Categories for Culture

Cultural Context Essay

Cultural Context Essay

Even though construction is usually considered as originally the activity of men and machines in digging, moving, shaping, erecting, and so forth, the relative use of building materials by the construction industry far exceeds its share in the gross domestic product. Specifically is construction of great significance for that special class of materials – sometimes called as the “physical-structure” materials, which made major things of human civilization. Out of these “physical-structure” materials the more or less long-lasting and reliably shaped are wood and concrete.

They are basic building materials for thin-shell roof construction, walls, tanks, large-diameter pipes, runways, highway bridges and many other structures. Main Body Concrete is related to the most significant building technologies in twentieth and the early twenty first century. However, other important building materials, such as wood, also figure in the construction picture. The poured method of concrete building has been so improved that buildings of this material are now erected as rapidly as a wood structure.

Engineering departments all over the world are now prepared to assist engineers, architects and builders to apply concrete and wood to their construction work.

Increasingly in the beginning of the twentieth century, when builders were asked how they should build the foundation possessing good physical strength, their answer was – concrete. Either by placing the steel frame upon concrete foundations or by placing it upon a more spacious concrete raft foundation, architectural constructors in most cases complement steel with concrete as a problem-solving building material.

By reinforcing concrete with steel rods, or by using steel machinery to form concrete blocks as prefabricated building blocks, builders further diversified their architectural techniques. The most approved composition of concrete for general construction consists of a mixture of broken limestone, granite or clean screened mixture of rock fragments, clean coarse sand and cement, in such proportions that the voids between the stone are completely filled by the sand and the voids in the sand completely filled with cement, with a slight excess of cement to guarantee a perfect connection with the stone.

To create top-quality concrete, manufacturers need equally high-grade cement. By 1900 approximately three-quarters of that material was Portland cement, named after the tiny island of Portland in the U. K. where a desirable limestone used in its manufacture was descovered. In 1824 Joseph Aspdin, from Leeds, was the first to provide the world with Portland cement, but after 1872 the material was produced in the United States and its popularity spread rapidly (Collins, 1998).

At the 1876 Philadelphia Exhibition, American Portland cement was displayed to the public as a useful and practical building material, but production only began in earnest in 1880 and domestic cement only began to overtake European imports in 1897, by which time American machinery for crushing aggregate and making concrete had also begun to substitute European machines, even in Europe itself (American Exporter, 1906, 58 (3), pp. 79-87). Wood structures can be constructed more quickly and inexpensively than other kinds.

Wood still is used for finish flooring in the living areas of about four out of five homes, although plastic tiles and other materials are gaining ground. Flooring generally involves both the visible flooring and a subflooring. Most frame houses utilize boards for subflooring, but plywood is gaining ground. In buildings which use concrete beams, concrete flooring slabs are generally poured right along with the beams. Steel structures may be floored with poured concrete or with precast concrete or gypsum slabs.

Roofs of houses, which have a timber framework and cladding, are likely to have as the foundation wooden board, plywood, or composition planking. However, the current general tendency in home building toward flat, or low-pitched, roofs has led to a partial shift from tile, wood, and asbestos tiles to concrete materials and poured concrete. Because of its important role in residential buildings, wood does only slightly less well than concrete. Although its relative cost has increased with time, it is still the most popular building material all over the world.

The open-grained wood of any of numerous coniferous trees, such as pine and cedar, as distinguished from that of a dicotyledonous tree, enters the English home as framing, siding, shingles, finishing panels, sash, millwork, and boarding, used to cover the wall studding or roof joists of a timber frame; the wood of any of numerous broad-leaved dicotyledonous trees, such as oak, beech, ash, etc. – principally as flooring, material used for making panels, and trim.

In non-residential buildings, wood is put to practice as the most widely used building material for concrete formwork, railroad ties, telephone poles, railings, fences, and many other purposes (BLAIRSLTD). The chief advantages of wood in construction industry include its ease of production and of process by which wood is packaged and transported, its low thermal conductivity, and its strength-to-weight ratio (which is greater than that of cast iron and is identical to that of the stronger concretes) (Rowell 9).

