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Colombia - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture
India - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture
Ireland - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture
Ebook series30 titles

Culture Smart! Series

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About this series

Don't just see the sightsget to know the people.

For many people, Brazil conjures up images of football, Carnaval, and fine coffee, but it's much more than beaches and bossa nova. If we had to choose one word to describe the country, it would probably be diversity. The variety of lifestyles, ethnic groups, landscapes, and climates Brazil encompasses is quite simply enormous. This guide provides you with a comprehensive introduction to everything you need to know.

Jeitinho is how Brazilians deal creatively with life's everyday complications. Literally translated as a "little way," in practice it means that where there is a will there is also usually a way, regardless of the rules and regulations that may be in place. The jeitinho is so ingrained in daily life that you can see examples everywhere; managing to get a seat when all the places are booked up, traveling with more luggage than is allowed, or successfully ordering something that isn't even on the menu.

Culture Smart! Brazil is your guide to understanding the Brazilian people, their values, and the complexities of their national identity. Familiarize yourself with their traditions, culture, and way of life and your experience in this beautiful and life-affirming country will be greatly enriched.

Have a more meaningful and successful time abroad through a better understanding of the local culture. Chapters on values, attitudes, customs, and daily life will help you make the most of your visit, while tips on etiquette and communication will help you navigate unfamiliar situations and avoid faux pas.

LanguageEnglish
PublisherKuperard
Release dateOct 13, 2010
Colombia - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture
India - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture
Ireland - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

Titles in the series (100)

  • Ireland - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

    Ireland - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture
    Ireland - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

    The island of Ireland is famous for its timeless beauty, the variety of its landscape, its quiet towns and lively cities, the poetic and literary genius of so many of its citizens, its music and folklore, and its colorful and bloody history.What is also true is that the Irish people have in many ways changed in recent years, while retaining the scars and proud memories of their past, and their thriving national culture. Twenty-first century Ireland, North and South, is the product not only of its history and culture, but also of massive political change, remarkable efforts to heal centuries-old animosities, a metamorphosis in social and religious attitudes, and the dramatic peaks and troughs of a transformed economy. Until the late twentieth century Southern Ireland's economy was essentially rural, tied to the UK; the North, a place of heavy industry. Then came the so-called “Celtic Tiger,” springing forward into a largely new type of economy that reaped colossal rewards. New industries arose, old industries disappeared. This was followed by financial collapse in the first decade of this century, worse than almost any country in Europe. Helped by its friends, and, at least in the South, by governmental and popular acceptance of savage austerity measures, Ireland survived. Today the Republic is a major target for US and European investment. Businesspeople and visitors who don't know Ireland will find this book an invaluable introduction to the people, the country, and the economic opportunities it offers; while if you think you know Ireland and the Irish you will find plenty here to broaden and deepen that knowledge, and also plenty that will surprise you.

  • Colombia - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

    Colombia - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture
    Colombia - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

    Colombia has a spectacular and variant landscape, embracing tropical beaches, highland plateaus, the rugged, snow-capped peaks of the Andes, arid deserts, and dense Amazonian jungle. Colombian society is equally diverse. Stylish, cosmopolitan cities coexist with poverty in the beautiful countryside. As a result of the 16th-century Spanish conquest, modern Colombia's multiethnic society is a synthesis of Spanish, indigenous, and African traditions—evident in the music, in the food, and in Barranquilla's famous Carnival. The Colombian people are emerging from decades of crushing civil war and lawlessness with their spirits unbroken. Animated, lighthearted, and ever ready to enjoy the moment, they are looking to the future with hope and are eager to share their rich and beautiful country with the outside world. This pocket-sized book reveals Colombia's key customs and traditions, examines life at home and at work, and introduces some distinct and delicious culinary quirks. There is also advice on safe travel, vital information on how business is done, and how to communicate effectively across the cultural divide.

