Working for a corporation on a 9 to 5 is not always that bad. From time to time I get the chance to experience new interesting things not related to the business.

For example, few weeks ago I attended to a presentation about culture diversity into our company. Some of our colleagues from other countries were invited to share with us few things about their own culture.

This is how I discovered new stuff about: Italy, India, Netherlands, Hong Kong and Tatar’s culture. So, in this article I would like to share it with you. I hope you find it interesting:

10 Things about India’s culture 

  1. People in India still marry the person that their parents have picked out for them. The couple needs to learn how to respect and love each other and bound a relationship for the whole life. For them, family is the most important institution and Indians are very close to their parents and relatives.
  2. The Indians DON’T do prenatal tests to determine the sex of the fetus, because male children are desired more than female children. This test was banned in India in 1994 to avoid the abortion of female fetuses.
  3. They DO eat spicy food. Really spicy. And they use curry, a lot!
  4. Indians are used to jump off and on moving buses and trains. They are trained to do this during college or childhood, but they don’t lose this habit later on.
  5. In India, there’s hardly the concept of zebra crossing and they DON’T stop if you really intend on respecting it.
  6. For religious reasons or personal choices, 20-40% of population in India is vegetarian. Thumbs up people!
  7. The Government of India consider that dolphins should be treated like humans. I definitely agree! Those sweet, beautiful creatures, odododo!
  8. I assume you already knew that the cow is sacred in India. If you didn’t, now you know, so treat them well either you travel in India or not.

  1. India doesn’t have a national game.
  2. When a head is jerked back or moved in a figure of eight, this usually means “yes” in India. Well, that’s a no in Romania, but good to know.
Famous phrases in Hindi:

Ghar ki murgi dal barabar = homemade chicken is equivalent to lentil

Meaning: self-possessions are always undetermined and other’s possessions seem to be more valuable

Aa bael mujhe mar = inviting the bull to hit you

Meaning: to get yourself into trouble, normally used to describe an act of stupidity

Ek aur ek gyarah hote hei = one and one make eleven

Meaning: unity is strength

10 Things to know about Italy’s culture     

  1. They DO love to do what is not allowed. If an Italian will see somewhere written “forbidden” he will think that this should be something nice or good for him. An Italian will always try the “not allowed” experiences.
  2. Apparently, the DON’TS in Italy are the ones allowed in Netherlands, but see the previous point.
  3. They like to eat PASTA and PIZZA in any shape or combination. They are very good at it and they are also very proud of their food.
  4. Italian celebrate most Christian holidays. The unusual holiday for me is Befana, the celebration of an old lady who flies on her broomstick (old lady lol, which) who deliver goodies to the children. It is celebrated in the night of 5 January.
  5. The concept of “bella figura” is very important in Italy and dressing well is essential (I guess that explains all the big shops in Milan).
  6. They always say ‘Auguri’ if they want to wish you Happy Birthday, Happy New Year or Merry Christmas!
  7. Italians prefer Italian instead of English. You may need to learn some Italian before you visit their country.
  8. Many Italian male names end in ‘o’ or ‘i’ like : Mario, Alberto, Giovanni, Matteo. Although, there is one exception for Andrea, which is an universal name. I met few males named Andrea in Italy.
  9. Almost each day of the year has one patron saint associated to it. So, children are named for a particular saint. They celebrate the name’s day like birthdays (we do it the same in Romania)
  10. Most shops (but also some churches, museums and businesses) in Italy are closed during the day for riposo. That would be the siesta in Italian. It may begin at noon and run until 3-4 PM.
Famous Italian phrases:

Italian people don’t say things, they mostly speak with their hands!

Although, if you plan on visiting Italy soon, here are some expressions that you will still hear everywhere:

Mamma mia! = Oh my god!

Tutto bene! = everything is alright

Boh, non lo so! = uh, I have no clue

10 Things to know about Netherlands  

  1. The Dutch go almost anywhere on bike and they always get their coat or umbrella with them, in case it may rain.
  2. Even if they love their bikes, they DON’T really use the bike lanes. So, if you hear the “cling, cling” and a “let op” behind you (watch out in Dutch), you should move really quick from their way. They won’t stop anyway.
  3. Dutch people DON’T like when they’re confused with Germans and it’s fair enough on this.
  4. We all know that Netherlands is also called Tullips’s country. Although, originally, the tulips were not cultivated in Netherlands, but imported from Middle East.
  5. The Dutch are considered to be the tallest in the world. The average height for men is 184 cm (about 6.036 feet) and for women is 170 cm (5.57 feet). Wow! What you eat people!?
  6. Since I mentioned the food, Dutch people eat a lot of herring. About 12 million kg per year.
  7. They are also very proud of their sweets mostly: like stroopwafels and chocolate drops.
  8. Netherlands is the largest exporter of beer in the world! They have a lot of pubs with hundreds of types of beer, yummy!
  9. About 20-30% of Netherland’s population give birth at home.
  10. Yes, it is legal to smoke weed in Netherlands, but I don’t think we should think that Dutch people are high all the time and I bet they agree with me on that.
Famous Phrases in Dutch:

Helaas Pindakaas=unfortunately, peanutbutter

Meaning: you have bad luck

Je moet de vieze was niet buiten hangen=you don’t put your dirty clothes outside

Meaning: you don’t share your private things

Je moet geen oude koeien uit de sloot halen=you shouldn’t get old cows out of the ditch

Meaning: don’t speak about the things that happened in the past

If you want to check the Diversity culture post, Part II, click here.

Thanks for reading 🙂

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