Yet, because of its peculiar weaknesses as an organic material, such as vulnerability to fungi and various insects, its relative lack of versatility in terms of design, and its long-term rise in price in comparison with concrete, the relative role of wood as a building material may to some degree decrease in the future, and further replacement may be projected. If considered as a structural material in large building construction, wood has already been largely replaced by concrete framing, brick or concrete walls, and concrete floors.

This trend will probably continue in the future. On the other part, wood framing probably will retain its dominating position in the residential building, although giving way a bit to steel, concrete, perhaps aluminium, and sandwich panel method of building. The advantages of metal roof frameworks are gradually reducing the amount of wood required for roof structures. Moreover, for exterior trimming wood is being increasingly substituted by brick exterior and by panels of such building materials as asbestos, metal, and organic materials with a polymeric structure.

Dry wall building and the utilisation of gypsum plasterboard and of metal lath are also considerably lessening the need for wood. The most important role for wood is probably in finished flooring, but there are modern trends toward replacement of composition and various types of synthetic materials even in living areas. Wood, like steel, is yielding to aluminum as the leading building material for window frames, door frames, doorways, trim, and other such purposes.

In concrete building the formwork is tending change from wood to steel and plywood and also to plastics. Growing popularity of plywood and of laminated structural members may slow down the trend away from wood. Laminated wood arches, structural frameworks of wood, and roof systems have proved appropriate for spanning distances up to 120 feet, and, because of their attractive and pleasant appearance, are today in frequent use in the building of churches and temples, buildings for public gatherings or meetings, shopping areas, and the similar places.

Plywood, which to some degree possesses more physical strength than lumber, may replace lumber in almost any of its uses; it is already extensively used in subflooring, boarding, interior panelling, concrete forms, and so forth. Thus, it may be expected to grow in total use at almost twice the rate predicted for lumber. Use of concrete in building is constantly increasing today. It is a changeable mixture of portland cement, fine aggregates (almost always sand), and coarse aggregates (crushed stone, gravel, cinder, slag, or whatever else is available within a particular area).

The proportions of these ingredients are influenced by the particular use to which the concrete is to be intended, but they are at most times 1:2:4. As can be seen, cement is the minor component in this mixture. The fact that concrete is the most extensively used building material can be explained by its advantages related to wood among which are versatility, its high breaking strength relative to bricks and other kinds of masonry materials, the low price which makes it comparatively inexpensive material relative to structural steel, and in essence the presence of concrete components almost in all areas (Classic Encyclopaedia).

The main uses of concrete in England are in dams, water tanks, pipes and sewers, heavy walls, piers, caissons, columns, and road and sidewalk pavements. In addition, concrete is utilised in the form of units cast in a particular form before being used in building, such as concrete blocks and cast stone, whose principal advantage over wood, brick, and structural tile is that they are costing relatively little.

Because of the low flexural strength of concrete, it is combined with steel in most of its construction applications (Classic Encyclopaedia). This combination is made possible by the match of coefficients of thermal expansion of these materials. The amount of reinforcing steel – rods, wire, wire-mesh, and so forth – needed for a concrete structure is only one-third to one-half the amount needed for a similar completely steel structure.

In England, the possibilities of this technique of construction are just beginning to extend its use beyond massive complex constructions. The chief disadvantages of reinforced concrete (also known as ferroconcrete or armoured concrete) in comparison with structural steel are the time and costs of construction, even if one takes account of the applying paints to the surface of steel members and their trimming. It is costly to build and remove forms, shores, and temporary metal or wooden frameworks.

Most of the developments, which been made not long ago, in methods of concrete building are somehow related to reducing expense on forms, First, as an alternative to the traditional lumber and plywood, steel – and more recently, plastic with fibrous matter to confer additional strength – forms have been experimented. Plastics are especially showing great promise, in view of the fact that they are smooth and easily utilised, able to keep water, may be given extraordinary shapes, and may be use again and again from fifteen to twenty times.

Second, “slip-form” pavers have been successfully employed in laying road pavements (Green 1-2). Third, precasting of concrete members has been used as a mass production technique and to provide solid and robust in construction, more unchanging in form concrete, but presents some transportation problems. Fourthly, so-called tilt-up construction and lift-slab construction has permitted walls, floors, and columns to be poured on a horizontal surface and then either tilted or lifted into place.