  • India - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

    India - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture
    India - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

    India's population of 1.2 billion is as varied and colorful as the spice markets of Old Delhi. Each region, caste, and community has its own culture, reflecting unique histories shaped by conquest, creativity, and religion, expressed in distinct languages, social customs, art forms, and expectations of life. Despite enormous recent political and economic change, in many ways India remains the same—a total sensory experience. The chaos and beauty of color and sound, the language shifts every ten miles, the household variations of spicy and sharp, sweet and sour, the insistent smells of everyday life lived very much in public, and the invasion of personal space will challenge the most experienced traveler. But it is in surrendering to your senses that you begin to embrace the essence of India and to understand its people. Indians live with paradox. Proud traditions and patriotism commingle with tensions and prejudices rooted in age-old rivalries. Ancient temples may be plastered with signs advertising the latest technologies. The rapid urbanization of the last century has given rise to burgeoning slums and an affluent middle class that was nonexistent a few decades ago. Steeped in tradition, exceptionally fatalistic, and intensely passionate about their culture, the Indians are an ingenious, adventurous, and creative people. Show interest in their country and most will respond with genuine warmth and friendship. But they also have indelible ties to family and community that form boundaries and determine decisions that may not always seem reasonable, or sometimes even ethical, to outsiders. Culture Smart! India will make you aware of basic values and behavioral norms, show you how to navigate cultural differences and connect with real people, and offer invaluable insights into this great, endlessly fascinating land.

  • Afghanistan - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

    Afghanistan - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture
    Afghanistan - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

    Afghanistan is situated at the crossroads of Asia, a strategically important location that connects the Middle East with Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent. Down the ages it has been subjected to continuous foreign invasion and intervention—from Alexander the Great to Genghis Khan, and as a pawn in the struggle between the British and Russian Empires—making its people wary of outsiders. That history is being repeated in the twenty-first century. Afghanistan has always been seen from the outside as a realm of much intrigue and many myths. The Afghans tried to keep their distance from the outside world—especially from the Europeans who, whether in pursuit of imperial goals or simply as explorertravelers, attempted to enter and traverse the land. Their very elusiveness attracted Westerners to this landlocked country of high mountains and breathtaking beauty, where age-old customs and traditions were zealously guarded, sometimes at the cost of many lives. The Afghan people are a tapestry of ethnicities woven over time—Pashtuns, Tajiks, Hazaras, Uzbeks, and many smaller ones. Society is organized mainly along ethnic and tribal lines, but ethnic identity becomes irrelevant when a common enemy threatens to take control of the country. There are also many shared values and unwritten codes of conduct that govern interpersonal relations, which are not taken lightly. Visitors are struck by the simplicity, hospitability, dignity, and generosity of the Afghan people, and often confounded by customs that they find hard to understand. Culture Smart! Afghanistan is a unique introduction to the background, habits, traditions, idiosyncrasies, suspicions about foreigners, and patterns of behavior of the Afghan people. It offers visitors invaluable information and insights that will help them to interact with Afghans, to interpret their behavior, and to behave appropriately in their company, whether in personal or business exchanges. Once the ice is broken, the rewards will be great.

  • Slovenia - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

    Slovenia - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture
    Slovenia - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

    Slovenia seems closer to Austria or Italy than to its Balkan neighbors. The richest of the Slavic nation-states, it has an entirely Western tradition, having belonged in the past to the Roman Empire, the Frankish kingdom, the Holy Roman Empire, the Republic of Venice, the Habsburg monarchy, and the First French Empire. After the Second World War it became part of the Republic of Yugoslavia, before declaring independence in 1991. This extraordinary cultural legacy is what sets Slovenia apart, matched by an amazingly varied topography packed into a small area. Traveling toward the coast, you see changes in the landscape and in the architecture. This reflects both the natural and the historical variety: the Venetians built their buildings one way, the Austrians another. Slovenia's natural beauty is astonishing. Legend relates that when God was allotting nature's bounty, he forgot Slovenia. His last-minute solution was to take bits of the best from other places: gorgeous Alpine ranges, the less craggy Pohorje mountains, the Pannonian plain stretching toward Hungary, hill after hill rolling southward into the horizon, the unique karst landscape, rivers aplenty, and a few miles of Adriatic coastline. Never having had a glorious unified kingdom in the past, Slovenians identify themselves not by blood or history but by their language, which differs from the other languages of the ex-Yugoslavia. The older generation is fluent in Serbo-Croatian, which helps for politics and trade, but has little of its historical baggage, and the country has geo-political importance as a politically stable stepping stone to the Balkans. As far as nationhood goes, Slovenia's golden age is now. There is a sense of change in the country—mostly for the better, and not the dull stampede toward materialism that one sees in some other former Eastern bloc countries. As a tourist destination Slovenia has it all, from medieval ruined monasteries to whitewater rafting. The people of this lovely land are genuinely glad that others are "discovering" their country. There are no real language problems; the younger people all speak English. Moreover, membership of the EU means that this is a country in transition. Culture Smart! Slovenia will introduce you to the inner world of this moderate, orderly, and conservative people who have emerged into the post-Communist world hungry for change.

