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.

Continue reading

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!

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Wednesday Wanderlust – 10 Values and Attitudes of the Balkans

The Balkan Peninsula takes its name from the Balkan Mountains that stretch all the way from the Serbian-Bulgarian border to the Black Sea. Located in South Eastern Europe, the exact definition of the Balkans is often disputed.  Nevertheless, the countries that either entirely or partially lay within its borders are diverse in their culture and attitudes. To get you started, here’s 10 key values from across the region taken straight from our guides:

Continue reading

New Title Announcement – Culture Smart! HUNGARY (Jan 2018)

Culture Smart! Hungary: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture.

A landlocked country in the heart of Europe, Hungary was a powerful medieval kingdom. Intimately involved in European history and culture, the Hungarians have always been proud of their distinctive identity, reinforced by the fact that their language bears no resemblance to that of any of their neighbors.

Today, following the collapse of Communism, Hungarians feel part of Central Europe again, the Europe of science, culture, and civic virtue, of gem-like Baroque churches and 19th century schools, town halls, barracks, and railway stations. This beautiful and beguiling land is home to the magnificent city of Budapest on the banks of the Danube, to the largest lake in central Europe, and to charming spa towns and hot springs. Hungarian openness and hospitality have been tested by the migrant crisis on Europe’s doorstep, and the rise of populist parties.

 After setting the context in a brief historical overview, Culture Smart! Hungary offers practical advice and important insights into different aspects of Hungarian life today, to help deepen your understanding and appreciation of this complex and talented people. 

Author Bio:

Brian Mclean and Kester Eddy are British writers who have both lived in Budapest for many years. Each brings specialist knowledge to the book, the former in Hungarian history and culture and the latter in political and economic affairs.

Culture Smart! Hungary: The essential guide to customs & culture.

ISBN 978-1-857-33868-3
TRADE PAPER, £7.99; (UK) £7.99; (US/CA) $11.99/$15.99
ALSO AVAILABLE IN E-BOOK
PUBLICATION DATE: JANUARY 2018
PUBLISHED BY KUPERARD

Wednesday Wanderlust – 10 Values and Attitudes of West and Southern Africa

Are you vising the West or Southern African regions soon? Check out these 10 values and attitudes straight from our guides.

Photo credit: www.pixabay.com

Ghana

1. The significance of greetings is probably the most important rule of etiquette that a visitor should learn and observe. For example if you walk into a house, workplace, meeting, or a past a friend or neighbour on the street without saying hello, it is viewed as a direct insult.

2. You’re not allowed to leave a Ghanaian’s home without a full belly. A good host will arrange beforehand for your favourite food to be prepared but whatever you get, be sure to obey the cook’s order of “Eat all!”

Continue reading

Title Announcement – Culture Smart! Hong Kong (Jan 2018)

Culture Smart! Hong Kong: The essential guide to customs & culture.

Visitors marvel at Hong Kong’s breathtaking location, its amazing architecture, its exciting shopping, and its fine dining. And yet it is a land of opposites—of order juxtaposed with chaos, of ancient etiquette and seemingly abrupt manners, a place where rich and poor live in close proximity.

Culturally, Hong Kong is rooted in the traditions of China, but there is more than a patina of Westernization. And despite stiff competition, it remains the principal international financial center in China. Hong Kong has more holidays than anywhere in the world, and most are celebrated in the streets or parks.

Culture Smart! Hong Kong introduces the reader to this vibrant, multifaceted society. It provides helpful advice and cultural insights on business practice and social etiquette. Published in January 2018, it is available in North America through IPG.

Author Bios:

Vickie Chan is a writer, illustrator/artist, and creative director, who has written for the South China Morning Post, China Daily, Gafencu magazine, and more.

Clare Vickers has a degree in modern languages, has written several dictionaries and textbooks for Hong Kong schools, and had a column in the educational section of the South China Morning Post.

Culture Smart! Hong Kong: The essential guide to customs & culture.

ISBN: 978-1-857-33869-0
TRADE PAPER: (UK) £7.99; (US/CA) $11.99/$15.99
PAGES: 168, SIZE: 169 x 110 mm
ALSO AVAILABLE IN EBOOK
PUBLICATION DATE: JANUARY 2018
PUBLISHED BY KUPERARD