Archive for the ‘Cultural Insights’ Category

Cafes of Vietnam

vietnam coffee

If you enjoy drinking coffee and hanging out in cafes, Asia may not be the first place you’d consider as an ideal destination. But Vietnam is a pretty good under-the radar country for coffee and cafe lovers.

Cuisine and culture of Mexico

Mexican cuisine

Food is a wonderful window into a country’s culture. If you enjoy learning about a place through its cuisine then you’ll love this Frommer’s piece that takes a look at popular dishes in Mexico by region.

Travel destinations for food lovers

Vietnamese cuisine

You’re a foodie and a traveler. But do you have Turkey, Ethiopia or Vietnam on your travel list? Those under-the-radar countries and others are part of this interesting Tripbase article about 10 top travel destinations for food lovers.

Does language shape culture?

Tower of Babel

Does language shape culture? It’s an interesting question. Even more interesting, though, is the answer. Yes. Apparently, language not only expresses our views, but also helps to shape our very thoughts.

Creativity and education across cultures

students working together on a project

In previous posts about education across cultures, it’s been noted that one of the traditional strengths of the American system is that it promotes creativity and individual initiative. What is interesting now, though, is that other countries are trying to replicate this U.S. model at the very time that Americans are going in the opposite direction.

Chinese education, American education

chinese school

There are many differences in the educational systems of various countries. One of the largest gaps is between the Western and Asian styles of teaching and learning. Those differences were on display again in a recent story about Chinese guest teachers in the United States.

Unlearning conformity in Egypt


It’s common throughout the Middle East, Asia, and some other regions of the world for a culture to value conformity over individualism, and memorization over creativity in education. This topic is covered in a recent article I came across, which discusses how the educational style at the American University in Cairo differs significantly from the typical Egyptian classroom.

How geography can become destiny

The geography of Greece.

How much influence does geography have on a nation’s culture? Quite a bit, actually, and not only for the reasons you might initially consider…While pivoting off the current Greek debt crisis, he suggests that Greece’s geography has, in many ways, determined its destiny.

Dreams of Cascadia

Ever heard of Cascadia? Or Ecotopia? This is the geographical and cultural region – both real and mythical at the same time, it seems – that stretches from the Pacific Northwest up through British Columbia and includes such cities as Seattle, Portland and Vancouver. The NY Times recently published a story on the region. And, […]

Bringing stand-up comedy to the Arab world

Do Arabs appreciate stand-up comedy? They do. At least, that seems to be the consensus of some North American comedians who recently appeared in Jordan. Interestingly, stand-up comedy is not common to all cultures. How can it be, when such comedy often involves insulting groups of people, and in particular governments and politicians? Such freedom of speech is […]

Cultural differences in the Chinese and American workplaces

Much has been written about the differences between the cultures of the United States and China, but what in practical terms do these differences mean? Hannah Seligson just wrote a business article for the NY Times about the growing trend of young Americans taking jobs in China, and about the cultural challenges that arise when people from two […]

The innovation challenge in India

India has made tremendous economic strides in recent years on the strength of its outsourcing businesses, but many Indians fret that the nation will not be able to take the next step forward until the culture develops a more innovative nature. The NY Times just ran an interesting business feature on this topic. Even as the […]

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