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Cultural taboos, traits etc.

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Kimi
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Cultural taboos, traits etc.

Postby Kimi » Sun, 02 Oct 2005 9:36 pm

I read in a forum of non-French living in France that it is considered a no-no to talk about religion with French people, even though once I did ask Carpe Diem about it and he said doesn't seem to be.

For one, I found that Japanese people often pinpoint something with their middle finger which I must admit I'm still not used to.

So any cultural taboos, traits you know of either in Singapore or outside Singapore?
Especially maybe with German people, considering I'm going to meet a group of Germans quite often nowadays.

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Postby dot dot dot » Mon, 03 Oct 2005 11:11 am

Don't raise your right arm and straighten it when greeting Germans, it might make them feel uncomfortable... :mrgreen:

And never say you didnot know it ("Ich habe es nich gewusst...") to them either.

On a serious note, when in a business meeting with Germans, they tend to be most of the time quite formal and very rational. Hierarchy and titles mean a lot to them (If you see "Dr." in front of a name on a business name, this means the person will want to be seen as an important and critical person to deal with). You convince them by giving rational argumentation. Don't emphasize so much on the 'relation' with the person, it is about making sense to them.

Viel Spass!

Oh! And do ask them to return me my bicycle...! :mrgreen: (ask vaucluse if you don't get this one...)

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Postby IrishinSing » Mon, 03 Oct 2005 1:03 pm

and with the Irish you meet (there are about 500 of us now)

Don't say things like "Well I probably can't drink as much as you can"
"I don't have a photograph, but you can have my footprints. They're upstairs in my socks." -Groucho Marx

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Postby Kimi » Sun, 04 Dec 2005 9:10 am

Was invited to see one of the movies in German Film Festival with heaps of my German friends' friends and most likely will meet them again in a friend's house to sort of celebrate Advent Sunday.
Is it common for Germans to celebrate Advent and how to celebrate?
Being a Catholic since little, even though I wouldn't say I'm a religious one since haven't been to church for some years by now..., we have never had a small gathering with close friends even to sort of celebrate Advent.
Guess I don't have to expect any religious ceremony or such if it's more of an excuse to have a rendezvous ay?

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Postby Carpe Diem » Sun, 04 Dec 2005 9:34 am

Kimi, in Nothern Europe (especially Germany and surrounding countries) they celebrate St Nicholas (Sankt Nikolaus) which is normally on December 6.

In some places, December 6 is much more important than Christmas.

Children practice poems and songs for Sankt Nikolaus and make little presents for him. Friends and neighbors come to share in the fun. Candles on the Advent wreath and the big Christmas pyramid with a nativity scene in the center are lit. Stories are read or songs sung as everyone waits for a knock on the door.
When it comes, they all know it is Sankt Nikolaus, who comes in with his big book, golden crozier, and a big heavy sack. One of the children gets to hold the golden staff. Each child (and sometimes adults, too) stand in front of the saint. Nikolaus asks each child, "Have you behaved yourself?" "Do you do your homework?" "Do you keep your room tidy?" "Do you help your parents?" Then he opens his big sack and gives presents and candies and treats for all to share. And they give him the little surprises.

In Austria a strange and frightening creature, Krampus, is usually with St. Nicholas. This devil figure, often in chains, is dressed in fur with a scarey mask and a long red tongue. Krampus carries a wooden stick or switches to threaten children who misbehave or do not know their lessons. St. Nicholas never lets Krampus harm anyone. In some areas, though, hooligans dressed as Krampus do cause distressing havoc. When children promise to be good and study hard, St. Nicholas rewards them with a treat. He may come by himself or with angel helpers.

Hope this helps!
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Postby Cuchu » Sun, 04 Dec 2005 10:49 am

In Austria a strange and frightening creature, Krampus, is usually with St. Nicholas. This devil figure, often in chains, is dressed in fur with a scarey mask and a long red tongue. Krampus carries a wooden stick or switches to threaten children who misbehave or do not know their lessons. St. Nicholas never lets Krampus harm anyone. In some areas, though, hooligans dressed as Krampus do cause distressing havoc. When children promise to be good and study hard, St. Nicholas rewards them with a treat. He may come by himself or with angel helpers.


In Indonesia they dress in black and their skin is also black actually and carry a broom to scare naughty children. I think we call them Santa Pete (sp?). We probably adopt that from the Dutch culture, I wonder...