Finally, able to be used more than once, adjustable length steel trusses have removed the need for the multiple strengthening which differently has to be placed under the conventional built-up forms. The faster such form-saving processes are improved and used by engineers and constructors, the faster steel concrete is likely to be used as a structural material. One more limitation of usual concrete is its low heat insulation value.

That is why concrete walls are occasionally of a non-load bearing, sandwich type, being composed of a layer of insulating material cast between two concrete slabs. In this application, concrete is to a serious degree threatened by other types of curtain walls, including various types of sandwiches. Alternative way to give concrete protecting properties is to make it with relatively light weight aggregates – such as vermiculite, expanded clay, and so forth.

In this form, it not any more has sufficient quality of being physically strong to be used for load bearing purposes, although it has been very well utilised in long-span roof building. Prestressed concrete has gotten great significance as a building material. The basic characteristic of prestressed concrete is that, by compressing concrete and keeping it under compression, the tensile stresses caused by loads are neutralized (CEMENT). The compression is accomplished by casting the concrete around stretched rods or cables, the tension on which is released as the concrete sets.

A prestressed beam needs only one-fourth the weight of the steel and one-half the weight of concrete which is needed to support the same load by a usual reinforced concrete member. Although it was patented by a San Francisco engineer in 1886, prestressed concrete did not emerge as an accepted and effective building material until a half-century later. Since then it had been intensively used in Europe for structural purposes. Up to the present moment, prestressed concrete’s applications have been limited mostly to pipes, tanks, runways, and from time to time highway bridges.

As engineers and constructors gain experience and manage to reduce the manufacturing expenses, prestressing may become competitive with steel and with reinforced concrete building. After weighing up all the factors, the trend is more toward a substitution of concrete for other building materials than of other building materials for concrete. The use of portland cement which is made by heating a slurry of clay and crushed chalk should more than double in the next decades, may presumably triple, and at its lowest is expected to become greater by at least one-third.

Matriarchal Cultures: the Native American Essay

Matriarchal Cultures: the Native American Essay

There has long been debate among anthropologists about matriarchal societies. But that is a historical result of last 500 years of European military expansion and extermination of native cultures. There are a few societies whose status as matriarchies is disputed among anthropologists and this is as much a debate about terminology as it is about interpreting how another society defines status and such, their self-understanding as opposed to our imposition of categories on them. Among anthropologists, there are theories that support the plausibility of having prehistoric matriarchies.

And if we look more at the complexity of societies, we’re liable to find that the answer to why a particular arrangement developed in particular cases and may vary from case to case. Conversely enough there are many more matrilineal and matrilocal societies. A lot of people tend to interchange the definition of matrilocal and matrilineal with matriarchal. Matrilocal is when a husband who marries a woman must move to her community/village. Matrilineal is a descent system based on unilineal descent that gives the mother’s family certain terms of kinship than the father’s family.

Matriarchal is when women have control of a community.

Matrilocal and matrilineal societies do not mean that the women hold more power than the men. Inheritance and lineage does not equal power. Whereas, matrifocal is the gravitating toward or centering on the mother. Native American’s were well known to have a matriarchal system. Most early societies were organized around matrilineal lines. Women were the center of society, before agriculture, women generally raised children, cooked, gathered fruits, vegetables, etc. Men hunted. In this role, women were the first scientists. They learned how to cultivate plants, and domesticate animals. They learned methods of food preservation.

They learned how to build better houses. Women were the ones responsible for the development of civilization. There were a lot of societies that were both matriarchal and patriarchal before Christianity took over. Some indigenous tribes were accepting of androgyny and women taking on men’s roles before Christianity came into play. Most Native American tribes had traditional gender roles. In some tribes, such as the Iroquois nation, social and clan relationships were matrilineal and or matriarchal, although several different systems were in use. One example is the Cherokee custom of wives owning the family property.

Men hunted, traded and made war, while women cared for the young and the elderly, fashioned clothing and instruments and cured meat. The cradle board was used by mothers to carry their baby while working or traveling. However, in some, but not all tribes a kind of transgender was permitted. Apart from making home, women had many tasks that were essential for the survival of the tribes. They made weapons and tools, took care of the roofs of their homes and often helped their men hunt buffalos. In some of the Plains Indian tribes there reportedly were medicine women who gathered herbs and cured the ill.

