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Category Archives: Cross-cultural awareness

When wedding rings are not worn

I learned something new today while reading this article in Harper’s Bazaar.

A lot of men from the upper classes in Britain do not wear wedding rings (Prince William and the Duke of Edinburgh, for example). It’s an old tradition. The only piece of jewellery that is worn is a signet ring.

As etiquette expert William Hanson explains, signet rings should only have a family crest on them rather than initials.

What about afternoon tea in London?

Some people have asked me in the past whether I recommend any places in London where one can have afternoon tea. People I know have been to The Ritz, to Claridges and to Fortnum and Mason. But the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park is new to me. According to this article in the Daily Mail, written byContinue Reading

The Japanese restaurant with a list of rules bigger than the menu

When travelling to Berlin a month or so ago, I was shocked at just how noisy it was on the train. Some people seemed to phone non-stop. And to not worry that everyone else could hear all their plans for the day. And there I was, trying to work quietly. So next time I travelContinue Reading

How birthdays and anniversaries are celebrated in America

How are birthdays and anniversaries celebrated in your country? Read here how they are celebrated in America.

British snack culture

I was surprised to read that young people in Britain eat more snacks than people of the same age in other European countries. So what sort of snacks do they like? According to the British Council’s article here, crisps and chocolate seem to be at the top of the list. And I’m not surprised. I rememberContinue Reading

Japan and its work ethic

One often hears stories of Japanese workers spending longer hours in the office than those in other countries and of deaths related to overwork in Japan. According to this article in the BloombergView, it looks as if Japan might be addressing its corporate-culture problem. So will we see a change? Will we see a focus on efficiency, productivityContinue Reading

Off to Japan?

Going to Japan soon? Make sure you know what you can do and what you can’t do with your chopsticks when you’re there! Look at Itchy Feet’s “Dos and Do nots of Chopstick Etiquette“.

How good are you?

Do you know the difference between Hispanic and Latino? England, Great Britain, the United Kingdom and the British Isles? Persian and Iranian? Chinese and Mandarin? Arab, Arabic and Arabian? The Midwest and the Great Plains? American Indians, Native Americans and First Nations? The Netherlands and Holland? America and The United States? South Asia and Southeast Asia?Continue Reading

Today is Mothering Sunday

Today is what I call “Mothering Sunday” or what Americans call “Mother’s Day”. In Britain, the day is always on the fourth Sunday of Lent, exactly three weeks before Easter Sunday and usually in the second half of March or early April. The Telegraph has written an article telling you everything you need to know about theContinue Reading

Holland versus the Netherlands

A lot of people talk about “Holland” when they really mean “The Netherlands”. So what is correct? And what is “Holland”? Watch this short video clip (link to: YouTube) to find out.