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.

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'?

 

 

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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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'Budgie Nine' - Culturally Belligerent or Innocently Ignorant?

'Budgie Nine' - Culturally Belligerent or Innocently Ignorant?

Have you heard about the 'Budgie Nine'? If not then here comes another perfect example of foreigners acting cuturally-inappropriately when abroad.

To celebrate their countrymen's victory at the Malaysia Grand Prix these 9 men from Australia stripped down to Malaysian-flag-printed swimwear — or "budgie smugglers" as they are known in Australia.

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Business Meeting Etiquette

Business Meeting Etiquette

Business etiquette is essentially about building relationships with colleagues, clients or customers.

In the business world, it is these people that can influence your success or failure.

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Business Card Etiquette

Business Card Etiquette

When doing business abroad it is important to understand the local culture.

Culture includes areas such as a country's norms, values, behaviours, food, architecture, fashion and art. However, one area of culture that is important for the international business person is etiquette.

Understanding business etiquette allows you to feel comfortable in your dealings with foreign friends, colleagues, customers or clients. Knowing what to do and say in the right places will help build trust and open lines of communication.

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Doing Business in The Middle East

Doing Business in The Middle East

The Middle East is an area which carries many stereotypes and myths. Before doing business in the Middle East it is imperative to learn about areas such as business culture, business etiquette, meeting protocol and negotiation techniques.  Through such knowledge stereotypes are broken and barriers to communication reduced.

When doing business in the Middle East, it is wise to bear in mind the great diversity within the region. However, a common religion, language and culture make the highlighting of general traits and features for the region valid.

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