In some of these tribes girls were also encouraged to learn to ride and fight. Though fighting was mostly left to the boys and men, there had been cases of women fighting alongside them, especially when the existence of the tribe was threatened. There has been such a continual misconception as on the position of women among Native Americans. Because she was active, always busy in the camp, often carried heavy burdens, attended to the household duties, made the clothing and the home, and prepared the family food, the woman has been depicted as the slave of her husband, a patient beast of encumbrance whose labors were never done.

The man, on the other hand, was said to be a loaf, whom all day long sat in the shade of the lodge and smoked his pipe, while his overworked wives attended to his comfort. In actuality, the woman was the man’s partner, who preformed her share of the obligations of life and who employed an influence quite as important as his, and often more powerful. Native Americans established principal relationships either through a clan system, descent from a common ancestor, or through a friendship system, much like tribal societies in other parts of the world.

In the Choctaw nation, “Moieties were subdivided into several nontotemic, exogamous, matrilineal ‘kindred’ clans, called iksa” (Faiman-Silva, 1997, p. 8). The Cheyenne tribe also traced their ancestry through the woman’s lineage, Moore (1996, p. 154). shows this when he says “Such marriages, where the groom comes to live in the bride’s band, are called ‘matrilocal’. ” Leacock (1971, p. 21) reveals that “… prevailing opinion is that hunting societies would be patrilocal…. Matrilineality, it is assumed, followed the emergence of agriculture…. ” Leacock (p.21) then stated that she had found the Montagnais-Naskapi, a hunting society, had been matrilocal until Europeans stepped in.

“The Tanoan Pueblos kinship system is bilateral. The household either is of the nuclear type or is extended to include relatives of one or both parents…. ” (Dozier, 1971, p. 237). The roles and statuses for men and women varied considerably among Native Americans, depending on each tribe’s cultural orientations. In matrilineal and matrilocal societies, women had considerable power because property, housing, land, and tools, belonged to them.

Because property usually passed from mother to daughter, and the husband joined his wife’s family, he was more of a stranger and yielded authority to his wife’s eldest brother. As a result, the husband was unlikely to become an authoritative, domineering figure. According to Dozier (1971) Additionally, among such peoples as the Cherokee, Iroquois, and Pueblo, a disgruntled wife, secure in her possessions, could simply divorce her husband by tossing his belongings out of their residence. The Iroquois, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Mohawk, Seneca are a matriarchal societies.

In the Iroquois community, women were the keepers of culture. They were responsible for defining the political, social, spiritual and economic norms of the tribe. Iroquois society was matrilineal, meaning descent was traced through the mother rather than through the father. Also, when a couple marries, the man traditionally went to live with the wife’s family. Women’s role in tribal governance was often influential in matrilineal societies, as among the Iroquois, in which the principal civil and religious offices were kept within maternal lineages.

The tribal matriarch or a group of tribal matrons nominated each delegate, briefed him before each session, monitored his legislative record, and removed him from office if his conduct displeased the women. Although the leaders were men, it was the Clan Mothers who nominated and elected them, and could remove them from their position. The women made sure the male leadership fulfilled their responsibilities. Iroquois women enjoyed social equality and respect. The Seneca Native Americans were a matriarchal egalitarian culture in that the practice of sur-naming as identifying to the individual was reversed.

Women were considered the heads of households in which men married into and changed their last names from their mothers to their wives last names. And the children were given the names of the mothers’ family. Though men were considered the elders and chiefs of each household, during each conference of the families, the female heads of household sat behind the male spokesperson and advised each of them on manners concerning the tribe. In the Northeastern Woodlands and on the Plains, where hunting and warfare demanded strenuous activity away from home, the men often returned exhausted and required a few days to recover.

Wearied by both these arduous actions and the religious fasting that usually accompanied them, the men relaxed in the village while the women went about their many tasks. Seeing only female busyness in these native encampments, White observers misinterpreted what they saw and wrote inaccurate stereotypical portrayals of lazy braves and industrious squaws. Such was not the case. In the Southeast and Southwest, men and women performed their daily labors with observable equality because the men did not go out on grueling expeditions as did the men in the Northeast and Plains.

