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'?

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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Is Cultural Awareness a Skill?

Is Cultural Awareness a Skill?

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.

Well, this simply is not true.

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French Waiter Cites Cultural Differences for Being Rude

French Waiter Cites Cultural Differences for Being Rude

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

Upset by the sacking Rey believes his employees simply did not understand French culture. A complaint was filed
his previous employer, Vancouver restaurant on Canada’s Pacific coast, under British Columbia’s Human Rights Tribunal in which the waiter claiming  “discrimination against my culture”.

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Cross Cultural Training Tips to Launch Your International Sales

Cross Cultural Training Tips to Launch Your International Sales

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.

As many who work in international sales can attest to, finding and bringing in sales can be tough but also very rewarding...when you get it right.

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Cross Cultural Training Vital When Relocating to Asia

Cross Cultural Training Vital When Relocating to Asia

As 2017 draws to a close, expectations that Asia will overtake the US as the largest global consumer market in the next couple of decades, are becoming increasingly credible.

The Asian Development Bank reported in 2017 that growth prospects for Asia are continuing to strengthen following economic expansion of 5.9% in 2017 and anticipated expansion of 5.8% in 2018. 

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Understanding Diversity is Key to Doing Better Business in Brazil

Understanding Diversity is Key to Doing Better Business in Brazil

Doing Business in Brazil?  
A ‘One Size fits All’ approach will sink your ship in Brazil.  Here’s why….

With the largest economy in Latin America and the seventh largest economy in the world, there is every reason why companies and investors have their eye closely set on Brazil.

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Relocating to Japan? 3 Great Videos That Introduce Japanese Culture

Relocating to Japan? 3 Great Videos That Introduce Japanese Culture

Relocating to a foreign country for work is a big deal. New home, new language and new culture! There is a lot to get your head around.

Without doubt Japan is one of those countries that, culturally speaking, does cause confusion for the foreigner.

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Globalization is Not Killing Our Cultures Finds New Research

Globalization is Not Killing Our Cultures Finds New Research

For some, globalization is dangerous for cultural diversity. 

The fear of cultural dilution and being imposed upon by a foreign, sometimes corporate, culture drives many people to deduce that the global economy is doing us more harm than good.

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How to Avoid Cultural Appropriation & Promote Cultural Awareness Instead

How to Avoid Cultural Appropriation & Promote Cultural Awareness Instead

Once upon a time cultural appropriation was something theorised and discussed solely at universities.

Now, due to our globalized, interconnected, social media fuelled world, the use (or in this case, misuse) of another’s cultural property can turn into big news.

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10 Very Cool Facts About South Korean Culture

10 Very Cool Facts About South Korean Culture

Discover some of the more unknown aspects of South Korean culture and society!

At Commisceo Global, we know South Korea is hot stuff!

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Stereotype-Busting Documentary Reveals Hidden Afghan Culture

Stereotype-Busting Documentary Reveals Hidden Afghan Culture

Girls dressing as boys is a hidden Afghan cultural tradition; not encouraged, yet, equally not taboo. 

Watching an excellent RT documentary last night, I was introduced to the incredible world of the ‘Bacha Posh(Persian: بچه پوش‎‎, literally "dressed up as a boy").

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Killing Your Family: Why Kim Jung-'s Cultural Taboo Might Spell the End of North Korea

Killing Your Family: Why Kim Jung-'s Cultural Taboo Might Spell the End of North Korea

Executing your uncle is not a great move in any culture.  When Kim Jung-Un accused his uncle and former second in command of being ‘anti party’ and ‘political scum’, most of our global family – regardless of culture, would likely have considered sacking his uncle (and perhaps imprisonment) as an appropriate outcome. 

Having him killed by firing squad though, made even the hardiest of us wince.

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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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How different are North and South Korean Cultures?

How different are North and South Korean Cultures?

I recently heard someone of North Korean origin say that you cannot refer to someone as simply 'Korean'. 

From a Korean’s perspective, there’s no such thing as ‘Korean,’ as people originating from Korea identify as either South or North Korean.

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What is Your Favourite Quote Defining Culture?

What is Your Favourite Quote Defining Culture?

How would you describe or define culture?

What imagery would you use? How could you help someone understand the basic mechanics of culture and the impact this has on the world?

Not an easy one!

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How Lack of Cultural Awareness Can Cost A Business Big

How Lack of Cultural Awareness Can Cost A Business Big

Has globalisation led to a homogenity of culture when it comes to product, marketing, sales and service?

Or have our cultural differences actually become more acute?

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Cross-Cultural Tips for Doing Business in Iran

Cross-Cultural Tips for Doing Business in Iran

Having received great feedback on my blog about the place of "tarof" in Persian culture, a few people have requested a brief guide to doing business in Iran for companies making the journey over.

So here goes....

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Cross Cultural Marketing Blunders

Cross Cultural Marketing Blunders

When Culture Ruins Marketing!

Although a little cruel, cross cultural marketing mistakes are a humorous means of understanding the impact poor cultural awareness can have when selling or working abroad.

Marketing is perhaps one of the trickiest elements to get right when taking your business or product into new and unchartered territories. Language, culture, local practices and many other factors heavily influence success or failure.

Many companies have learned the hard way that you have to think outside of your own cultural bubble when it comes to marketing abroad and be very much in tune with local means and ways.

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How Cultural Differences Impact Interior Design

How Cultural Differences Impact Interior Design

Whether we know it or not, culture impacts almost everything we do. Within business, one should always be aware of cultural differences. Yes, even within interior design!


When thinking about cultural differences, interior design might not be the first area of business that comes to mind.

However, in a great article on Prime Resi, Joe Burns explains that luxury homes will only meet the client’s wishes if the designer knows the ins and outs of their culture.

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Cultural Differences in People come from Farming Methods

Cultural Differences in People come from Farming Methods

According to new research, the cultural divide between the West and the East can be explained by the type of farming methods used between the regions. As rice requires more human labour, researchers say it’s no wonder that people in the East are more interdependent.

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