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.

Supermodel Accused of Racism Over Cultural Faux Pas

Supermodel Accused of Racism Over Cultural Faux Pas

Did you hear about the supermodel, the airport lounge and the cultural faux pas that caused uproar in Saudi Arabia and the UAE?

No? Well this is a great little example of culture gone wrong!

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What's An Example of a Cultural Faux Pas?

What's An Example of a Cultural Faux Pas?

Have you heard the story about the French student keeping money in his shoe?

Well, then we’re going to tell you a true story about a young French student called Victor who travelled to Thailand.

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Culturally Aware Taxi Drivers Ensure Good PR for The UAE

Culturally Aware Taxi Drivers Ensure Good PR for The UAE

If you’ve visited the UAE, then you’ll know that one of the things they do really well (particularly in Dubai), is to create great visitor experiences.

The UAE is known for its beautiful architecture, luxurious hotels, beautiful mosques, cultural landmarks and incredible tourist attractions.

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5 Chinese Dining Etiquette Tips You Really Need to Know

5 Chinese Dining Etiquette Tips You Really Need to Know

Doing business with the Chinese? If so, then it’s more than likely that food will be involved at some point!

Food, dining out and business banquets are all integral to relationship building and getting business done.

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Doing Business in Thailand? 10 Tips on Etiquette You Need to Know

Doing Business in Thailand? 10 Tips on Etiquette You Need to Know

If you are travelling to Thailand for work, then you really need to understand a little about Thai culture first.

Despite its reputation as the Land of Smiles, Thai culture is relatively formal and, if you behave in the wrong manner, the people can judge you negatively for failing to show the right decorum.

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Nominication – How Alcohol Helps Communication in Japanese Business Culture

Nominication – How Alcohol Helps Communication in Japanese Business Culture

Doing business or working in Japan can be tough for foreigners.

The cultural differences for some can be vast and it takes a while to get used to how the Japanese like to do things.

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Dismantling Stereotypes of Saudi Arabia

Dismantling Stereotypes of Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has become an almost permanent fixture in Western news.

With the murder of Jamal Khashoggi and the continued carnage in the Yemen which threatens to spiral into the worst global famine this generation, the spotlight placed on Saudi Arabia has been almost completely negative.

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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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Hospitality, Food & Friendship in Arab Business Culture

Hospitality, Food & Friendship in Arab Business Culture

Being a good host is a central part of life in the Middle East and it is an underpinning value that everyone in the region shares.

The roots of this can be found in the tribal system whereby treating guests well is traditionally a way of gaining honour.

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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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Japanese Culture and the Art of Words

Japanese Culture and the Art of Words

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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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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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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Gift Giving Etiquette in the Middle East

Gift Giving Etiquette in the Middle East

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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Brexit-bound Britannia: The Skills, Insights and Knowledge We Need to Truly be a ‘Global Britain’

Brexit-bound Britannia: The Skills, Insights and Knowledge We Need to Truly be a ‘Global Britain’

:: As of this week Brexit negotiations have officially commenced.

:: The UK will be leaving the EU within the next few years.

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Cultural Diversity Explains Why Americans Smile So Much

Cultural Diversity Explains Why Americans Smile So Much

Researchers believe they have finally disovered why the wide, white-teethed smile is so important in American culture - immigrants and cultural diversity.

Across different cultures, a smile can mean many things. In more expressive cultures such as the USA, where showing emotions is not necessarily a bad thing, and in which hierarchy and social differences are less acute, the smile is a lot more common.

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Media Throw Confusion Over Wearing of Hijab in Saudi Arabia

Media Throw Confusion Over Wearing of Hijab in Saudi Arabia

Some recent news coverage focusing on Theresa May not wearing a headscarf on her business trip to Saudi Arabia has caused some major confusion over etiquette and protocol in the Kingdom.

Certain news outlets and media seemed to use terminology that suggested that the British PM May somehow 'refused' the idea of covering her hair.

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10 Deadly Misconceptions about Iran We Hear in Cross Cultural Training

10 Deadly Misconceptions about Iran We Hear in Cross Cultural Training

Training business professionals prior to going to Iran gives us excellent insight into the misconceptions, stereotypes, fears and worries many foreigners hold. Here's the 10 most common. Deadly not because they can cause death; deadly in that they are based on ignorance and falsehood and lead only to misunderstanding.

Iran regularly features in global news; bandied around by governments arguing the potential benefits or drawbacks of doing business with Iran. 

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Six Solid and Simple Tips for Avoiding Cultural Faux Pas When Working Abroad

Six Solid and Simple Tips for Avoiding Cultural Faux Pas When Working Abroad

Are you new to working abroad? Travelling to a foreign country for the first time for business?

Getting it right when working overseas is critical; but what do you do if you have little or no international exposure? You run the danger of too much exposure Borat-style!

Working internationally requires a very different skill-set to working domestically.  What works well for you in your home country may count against you when working abroad.  

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A Brief Guide to British Umbrella Etiquette

A Brief Guide to British Umbrella Etiquette

At Commisceo we do all things ‘etiquette’ – whether it’s dining etiquette in Brazil or gift giving etiquette in Mozambique.

Did you know however, that we also do British umbrella etiquette?!  We might not get a demand for formal umbrella etiquette training but here’s some etiquette advice for those moving to the UK who may need to become acquainted with surviving the upcoming UK rainy season:

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