In California, the Great Basin, and Northwest Coast, the sexual division of labor fell somewhere between these two variations. Women had certain common tasks in each of the U. S. culture areas: cleaning and maintaining the living quarters, tending to children, gathering edible plants, pounding corn into meal, extracting oil from acorns and nuts, cooking, sewing, packing, and unpacking. Certain crafts were also usually their responsibility: brewing dyes, making pottery, and weaving such items as cloth, baskets, and mats. In the Southwest, however, men sometimes made baskets and pottery, and even weaved cloth.

In regions where hunting provided the main food supply, the women were also responsible for house building, processing carcasses of game, preparing hides or furs, and whatever food gathering or farming that could be done. In the mostly agricultural societies in the Eastern Woodlands, the women primarily worked in the fields and the men built the frame houses and both shared duties for preparing hides or furs. Similarly, in the fishing communities of the Northwest, the men built the plank houses and helped with the processing of animal skins.

In California and in the Great Basin, most aspects of labor, except the defined female tasks of weaving and basket and pottery making, were shared fairly evenly. In the Southwest, the men did most of the field work, house building, weaving, cloth manufacturing, and animal skin processing. Female prestige among the Iroquois grew greater after the Revolutionary War, and male prestige ebbed due to continual losses and defeats and the inability to do much hunting due to scarcity of game.

By the nineteenth century, mothers played a greater role in approving marriage partners for their children and more consistently got custody of their children in a divorce, unlike the uncertainty of custody in earlier times. Among many Southeast tribes the women were influential in tribal councils and in some places they cast the deciding vote for war or peace. The Cherokee designated a female as “Beloved Woman,” through whom they believed the Great Spirit spoke. Consequently, her words were always heard but not necessarily heeded.

However, she headed the influential Woman’s Council, sat as a voting member of the Council of Chiefs, and exercised considerable influence. She also unhesitantly used her absolute authority over prisoners. When she died, a successor would be chosen. Cherokee women were strong, hardworking, and very powerful within their community. The Cheyenne held women in particularly high regard. They played an influential role in determining warfare and sometimes even fought alongside the men.

Upon a war party’s successful return, the women danced about while waving the scalps, exhibited their men’s shields and weapons, and derived honors from their husbands’ deeds. Property possession, inheritance, power, and influence rested on whether a tribe’s structure was in matrilineal or patrilineal. Although a few universal female-designated work tasks existed, like cleaning, nurturing, edible plant gathering, food preparation, cooking, packing, and unpacking, others varied by region, means of food production, and social organization.

Such variances in gender roles further exemplify the diversity that existed among Native Americans. Summing it all up, a Matriarchy is a type of society, which is distinguished from all other types of societies by the absence of power structures and institutionalized hierarchies. The means of production are commonly owned and set of rules prevent the accumulation of possessions or power. Compared to socialist or communist systems they are characterized by the absence of a centralized administration and ruling authority. Decisions concerning every area of life are made by consensus including all genders and generations.

During my research of women-run societies, some fundamental differences from predominantly male-run societies become pretty clear, and quite obviously a different view than that of Western culture today. A much greater emphasis is placed on communal participation than that of societies run by men, which tend to be more hegemonic. Children, case in point, belong to the whole community rather than to a single family, I have always heard the saying “it takes a village to raise a child” I don’t know the origins of that but it is well known in African-American culture.

Also, for example land is shared instead of partitioned off. What I ascertain from this, is that societies run by women stand to be more egalitarian, more nurturing, and perhaps more just. So going forth in Western culture today the idea of a matriarchy has always fascinated people, men as well as women. In the midst of women starting to dominate the professional world more and men falling behind in education it would appear that we’re on a sure path to becoming a matriarchal or egalitarian society, it seems if that word makes more people comfortable in this day and age.

