travel

Individualistic vs. Collectivistic Cultures

Cultures are dynamic manifestations of a society’s value choices. They reflect a society’s preferences and approaches to problem-solving together with its citizen’s source of inspiration and motivation. In the world of psychology, cultures are often classified into two camps. Firstly, there are those cultures that are innately collectivist. Secondly, there are those cultures that are that are inclined to be more individualist in their philosophy. The Individualist – Collectivist Divide Individualist cultures, usually represented by Western cultures such as Western Europe and the United States, stress individual fulfilment without regard for their potential impact on collective group goals. This produces a robust framework of competition within a society. Collectivist cultures, often repres...

The Danish unemployment rate is the lowest since 2009

The unemployment rate in Denmark is falling. The number of people who receive social welfare support diminished by 1,400 in June.  Statistics Officially, there are 107,300 people who aren’t working currently and who receive government support. According to the statistics department, the unemployment level is the lowest since 2009 taking into account both the percentage of people who aren’t working and the number of individuals in full-time positions. Even though there has been a steady decrease since 2009 there were some insignificant increases of unemployment in 2016 and 2017. Moreover, the number of people, who are suitable to work but aren’t employed yet, reach 152,000. Meanwhile, it was 148,000 in March last year. So, as we can see, not all numbers are looking better. The labour market...

Italian driving peculiarities

Italians are one of the best car manufacturers in the world. However, their driving skills are widely discussed. Public opinion suggests that Italians are  the worst European drivers. How so? Italians are among the top in the world for owning cars per capita, accordingly, the traffic accidents are numerous. Chaotic driving (fast line changing and braking while in the most cases disregarding the turn signals), anarchical parking, disrespectful behaviour with pedestrians, constant infringement actions against traffic rules are all very common on the roads. In Italian cities an aggressive and fast-paced driving style can be found. Meanwhile, countryside traffic is more laid back. On the other hand, it can also feel annoying when a bus, that is going in front of you, randomly stops without a t...

Warmer weather in Norway: climate change and snake bites

Unusual weather is spoiling Norwegians who are used to much lower summer temperatures. Moreover, unusually high temperatures for this northern country may become normal. Climate change Climate researchers are anxious about quite a regular occurrence of Euro  pean heatwaves this summer. A few records for hot weather have been already set. For now, 34 degrees has been recorded as a highest temperature, which is 4 degrees higher than a warmest day last year. The long-term average temperature has increased between 2-4 degrees to that of the average. However, climate researchers warn that it can become even hotter in Norway. This prediction is based on global warming and the world’s incapability to take proper actions to stop it. Additionally, other opinions believe that this drastic change wil...

Why Valencia?

If anyone ever asks you the question, “Why Valencia?” after you’ve explained you have just relocated there, the simple answer is, “Why not?” Safely tucked away out of the hurley burley between Madrid and Barcelona, Valencia is comfortable in its own skin. And what a skin that is. Valencia is an effortlessly livable city, a haven for foodies, culture-vultures and night owls. Valencia has never looked back since it courageously diverted its avowedly flood-prone river around to its outskirts and converted the now dry riverbed into an illustrious verdant park twining its way through the city. On it, Valencia unleashed innovative architectural designs such as the futuristic Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias. Just as critical to Valencia’s enduring attractiveness to residents, visitors and expa...

Are the Swiss eating less chocolate?

The Swiss chocolate industry counts 190,731 tons of the treat sold at home and abroad last year. However, the domestic consumption has fallen for the  third year in a row. Meanwhile, exports have been rising since 2012. Does it mean the Swiss started eating less chocolate? 1 bar of chocolate every one and a half days Even though, Aztecs are considered as the ancestors of chocolate, in the modern world Switzerland is widely known to be a chocolate country.   It all started when Francois-Louis Cailler opened a chocolate factory in Corsier near Vevey in 1819. Additionally, the man also founded “Cailler chocolate”, the oldest local brand still in existence.  Since this sweet relationship has lasted almost 200 years, it is not surprising that the average Swiss person eats 240 bars per year. Thi...