  • Nicaragua - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

    Nicaragua - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture
    Nicaragua - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

    More and more travelers are discovering the delights of Nicaragua—a land of lakes and volcanoes. The image has persisted of a country racked by revolution and war, but the reality awaiting travelers couldn't be more different. The largest country in Central America, Nicaragua is also one of the most diverse and least explored, with a chain of puffing volcanoes along the Pacific coast, two huge freshwater lakes, important rainforest reserves on the tropical Mosquito Coast, and tiny, picture-postcard Caribbean islands where English Creole is the lingua franca. Travelers' budgets will stretch further here than in other Latin American destinations, and around every corner, there are cobblestone streets, high-altitude coffee plantations, world-class bird-watching, perfect surf, and Flor de CaÑa, the smoothest rum that ever came out of an oak barrel. Culture Smart! Nicaragua offers readers an insider's view of the country and its people. It explores Nicaragua's national traditions, turbulent history, tasty local dishes, fun fiestas, and unique cultural expressions. It arms readers with key phrases in Nica-speak, or NicaÑol, so you can break the ice, and provides insights into what the people of Nicaragua are like at home, at play, and in business.

  • Hong Kong - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

    Hong Kong - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture
    Hong Kong - Culture Smart!: 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.

  • Korea - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

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    Korea - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture
    Korea - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

    Apart from the headline-making politics, not much is known in the West about the Korean people and their ancient culture. Yet those who visit Korea, whether North or South, find a land of great interest. The Koreans, when not constrained by politics or other considerations, are friendly and sociable, and the peninsula has areas of outstanding natural beauty. The South's cities, if not always beautiful, are vibrant and alive. The North, while very different, is complex and fascinating. The standoff between the two countries of the Korean Peninsula is a legacy of the Cold War and a potential flashpoint for future conflict. Despite a brief thaw in relations a few years ago, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in the north, a secretive single-party socialist state with a centralized industrial economy, conducted nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009. The Republic of Korea (ROK) in the south meanwhile, a free market democracy, has become a rising economic power, and in 2010 became the first former aid recipient to join the OECD Development Assistance Committee. Much has changed since the first edition of Culture Smart! Korea was published in 2005: the North's defiant development of its nuclear program, the end of the South's "Sunshine" or engagement policy in 2008, the opening up to US tourists by the North in 2010, and the death of its leader Kim Jong Il in 2011 and the succession of his youngest son, Kim Jong Un. This new, updated edition of Culture Smart! Korea looks at the changing social and economic situation and provides real insights into thinking and behavior in both countries. It indicates the pitfalls to avoid, and introduces you to some of the many delights of the Korean peninsula.

  • Hungary - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

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

  • Netherlands - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

    Netherlands - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture
    Netherlands - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

    Taking readers beyond the stereotypical images of windmills, clogs, and tulips, this pocket-sized guide helps visitors understand the complex layers of identity in this small, densely populated country on Europe's northwestern seaboard. With roots as a maritime nation that built a network for transportation, defense, and trade, the Netherlands of today is still a prime economic hub of Europe. The Netherlands is also famous for its liberal attitudes, recently challenged by high levels of immigration, and is home to an intelligent, cosmopolitan, enterprising, tolerant, and modest people. The visitor or business traveler will find that the predominant attitude continues to be one of "live and let live," and that many different communities live alongside each other in harmony.