In my opinion and looking at the data, Women are gaining power as a gender and men are losing it. That alone is doubtful to bring about a complete matriarchy but it certainly will have matriarchal elements. Works Cited Bruhns, Karen Olsen, and Karen E. Stothert. 1999. Women in Ancient America. University of Oklahoma, Norman Dozier, E. P. , (1971). The american southwest. In Leacock, E. B. , & Lurie, N. O. (Eds. ), North american indians in historical perspective. Illinois: Waveland Press, Inc. Faiman-Silva, S. (1997). Choctaws at the crossroads.

Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. Gero, J. M. ja M. W. Conkey, editors. 1991. Engendering Archaeology: Women and prehistory. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. Leacock, E. B. (1971). Introduction. In Leacock, E. B. , & Lurie, N. O. (Eds. ), North american indians in historical perspective. Illinois: Waveland Press, Inc. Lerner, Gerda. 1986. The creation of patriarchy. New York: Oxford University Press. Moore, J. H. (1996). The cheyenne. Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishers Inc. Reiter, Rayna R. , editor. 1975. Toward an anthropology of women. New York: Monthly Review press.

Canadian cultural Essay

Canadian cultural Essay

In her article “I Am Half-Canadian,” Pamela Swanigan seeks to define Canadian cultural identity by comparing and contrasting it to the often highly regarded identity attributed to Americans. Born in the USA to parents of mixed racial origin and later immigrating to Canada, Swanigan offers a unique view on many of the common fallacies that come up when one envisions the culture of the United States.

Contrary to the popular view, that depicts the United States as an all-welcoming “melting pot” of cultures and races, Swanigan contests instead that American culture is one of constricting self-definition and pigeonholing.

She argues that American culture is neither open nor accepting of diversity, instead forcing people to strictly classify themselves into certain racial and linguistic categories- “everyone’s forced to pick one definition and stick to it.

” Having personally experienced this phenomenon, as a woman of mixed race working in a traditionally male field (sports writing), Swanigan is extremely influential in presenting her case, offering a number of examples as to how Americans are boxed in to certain classifications and social expectations.

She further goes on to remark on the close-minded nature of such a view, which leads many Americans to be suspicious and vaguely threatening- a stance that directly contradicts the traditional view of the United States as an open and accepting country.

Swanigan contrasts this with the relatively fluid and undistinguishable collective culture of Canada, where a lack of strict individual definition leads to the misconception that Canadians have no culture at all. Instead the author seeks to dispel this myth by suggesting that this lack of identification is in fact the ideal that America claims to promote, which its neighbor to the north that has achieved.

Chinese culture Essay

Chinese culture Essay

1. Executive Summary Business today is becoming more universal and it is common to travel around the world for business dealings. In order to clinch a business deal with parties of other countries, it is essential to do some research about the country first. This will provide critical information about their business tradition, etiquette issues and other factors that will allow easier acceptance of Singaporean business persons. China being the largest populated country of 1. 3 billion, with an area of 9,600,000 square kilometers, has a long history, unique culture and a wide variety of distinctive customs and traditions.

She has been attracting foreigners to invest as there are plentiful resources and labour market, which are crucial in business dealings. Besides the factors that are mentioned above, other factors play essential roles as well. Guanxi and Mianzi are the foremost factors that Chinese businessmen take into account. Other factors include preparation for Chinese business meetings, knowledge of the Chinese Lijie, such as non-verbal communication and social relationships.

Also, the Chinese banquet consisting table etiquette together with drinking and toasting.

There will also be gift-giving, such as what should be considered to give and what should be avoided. Last but not least, different ways to negotiate with the Chinese for the best solution should be taken into consideration. In conclusion, having the knowledge of the Chinese etiquette will better help one to succeed in clinching more business dealings. At the same time, it also helps one to understand the culture and customs of Chinese. Therefore, this will not only do one good for business purposes, but also encourages common understanding amongst countries.

2. Introduction The People’s Republic of China, has a largest population of 1. 3 billion and a GDP of US$2393 billion. Thus, it has been eyed by many business executives due to its big market share and a large pool of labour which provides many business opportunities. In order to carry out business transactions efficiently with the Chinese, it is important for us to know what the prohibitions, customs and taboos are in China. By understanding these, we will be more prepared to conduct business with the Chinese. 2. 1 Meeting the Chinese.