Why do Swedes have the longest vacation time?

Vacation in Sweden is something phenomenal. Local residents have 41 paid days annually. The country takes the lead on a global scale. Nearly two months of the year in total For many employed workers around the world 41 paid vacation days may sound glorious, but it is only a humble minimum for Swedes. In fact, legally they can be out of office around 2 months of the year. It is calculated with possible absences regarding personal matters, grief leave, public holidays and even a day off when you’re moving house.   However, the country keeps breaking down the standards: after taking the first 20 holiday days, Swedes are allowed to save remaining time up to five years. In addition, employers are responsible to inform their employees about their vacation situation in order to use it before thos...

Tipping in Germany

The tipping culture in Germany is deeply entrenched. Thus, this article explains the most actual tipping habits: how much Germans favour waiters; and what expectations waiters have; So, read the article to avoid any possible misunderstandings and unnecessary blushing!  The information is based on a study, made by Dr. Christian Stegbauer, who is an academic at the Frankfurt University.  So, many people all around the world would use rational logic when tipping: if they like the services and food, they will tip the staff accordingly. Meanwhile, Germans have their own standards that aren’t based on a typical “calculations”. German tipping habits Tipping is known as “trinkgeld” (“drink money”) in the country. Interestingly, Germans are known as generous restaurant-goers, even though the tip is...

How does language affect our perception of reality?

Can a native language influence the way we think and express our thoughts? Can it shape our world accordingly? It is very likely. This topic catches a lot of attention among linguists and researchers.  They are trying to identify the relationship between language, culture, and perception. The words, grammar, metaphors we use influence the diversity in perception and experiences. However, it is quite difficult to measure what is the extent of a language’s influence. Culture, traditions, habits and local environment shape our mind too, for this reason they affect how we talk and how we express our opinion. Linguistic differences There are a few examples below which demonstrate the differences from a linguistic perspective among unlike nations. –          Eskimos have many more words to...

Does New York Shape Its Residents?

New York The New York can be anything you want it to be. It’s why countless people have pinned their dreams on this evocative city, thrown caution to the wind and shown up on its doorstep. As Frank Sinatra famously put it, New York is the “city that doesn’t sleep.” New York City is the American centre of gravity for all things modern and cool that evolved into a hyper-frenetic centre stage all the world dreams of performing on. This is the city that is always non-stop, 24/7 in its eternal quest to remain one step ahead of the rest of the world. Living In New York Visiting New York is fundamentally different from living permanently in the Big Apple. New York is indeed a one-in-a-million, exciting place to live and work. New York, however, is not for the faint-hearted, the vacillating nor th...

Expats in Switzerland: where do they belong?

Even though everyone is different, it is still possible to sort people into groups regarding their attitude to a specific matter. Expatriates in Switzerland are not an exception: they can be grouped to the tribes due to their experience and viewpoint of living abroad. Here is the variety of Switzerland’s expat tribes. The love refugee They can’t even properly explain how everything happened and how they found themselves living here: working on their residence permit, as locals kissing other on the cheek three times when they meet them. They became extremely punctual and no longer notice the church bells, which ring all the time. The taxpat People chose this place because it is easy to park some money here. However, the situation has changed over the years, but Switzerland still stays...

Internet censorship in China

Internet in China is strictly controlled by many laws and administrative regulations. It is the most extensive and advanced online censorship operation in the world. More than sixty Internet regulations have been created by the government of China, which have been implemented by provincial branches of state-owned ISPs, companies, and organizations. The governmental authorities of China block access to selected foreign websites and slow down cross-border internet traffic, also monitors individual activity of users. Moreover, it limits the access of foreign international tools and mobile apps; and requires overseas companies to accustom to the indigenous regulations. For this reason, this phenomenon has a worldwide famous nickname “The Great Firewall of China”. (Wikipedia) The Gr...