  • South Africa - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

    South Africa - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture
    South Africa - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

    South Africa has been described as "A World in One Country" and a "Rainbow Nation." Its landscape ranges from miles of glorious beaches to the inland desert of the Karoo, the sweeping grasslands of the Highveld plateau, and the subtropical bush of the Lowveld. Its ethnic makeup is equally varied. There are eleven official languages, nine major black African tribes, two major white tribes, as well as a representation of all the world's major religions. It has a free market economy while communists share in government; one of the world's most liberal constitutions and a deeply patriarchal society; and very rich and very poor people coexisting. South Africa has come through fire, and although there is still considerable heat, it is doing pretty well. This insiders' guide will introduce you to the universal warmth and cultural diversity of its people, explain the backdrop of their troubled past, and familiarize you with their everyday life so that you'll feel comfortable whether you're invited to a shack in the townships, a mansion in the suburbs, or a braai on the beach. You'll learn how to stay safe in potentially dangerous areas, and you'll know where to go if you want to feel like the only person on the planet.

  • Egypt - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

    Egypt - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture
    Egypt - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

    This revised and updated edition of Culture Smart! Egypt reveals a country in the throes of change. The largely secular revolution that started in Cairo's Tahrir Square in January 2011 became the flagship of the Arab Spring revolts. The uprising resulted in a political effervescence, with new parties, movements, and groups all jostling for space in the new political landscape. But the situation remains fluid. Free elections produced a parliament dominated by Islamists and the country's political and social identity has yet to be defined. Egypt's heady spirit of change is both rooted in and challenged by traditional and deeply conservative values. The timeless Egypt that has inspired conquerors, academics, and artists for millennia is home to 82 million people who call it Omm Eddunia, Mother of the World. It is the people who are Egypt's true wealth. They are friendly, cheerful, proud, and renowned for their sense of humor. In bringing the narrative up to date, this new edition of Culture Smart! Egypt explores the codes and paradoxes of Egyptian life. It outlines the country's history and shows the forces that have shaped its sensibility. It explains values and attitudes, and guides you through local customs and traditions. It opens a window into the private lives of Egyptians, how they behave at home, and how they interact with foreign visitors. It offers practical advice, from how to make friends to avoiding faux pas. It sets out to make your encounter as rich as possible by taking you beyond the clichÉs to the real people.

  • Tunisia - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

    Tunisia - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture
    Tunisia - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

    Culture Smart! provides essential information on attitudes, beliefs and behavior in different countries, ensuring that you arrive at your destination aware of basic manners, common courtesies, and sensitive issues. These concise guides tell you what to expect, how to behave, and how to establish a rapport with your hosts. This inside knowledge will enable you to steer clear of embarrassing gaffes and mistakes, feel confident in unfamiliar situations, and develop trust, friendships, and successful business relationships. Culture Smart! offers illuminating insights into the culture and society of a particular country. It will help you to turn your visit-whether on business or for pleasure-into a memorable and enriching experience. Contents include: * customs, values, and traditions * historical, religious, and political background * life at home * leisure, social, and cultural life * eating and drinking * do's, don'ts, and taboos * business practices * communication, spoken and unspoken

  • Ukraine - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

    Ukraine - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture
    Ukraine - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

    Who are the Ukrainians? What are the key historical and cultural events that have shaped them? What are their values, and what challenges do they face today? Ukraine is a country of paradoxes. The people are proud of their roots, yet reticent about their recent past; the country participates in international space programs and produces the world's largest aircraft, but still lives in a world rich with superstition. The Ukrainian way of life is a mix of the old Soviet legacy, centuries-old customs, and a search for a new European identity. The word ukraina means "borderland," and indeed for centuries the country was a border province of great empires. Different states fought bloody wars for the fertile Ukrainian lands and tore the country to pieces. Its history has been a constant struggle for independence and freedom, and foreign domination has left indelible traces in the Ukrainian mentality: Ukrainians are fatalistic, patient, and resilient, and one of the most popular sayings translates as "Things will improve somehow." Culture Smart! Ukraine will help you get to know the Ukrainians. It will inform you about the historical, political, and religious background that continues to shape the Ukrainian psyche today. Using illustrative anecdotes, it describes present-day values and attitudes, and offers practical advice on what to expect and how to behave in different social circumstances. Vitayemo!—Welcome to Ukraine!