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Postby Wind In My Hair » Sun, 04 Dec 2005 3:49 pm

Carpe Diem wrote:Kimi, in Nothern Europe (especially Germany and surrounding countries) they celebrate St Nicholas (Sankt Nikolaus) which is normally on December 6.


CD, that was very interesting. i learnt something new today, thanks for sharing! :kiss:

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Postby k1w1 » Sun, 04 Dec 2005 5:25 pm

Hmm, this is what I was kind of getting at with my thread a while back on a similar vein...

So, at home (NZ) we don't say we're good at something (even if we are). It is considered arrogant and "blowing your own trumpet". In fact, this attitude is so rife that we've even coined a term, along the lines of Tall Poppy Syndrome, I guess: The Kiwi Clobbering Machine. It's basically social conditioning that will smash down anyone's pride in their achievements. It's really horrible. :cry:

A friend of mine lived in US for a while (Maryland) and she was telling me there were people who had bumper stickers on their cars which read: My child is an honours student. It was a totally bizarre concept for us, whose parents would rather tell people their child had terrible manners (or couldn't kick a ball or something) than let anyone know their child was in the gifted class.

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Postby Bubbles » Sun, 04 Dec 2005 5:33 pm

Yes I agree with Irish, NEVER say that to them. Just don't do it cos they'll be proving you wrong whilst being the sweetest people then when you're flat under the table they'll start on the 'proper drinking'.....and another thing, I don't think the Hangover Fairy ever visited Ireland, it's either that or their bacon and eggs and a Guiness to go it with next morning has wiped it out forever....!!!

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 04 Dec 2005 5:49 pm

k1w1 wrote:A friend of mine lived in US for a while (Maryland) and she was telling me there were people who had bumper stickers on their cars which read: My child is an honours student. It was a totally bizarre concept for us, whose parents would rather tell people their child had terrible manners (or couldn't kick a ball or something) than let anyone know their child was in the gifted class.


As a Marylander myself, I have to admit, it had to be a commonwealth immigrant. No Yank I know of would have a bumper sticker spelling honors as honours! :lol:

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Postby k1w1 » Sun, 04 Dec 2005 7:10 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:
k1w1 wrote:A friend of mine lived in US for a while (Maryland) and she was telling me there were people who had bumper stickers on their cars which read: My child is an honours student. It was a totally bizarre concept for us, whose parents would rather tell people their child had terrible manners (or couldn't kick a ball or something) than let anyone know their child was in the gifted class.


As a Marylander myself, I have to admit, it had to be a commonwealth immigrant. No Yank I know of would have a bumper sticker spelling honors as honours! :lol:


Oh yeah... #-o

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Postby Carpe Diem » Sun, 04 Dec 2005 8:33 pm

Wind In My Hair wrote:
Carpe Diem wrote:Kimi, in Nothern Europe (especially Germany and surrounding countries) they celebrate St Nicholas (Sankt Nikolaus) which is normally on December 6.


CD, that was very interesting. i learnt something new today, thanks for sharing! :kiss:


You're most welcome, do you think that deserves a song? :P
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Postby Wind In My Hair » Mon, 05 Dec 2005 1:14 am

Carpe Diem wrote:You're most welcome, do you think that deserves a song? :P


i'm humming jolly old st nicholas right now. if you can't hear it from where you are that's not my problem! :P

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Postby Carpe Diem » Mon, 05 Dec 2005 9:11 am

Wind In My Hair wrote:
Carpe Diem wrote:You're most welcome, do you think that deserves a song? :P


i'm humming jolly old st nicholas right now. if you can't hear it from where you are that's not my problem! :P


:(
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Postby earthfriendly » Mon, 05 Dec 2005 3:30 pm

Eric from the Netherlands wrote:On a serious note, when in a business meeting with Germans, they tend to be most of the time quite formal and very rational. Hierarchy and titles mean a lot to them (If you see "Dr." in front of a name on a business name, this means the person will want to be seen as an important and critical person to deal with). You convince them by giving rational argumentation. Don't emphasize so much on the 'relation' with the person, it is about making sense to them.

Eric


I think Germans have excellent organizational skills, not just at work but the way they run their personal lives, which makes them a pleasure to work and live with. Which partly explains why they are such good engineers. In the old days, used to have a saying among old Chinese Singaporeans, at least with my mom, "ti kok lai sin". Loosely translated as "German License" used to connotate that German products, especially electronic and automobiles, are of superior quality.


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