK? This word surely is a relic? Something from the past? 

Sitting on my perch last night in my normal nightly semi-comatose state after a hard day's work in front of the TV,  I was aroused from my stupor by the following reaction of Norman Tebbit when discussing the right of EU nationals to remain in the UK post Brexit:

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Hyatt Join the Battle for Cultural Diversity with New Marketing Campaign

Hyatt Join the Battle for Cultural Diversity with New Marketing Campaign

I recently penned some musings about the privitization of cultural diversity in a blog post; the central theme being that politics and politicians don't know how to handle the boiling hot potato that is multiculturalism. The result, I predict, will be the private sector championing cultural diversity and multiculturalism with the politicians glady handing responsibility over.

To summarise the blog, I believe the private sector see the failings of politicians to positively engage and counteract the harmful anti-difference agenda as bad for business.

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Is Unconscious Bias Holding Back Business Growth?

Is Unconscious Bias Holding Back Business Growth?

One of my colleagues recently caused a rather difficult situation when he unwittingly fell victim to his unconscious bias.

My colleague and I were talking to a client regarding the need for intercultural leadership training for their CEO based in the Middle East.

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How Diversity and Social Cohesion are Being Privatized by Politicians

How Diversity and Social Cohesion are Being Privatized by Politicians

With the final nails being beaten into the coffin of multiculturalism and politicians seemingly unable to grapple with its complexities, will we see the private sector taking ownership?

I think most people would agree that 2016 was full-on in terms of major events that are shaping our world. Some shook the world and will continue to do so in the coming years.   

Although there is much to be concerned about in the future, whether it’s the environment or the economy, one area that particularly worries me is the rise in xenophobia, the subtle racism that has bled into our media outlets and politics and the backlash against multiculturalism.

The voices grow louder and more confident daily…begging the question, who is doing what to counter this? Some elements of the media seem unfettered in the blatant divisiveness.

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Love Skittles

Love Skittles

Trump Jnr's Skittles meme is a stupid, irrational argument based on nothing but fear, ignorance and racist politics.

So Trump Jnr, son of the man who plans to make America great again, has come out and likened Syrian refugees to poisoned Skittles.

This blog could launch into a tirade of abuse and arguments against Trump Jnr and his father, however we want to make a simple point to those who may see sense in his line of argument.

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Why Norway's Cultural Training for Immigrants Left me Cringing

Why Norway's Cultural Training for Immigrants Left me Cringing

Cultural Training that Does More Damage than Good?

As part of an effort to help immigrants settle into life in Norway, cultural awareness courses have been made compulsory.

Watching some of the footage of the content in a short video piece on The Guardian website left me cringing - it really exposed a rather shallow approach to cultural understanding in many senses.

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Awesome Online Database of Cultural Differences

Awesome Online Database of Cultural Differences

Culture-Geeks Will Love This!

I’ve recently come across a totally awesome database – it’s a treasure trove of statistical information about cultures, societies, language, places and environments; something I thought I had to share with my fellow culture vultures.

What am I talking about?

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Cultural Awareness in the Multicultural workplace

Cultural Awareness in the Multicultural workplace

"Understand the differences; act on the commonalities." - Andrew Masondo, African National Congress

The nature of our workplaces has changed. We have moved away from the monochromic make-up of our offices to one that is now coloured by team members from all over the world. With this new multicultural make-up come differences in cultures which in turn bring differences in areas such as communication styles, approach to time, managerial styles and a plethora of other cross cultural differences.

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How Culture Impacts Job Interviews

How Culture Impacts Job Interviews

At this moment in time, the increase in cross border human traffic has meant that companies are no longer dealing with a homogenous native community from which they recruit their staff.

Companies are now facing cross cultural challenges in how they recruit, manage and develop a multi-cultural staff base.

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A Brief Introduction to Zoroastrianism

A Brief Introduction to Zoroastrianism

Zoroastrianism is one the oldest religions in the world.

It is definitely one of the first monotheist religions. It was founded by Zoroaster and it believes in one God, Ahura Mazda.

There are very few Zoroastrians in the world today but it still holds an important place. A large part of their population is divided between Iran and India. The Zoroastrians living in India are called Parsis.