  • Britain - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

    Britain - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture
    Britain - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

    "Cool Britannia" is alive and well today. British culture is at the top of its game—in fashion, popular music, art and entertainment, science and technology, new inventions, and in the rediscovered skills and excellence in engineering that make it Germany's leading trading partner in Europe. As a family of nations, the British are inventive, reflective, good humored, funny, focused, and tenacious. Today's multicultural Britain is managing the challenges of integrating minorities in a way that remains true to its fundamental values and beliefs as a fair and open society, one that continues to see itself as a model for others to follow. Since the first edition of this guide appeared, Britain has faced huge and accelerated change in its cultural, economic, and political life. In ten years immigration has added a further five million to its population. Confidence in its banks and regulatory structures was shaken by the global financial crisis. The very unity of the United Kingdom was tested in 2014 in the referendum on Scottish independence, and although those wishing to retain the Union triumphed, it prompted a debate about national identities and rights, and the prospect of a new "fairer" settlement for the English. While the desire of Scottish nationalists for independence remains as strong as ever, the surge in support for the UK Independence Party (which wants Britain to leave the EU) may well result in a new form of power sharing in parliament. This revised and updated edition of Culture Smart! Britain examines the impact of these issues on British society and guides the reader through the quirks, customs, values, and changing ways of British life. It is a must-read for the record-breaking numbers of visitors coming to these islands.

  • Preparing for Your Move Abroad: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

    Preparing for Your Move Abroad: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture
    Preparing for Your Move Abroad: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

    This comprehensive, step-by-step guide is designed to prepare you for your move abroad and to enable you to manage the transition effectively. Alone in the market, it combines the practical, cultural, and psychological aspects of relocation, and helps to allay the fears and reduce the stresses that accompany this major event in a person's life. Preparing For Your Move Abroad follows a typical relocation timeline, taking you from your first step – the decision to move – to your integration into the host society, and through every step between these two points. Uniquely it offers: * A strong knowledge base for every stage of the relocation journey* A strategy to manage the issues at hand* Psychological preparation* An action plan, presented through exercises, practical steps to consider, checklists, and many easy-to-use tools It deals with the challenge of change by pulling together the practical, cultural, and psychological aspects of relocation and addressing them at each phase of the process. This distinctive approach helps you to develop three essential skills: systematic organization, cultural flexibility, and psychological resilience. These skills are crucial for successful change management, and can be put to use in any new culture, anywhere in the world. Moving to a new society invariably induces a degree of culture shock – largely the result of “change overload.” Preparing For Your Move Abroad presents a tried and tested strategy to help you manage the experience and quickly recover. No other book addresses this phenomenon, or attempts to help readers develop the skills to cope with it. The book aims to turn the challenges of relocation into opportunities for growth. By equipping you with essential knowledge, tools, and skills, it will help you to anticipate what lies ahead, address the challenges presented by your move with clarity and confidence, and make your transition successful, stress-free, and much more enjoyable.

  • Rwanda - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

    Rwanda - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture
    Rwanda - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

    Culture Smart! Rwanda gives you the tools for a successful visit to this beautiful land. It guides you through daily interactions, cultural dos and don'ts, traditions and cultural practices, etiquette, and the ways in which business is conducted. It provides a brief overview of Rwandan history, and practical suggestions for safety and travel. "The Land of a Thousand Hills," is known for its abundant natural beauty and iconic wildlife, from chimpanzees in the Nyungwe Forest to the returning lions and rhinoceros of Akagera National Park. This is a country of tea, coffee, and intricately woven baskets, of expressive drumming, and the subtle and artistic Intore dancers. It has a growing film industry, a world-class cycling team, a thriving contemporary music scene, and a burgeoning economy. The capital, Kigali, glimmers with new construction, and has become a home for investment and economic growth. Rwandans today remain a dignified, reserved, and welcoming people. They share a deep pride in their unique culture and history—demonstrated by their eagerness to showcase it to visitors—and they are dedicated to development. But to get the most from your stay, plunge in deeper and get to know them on their own terms, and you will find that you can make lifelong friends.

