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Thursday, December 04, 2008

Culture Shock

Are you aware that it is respectful in certain cultures to remove your shoes when entering a home or place of worship? Or if invited to a Costa Rican home it is appropriate to bring flowers but not lilies since they are a symbol of death? In Indonesia, it’s better to point with your fist than your finger. Culture Crossing is an entertaining website that provides these and other valuable pointers on other cultures.

It is a good place to start if you are traveling abroad or meeting people from other cultures and would like to know a bit about their values, protocol and communication styles. It touches on gesture, taboo, greeting, facts, dress code and other such details so you are better prepared. Some country listings have a short video clip on etiquette.

Although Culture Crossing is a crash-course in cross-cultural etiquette, the information seems to be user generated, so take it with a grain of salt and a pinch of common sense.

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