Behind the Pen ∘ Rwanda

 

Welcome to the first of our series of interviews with the authors of Culture Smart!. In the series we take a closer look at who our authors are, how they became conversant in a culture they were not born into, and what they’ve gained from their cultural experiences abroad.

As the series continues to grow and evolve, we now count over 100 authors as part of our team, who work with us on our mission to bridge understanding and build relations between people of different cultural backgrounds. Our authors come from all walks of life, among them diplomats, foreign journalists, NGO workers, educators and storytellers.

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5 things you need to know about Norwegian culture

Norway is an ever popular destination for visitors, drawn to its dramatic fjords and rugged coastline and the stunning spectacle of the Northern Lights. Proud of their land’s pristine nature and breath-taking beauty, Norwegians will expect visitors to respect their customs. And although they are naturally reserved they are very friendly and welcoming.

To mark the publication of a new edition of Culture Smart! Norway, here are some snippets from the guide, detailing aspects of Norwegian culture that are useful to know about before you visit. If you like what you read, you can pick up the guide here and receive 25% off the RRP throughout January with the code CSNEW25!

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How to bring in the New Year, Nicaragua style

New Year’s Eve parties in Nicaragua are by no means mild affairs. Indeed, the celebrations are two-fold – both to welcome in the new year, and to bid farewell to the old one. Whatever the previous year might have thrown at you, for all its ups and downs, a celebration is in order, for here comes another! To mark the publication of our upcoming Culture Smart! Nicaragua, here’s how to bring in the new year, Nicaragua style. Receive 25% off the RRP in January with our CSNEW25 discount code here!

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Discover Rwanda: A Mini Guide to Rwandan Customs and Culture

It is fair to say that Rwanda is not currently a top travel destination. The country’s tourism industry has had a fair bit of catching up to do, but with its history firmly behind it, Rwanda is quietly earning a name for itself — and for very good reason. The “Land of a Hundred Hills” offers an astonishing range of stunning landscapes and an abundance of natural beauty, making the country an exciting destination for those who like to explore off the beaten track.

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A mini guide to coffee culture in Greece

Coffee houses are important centres of culture around the world, and Greece is no different. In fact, throughout modern history these temples of caffeine have continued to serve as daily meeting spaces where locals come together to sip from the black gold and debate on all matters under the sun: from world politics to local gossip.

The global influence of Greek coffee culture can also not be understated – indeed it was a Cretan who introduced to concept of a coffee house to England in 1864. In England, when coffee houses were first introduced, they sparked a major intellectual revolution and even the rise of newspapers.

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Wednesday Wanderlust – 10 Values and Attitudes of Central Asia

This week’s Wednesday Wanderlust takes us to Central Asia for a look at the values and attitudes celebrated among these nations:

Uzbekistan

  • Superstitions – Ill-wishing neighbours can cause you harm by placing sand or broken needles in fornt of your house. A mullah, or any old person, can help to avert the evil eye or bad luck, cure the sick, mend a relationship, and so on, by reading a prayer in Arabic.

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Faux Pas and Feminism: Navigating France as a millennial Brit

The vibrancy and electricity of this Monday at midnight made an English Friday night look bland by comparison.

In an account of my relocation to Montpellier in the South of France, I tackle everything from first encounters to feminism on the other side of the Channel.

Top tip number 1 for moving abroad:  When arriving alone, at midnight, with three suitcases, DO check which Hotel Ibis your reservation is at before you land.

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