  • Slovakia - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

    Slovakia - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture
    Slovakia - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

    Slovakia has struggled with a low international profile. Often overlooked as the Czech Republic's little sister, it is a young country with an old culture and history, and a people who are proudly Central (not Eastern) European. Although for much of the twentieth century Czechs and Slovaks lived together in one state, there are important differences between them, differences that ultimately contributed to separation in 1993 and the rebirth of a sovereign Slovak state.Generally speaking, the Slovaks are more “Slavic” than the Czechs—their pace of life is slower, and their spare time is more often filled with friends, family, and music. They are known to be resistant to change, yet change has been a constant in the state's short economic and political history—from the fall of communism in the Velvet Revolution of late 1989, to the Velvet Divorce of Czechoslovakia in 1993, to widespread economic diversification, expansion, and global influence, to European Union membership in 2004, and the adoption of the euro in 2009— and they have adapted with quiet optimism.Slovakia has been referred to as the economic “tiger” of Europe, and now that it has EU membership and a healthy industrial economy, Europeans are starting to take notice. Its popularity as a tourist destination has been growing rapidly in recent years. Slovaks call their country the Heart of Europe—a term that describes not only their geography but the Slovak character, which is warm, deeply hospitable, and immensely proud. Visitors who step outside Bratislava's Staré mesto (Old Town) and take the time to explore the country beyond will discover a landscape of plains, meadows, mountains, natural spas, and hundreds of ancient castles, and a people at once modest, stoical, humorous, and responsive.This book captures the essence of what makes the Slovak people unique and explains something of the quirks and memorable aspects of their lifestyle. It opens a window onto their inner world, their customs and celebrations, and describes what to expect and how to behave in different situations. While the country is not without its frustrations for foreigners, most visitors succumb to its charms. Few have left without yearning to return to “the little big country.”

  • Costa Rica - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

    Costa Rica - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture
    Costa Rica - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

    Costa Rica is renowned for its tropical beauty, the warmth and charm of the "Ticos"—its people's own name for themselves—and its political stability. This "Switzerland of the Americas" is widely regarded as an oasis of democracy in turbulent Central America. Since the first edition of Culture Smart! Costa Rica was published in 2005, however, there have been some important changes and, with rapid economic development, some growing pains. Over the past few years there has been a movement of population to the towns of the Central Valley. Higher education is now the norm for young Ticos, and the middle class has expanded—but so has the gap between rich and poor. Tourism took a dive after the 2009 recession, and the national debt has grown, while the arrival of multinationals and significant Chinese investment has been welcomed. Unemployment has risen, people are prepared to go on strike more readily, and there is a general disillusionment with politicians. In the face of mounting difficulties the Ticos remain remarkably peaceable, relaxed, and fun-loving. Their enthusiasm for life is seen as much in their passion for soccer as in their demonstrations in support of human and political rights. Culture Smart! Costa Rica explores and explains the complex human realities of modern Costa Rican life. Armed with this information, you will be better equipped to understand your hosts and to enjoy your visit to this beguiling and beautiful country to the full.

  • Laos - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

    Laos - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture
    Laos - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

    Culture Smart! Laos offers in-depth information to visitors seeking a genuine experience, including essential insights and advice on local customs and lifestyle. The information, collected through research and the experience of living and working in this beautiful country, is also of great use to businessmen and prospective investors. Once known as "the Kingdom of a Million Elephants under the White Parasol," Laos is a landlocked country of great contrast and beauty in the heart of the Indochinese peninsula. Visitors quickly relax and enjoy the vibrancy and color of bustling marketplaces with their aromatic spices, tropical fruits, and huge wicker baskets containing many varieties of rice. You may glimpse a group of monks of all ages wandering past in flowing orange robes, and later hear their chanting emanating from within the temple walls. Passing a line of children in school uniform, chattering and laughing noisily, you will always be greeted with a gracious bow and "sabaidee." Whatever the purpose of your visit, in Laos you will always be greeted with warmth, courtesy, and hospitality, and feel completely safe.

