5 cultural tips and facts from South Africa – winners of 2019 rugby world cup
1 – South Africans go out of their way to make newcomers feel welcome, and this may include being invited to stay in their homes. If you’re invited to stay, there are a few observances that should make your visit comfortable for everyone. Make sure that you keep your room tidy; even if there is a housekeeper, don’t take advantage of it. Offer to help with chores or cooking, even if there is domestic help. Although the original invitation might have been to ‘stay as long as you like,’ be perceptive and gauge how your presence is affecting others. Don’t overstay your welcome.
2 – If you are invited to a South African home for a braai (barbecue) or a formal dinner, arrive on time. Some occasions are ‘BYOB’ (bring your own bottle/booze) or ‘bring and braai’, in which case you’re expected to contribute your share of drinks, meat, salads, or other dishes. South African gatherings are notorious for serving a meal well into the afternoon or evening after normal eating hours.
India is seen world-wide as a large, colourful country steeped in tradition and history. There is more to the people of India than what meets the eye – as such here are 5 things you need to know about Indian culture before your visit!
- FOOD: Indian food tastes better when eaten by hand. Food should only touch your fingertips, and although people will be polite if you dirty your fingers past the knuckle, they will be disgusted.
The societies that make up the southern continent of the Americas are different in many ways to their neighbors to the north. When it comes to tipping etiquette, practice varies widely. Here is the local take on how to go about tipping in some of the different countries of South America:
Tipping culture is a worldwide matter – anywhere you go the etiquette for tipping will vary from place to place. It is often required by both locals and tourists/visitors alike to tip an appropriate amount to those working in the service industries. If you are travelling to North America, here is a quick guide on how to tip accordingly:
USA & Canada
Visitors should be aware that many workers in service industries receive the minimum wage and rely on tips to make a decent income. The expected amount varies, but is more in touristy area, larger cities, and better-class hotels, restaurants, or hair salons. In both USA and Canada, allow a $1 a bag for bellhops and airport porters (more if you’re toting a trunk full of college books or an unwieldly ski bag).
Starting on July 26th, Peru will host its largest ever international sporting event – the 2019 Pan American Games. 7,000 athletes from 41 countries will take part in 424 events around the country, and will be competing for places in the 2020 World Olympics, to be held in Tokyo, Japan.
10 Cultural Tips and Facts From South America
All the following cultural tips and facts are taken straight from five of our many guides within the South American region. The titles used within this blog post include: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, and Peru.
- Be careful with gestures when visiting South America. In Argentina, the “thumb and forefinger circle” gesture stands for OK – unlike in neighbouring Brazil, where it is vulgar and offensive. The “thumbs up” gesture can be used freely as it also stands for OK.
- Whether in the afternoon or in the morning, facturas are a must. The delicious pastries come in various shapes with different fillings such as custard, cream, and jam. Media lunas (croissants,) are perhaps the most common facturas usually accompanied by a cup of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. Be aware facturas is also the Spanish word for “invoice”.
10 Culture Tips from our Newest Releases
All the following 10 cultural tips are taken straight from our five newest guides released this May. The titles include: Colombia, Denmark, Singapore and Sri Lanka.
- Sri Lankan’s are more relaxed about missed opportunities than Westerners because of their strong belief in karma. It is thought that if something does not work out then it was not meant to be, and that it will come around at a more opportune time, with more success.
- To beckon someone toward them, a Sri Lankan will hold one arm outstretched and, with the palm facing down, move the fingers inward. It is considered impolite to point at someone using the index finger, so gestures of moving the head or raising the eyebrows in the direction of the subject are commonly used.
Greetings in Eastern Europe
Wednesday Wanderlust is back! In these posts we shall be sharing information on the etiquette, values and attitudes of different countries around the world.
This week’s post focuses friendship, manners and greetings in Eastern Europe and highlights the relevant cultural norms for Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Russia and Romania. Traditional versus contemporary greetings divide the older and younger generations within these countries, with similar norms being visible across the region.
Good manners begin with a greeting. Stand up! Only the old and frail stay seated for greetings. Like other Eastern European countries, the practise in Hungary is for a man to make the first greeting to a woman, a younger person to an older, a subordinate to a superior, a salesperson to a customer, and someone entering or approaching those already present. It’s bad manners not to greet people, and worse not to return a greeting. As Hungarian writer István Mácz says, “the reply to a smile, is a smile”.
‘What’s your favourite Peruvian food?’ is a question that you are guaranteed to be asked over and over when traveling in Peru. Food is an obsession for most Peruvians but a justifiable one as their cuisine is recognised as one of the best in the world.
Peruvian cuisine has its roots in ancient superfoods such as quinoa, avocados, maize and potatoes as well as integrating more recent influences of Japanese and Chinese cuisines.
However, your answer to the question will very much depend on where you have been in Peru as there are significant variations around the country.
To accompany our new releases we’re returning to our Behind the Pen 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.
Meet Patricia Voute – one of the authors of Culture Smart! Singapore. Tricia Voute has a B.A. in Anthropology from Durham University and an M.A. in the Philosophy of Religion from King’s College, London. She has taught philosophy in different parts of the world and written textbooks on the subject, as well as articles on cultural and faith issues in the Times and other publications. Tricia lived in Singapore for five years, teaching religion and philosophy at the Tanglin School. She was involved in teacher training in local schools and has Singaporean friends across the social and religious spectrum.