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A Brief Introduction to Sikhism

A Brief Introduction to Sikhism

Background and Information

Sikhism was founded in the 16th century in the Punjab, India.

The Sikh religion was established around 500 years ago by Guru Nanak Dev Ji, who promulgated a message of devotion and emphasised the importance of remembering God at all times. Sikh means ‘disciple’, therefore Sikhs are seen as the disciples of God who follow the teachings within the Guru Granth Sahib (Sikh holy book).

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A Brief Introduction to Shinto

A Brief Introduction to Shinto

Shinto is regarded as the religion indigenous to Japan and is thought to predate all reliable historical records.

Literally translated the word 'Shinto' is composed of two words from the original Chinese Shêntao: 'shin' meaning gods or spirits and 'to' meaning the philosophical way or path.

Shinto has no fixed dogma, moral precepts or sacred scriptures but many shrines ('jinja') around the country which have often been bases of power with ties to Imperial and Shogunal rule throughout the ages.

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A Brief Introduction to Rastafarianism

A Brief Introduction to Rastafarianism

Rastafarianism is a religious movement born out of the black slums of Jamaica which harnessed the teachings of the Jamaican born black nationalist, Marcus Garvey and conditionally uses selective Old Testament Christian writings to support its teachings and practices.

Born in 1887, Garvey’s influence on the poor black slave descendants in Jamaica came to its peak in the 1920’s where his message of encouragement and calling on black people to take pride in themselves won some fanatical supporters. Although historically Marcus Garvey was a political leader interested in making the black race economically equal with the white, in oral tradition he has become a divinely anointed prophet.

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A Brief Introduction to Judaism

A Brief Introduction to Judaism

Judaism is the religion commonly linked to Jewish people.

It is based on the principles contained in the Hebrew Bible, the Tanakh, which are expanded and explained in the Talmud.

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A Brief Introduction to Jainism

A Brief Introduction to Jainism

Jainism is an ancient religion, which originates from Eastern India.

Its advent in the 6th century BC was expected as many people were beginning to oppose the hierarchical organisation and formalised rituals of Hinduism, the dominant religion in India.

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A Brief Introduction to Islam

A Brief Introduction to Islam

The word 'Islam' means submission to Allah’s will; a Muslim is one who submits to Allah’s will and is at peace.

Islam is a simple religion although from the outside it can sometimes appear confusing.

Islam is the name of the religion established by the Prophet Muhammad. One who follows Islam is a Muslim.

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A Brief Introduction to Hinduism

A Brief Introduction to Hinduism

Hinduism is a religion that originated in the Indian subcontinent.

Purists refer to it more as Sanātana Dharma (the eternal path/law) than a religion, as it is believed to be a virtuous way of life.

It is the oldest practised religion in the world and has the third largest following after Christianity and Islam.

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A Brief Introduction to Christianity

A Brief Introduction to Christianity

Christianity is the largest world religion at the moment.

It has over 2 billion followers, who classify themselves under 34,000 different denominations.

Initially, Christianity was derived from Judaism, as Jesus Christ was a Jew, as were his twelve disciples. Christianity is based mainly around the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and is monotheistic.

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A Brief Introduction to Buddhism

A Brief Introduction to Buddhism

Buddhism, in its natural form, is not a religion; rather it is a tradition that focuses on personal spiritual development.

Buddhists strive for a deep insight into the true nature of life and do not worship gods or deities.

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A Brief Introduction to Bahai

A Brief Introduction to Bahai

The Bahai faith is the youngest independent religion of the word, which was founded in the mid 19th century by Mirza Husayn Ali (1817-1892), son of a government minister in Tehran (Iran). Mirza Husayn Ali is known to the world as ‘Baha Ullah’ and regarded by Bahais as the most recent in the line of Messengers of God.

Origin and History of Bahai

The Bahai religion originally grew out of the Babism faith, which was founded in 1844 by Mirza Ali Mohammad of Shiraz (Iran) who proclaimed a spiritual doctrine emphasising the forthcoming appearance of a new messenger of God who would overturn old beliefs and customs. Mirza Husayn Ali claimed to be this new messenger of the era and was renowned Baha Ullah meaning ‘glory to God’.

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