  • Singapore - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

    Singapore - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture
    Singapore - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

    Culture Smart! Singapore will introduce you to the rich and varied customs of this densely populated island-state. It describes its private, social, and business life, and tells you what to expect and how to behave in unfamiliar situations. In doing so it offers you a fuller, more rounded experience of this fascinating, conservative, "can-do" society. Singapore is a land of immigrants. Although the Chinese are by far the largest ethnic group, it is more of a salad bowl than a melting pot, and has never had a dominant culture or a single language. It is, however, possible to recognize a common identity that has emerged since independence in 1965. With no natural resources, the newly independent state invested in education and trade, and today this clean, sleek, air-conditioned nation is a global financial center that makes much of the West seem third-rate. Singaporeans are hardworking, goal-focused individuals who are both enterprising and modern. They love noise, color, and shopping, and are proud of being high-maintenance and competitive. Yet behind this consumerist faÇade is a deep respect for family and hierarchy, political passivity, and a fear of losing face. They often use two Hokkien words to describe themselves: kiasu and kiasi, that is, a fear of missing out and a tendency to be risk-averse. Culture Smart! Singapore describes how locals interact with each other and with outsiders, and tells you what to expect and how to behave in unfamiliar situations. For foreigners the culture shock can be subtle. Despite its Western veneer this is definitely an Asian city, and it is easy to make mistakes. Any open expression of anger is frowned upon, and while questions about politics will be met with silence, expect to be asked everything, including your salary.

  • Trinidad & Tobago - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

    Trinidad & Tobago - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture
    Trinidad & Tobago - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

    The twin Caribbean islands of Trinidad and Tobago could hardly be more different. Trinidad is vibrant, cosmopolitan, culturally diverse, and multiethnic, with a population descended from East Indian, African, Spanish, French, Dutch, American, Chinese, Syrian, and English forebears. This potent mix finds full expression in unbridled revelry each February with the celebration of Carnival—a dazzling, open-to-all-comers, mass participation street extravaganza of steel bands, calypso, dance, and the magnificent costumed bands "playing mas" (short for masquerade). Tobago, by contrast, is much quieter, predominantly rural, and a tranquil tropical idyll. Both islands have a history of slavery and indentured labor that, even today, engenders a determination in the people to live life as they choose rather than to order. "Trinis" are by nature friendly, outgoing, and hospitable. They are slow to anger and quick to walk away from confrontation. They have an infectious joie de vivre and a laid-back attitude to time—which foreigners can sometimes find frustrating. Culture Smart! Trinidad and Tobago explores the codes and paradoxes of Trinbagonian life, describing the many and varied traditions, customs, and cultures of its diverse society. It outlines the contrasting histories of the two islands, and opens a window into people's private lives, showing how they interact socially, and their attitudes to people who are "from foreign." It offers practical advice from business tips to how to play mas at Carnival. It aims to make that first trip to the two islands as rewarding as possible by taking you beyond the stereotypes to the real people

  • Philippines - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

    Philippines - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture
    Philippines - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

    Culture Smart! provides essential information on attitudes, beliefs and behavior in different countries, ensuring that you arrive at your destination aware of basic manners, common courtesies, and sensitive issues. These concise guides tell you what to expect, how to behave, and how to establish a rapport with your hosts. This inside knowledge will enable you to steer clear of embarrassing gaffes and mistakes, feel confident in unfamiliar situations, and develop trust, friendships, and successful business relationships. Culture Smart! offers illuminating insights into the culture and society of a particular country. It will help you to turn your visit-whether on business or for pleasure-into a memorable and enriching experience. Contents include * customs, values, and traditions * historical, religious, and political background * life at home * leisure, social, and cultural life * eating and drinking * do's, don'ts, and taboos * business practices * communication, spoken and unspoken

  • Uzbekistan - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

    Uzbekistan - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture
    Uzbekistan - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

    Culture Smart! Uzbekistan will take you beyond the standard descriptions of minarets, kebabs with vodka, embroidered skullcaps, and Soviet-style bureaucracy. It will make you aware of the value systems, attitudes, and behaviors of the different cultural groups in the country, and offer an insider's view of Uzbekistan's fascinating history, national traditions, various cuisines, and cultural scene. It will tell you what the peoples of Uzbekistan are like at home, at play, and in business, and give practical advice on how to behave in different situations so as to make the most out of your visit. Uzbekistan is a land of paradoxes, both enjoyable and surprising for foreign visitors. It is famous for its fabulous architectural monuments and the exotic spirit of the Great Silk Road, the ancient trade route connecting East and West. Uzbekistan is a multicultural society where old and revived traditions coexist with modernity.