To begin with, the Chinese are very particular about first impressions. They prefer to be introduced formally to people as they are reluctant to strike up conversations with people they are unfamiliar with. A proper handshake will be most appropriate upon introduction. If one is being introduced to a group, remember to shake everyone’s hands. Also, stand up throughout, when being introduced or when presenting self. Begin introductions with his/her name, followed by the company’s name and specify the country that he/she is from. 2. 2 Business Cards.

It is polite to use two hands to hold both corners when presenting business card and to position it so that it is legible to the recipient. Try to have one side of the card being translated and print the Chinese letters using gold ink as this is an auspicious colour. It will be respectful to spend a few seconds reading the card upon receiving it and helps in remembering one’s name. It is demeaning to put it directly into your pocket without glancing. If it is a sit-down meeting, place the card on the table so that one can look at it. 2. 3Conversations.

Most Chinese like to engage in conversations concerning topics which they have knowledge on, such as weather, geography, Chinese cuisine, Chinese scenery and landmarks. Topics related to politics should be avoided. Dismiss personal questions with a little humour if uncomfortable. The Chinese would often compliment the country of origin. However, accepting praise outright is not considered as good etiquette for them. Instead, one is expected to deflect compliments and pretend it is unworthy of receiving them. 2. 4 Greetings Surnames come first when addressing a Chinese.

In business situations, one will seldom concern themselves with a Chinese person’s given name. It is advisable to get straight how one should address someone at the first meeting. For business purposes, it is traditionally acceptable to call a Chinese by the surname, together with a title such as Managing Director Toh. 2. 5On the telephone Although Chinese may make arrangements through the phone, most Chinese prefers face-to-face meetings. On the telephone, the standard greeting is the word “wei”, which means “hello” or “are you still there” in Mandarin.

Chinese often do not furnish any identifying information upon answering the phone; hence it is good to verify that one has reached the organization he/she intended to dial. 3. GuanXi – Relationships Personal relationships play a vital part in the business world of Chinese. Chinese businessmen do not rush into discussions and negotiations, as they want to get familiar with their business partners before doing business. This is known as Guanxi, which means “relationships”. It is the network of relationships among various parties that cooperate together and support one another.

Before doing business, Chinese will extend hospitality to demonstrate their respect for others and appreciation of the finer things in life so as to soften their visitors. There will be small talk during the first full day, where Chinese learns about his visitor and goals. The evening during the welcome banquet, they would learn more as foreign visitors will open up during casual talks. Also, the visitors may visit the residence of their acquaintances from other organizations and bring some gifts as it is important for building and creating Guanxi.

Gifts like foreign cigarettes and quality wines are acceptable, which will be discussed more at the later part of the report. Trust is built during such situations and Chinese would then be more comfortable to work with them. Relationships are not only between companies but also personal levels. Establishing a sincere, supportive relationship based on mutual respect is a fundamental aspect of Chinese culture. In the world of business, possessing the right Guanxi is crucial for ensuring the minimization of difficulties and frustrations that are often encountered and it is also important to any successful business strategy in China.

4. Mian Zi – Face Face, also known as Mianzi, is a mark of personal pride and forms the basis of an individual’s reputation and social status. Having face means having a high status in the eyes of one’s peers, and is a mark of personal dignity. It is a prized commodity, which can be given, lost, taken away or earned. Face to a Chinese, holds more importance and encompasses a greater part of life. In order to establish all important interpersonal relationships, face must always be created and maintained at all times.

Losing face may be caused by, for example, public insult, chastisement or contradicting someone in front of another, and also, by ourselves, such as losing temper or losing your own control in public. Furthermore, rescinding an order can also be constructed as losing face. This is why Chinese leaders would rather follow the policies even if there are events that prove them that it is irrelevant. Causing someone to lose face through public humiliation or inappropriate allocation of respect to individuals within the organization can seriously damage business discussions.

On the other hand, praising someone in moderation before their colleagues is a form of ‘giving face’ and can earn respect, loyalty and aid negotiations. Nevertheless, face is so important that it is justification for spending money even if the Chinese is not very rich. Money that may be set aside for emergency use may be used for buying gifts or accessories instead because of face. 5. Lijie- Art of Politeness Being polite is a type of basic courtesy one should possess. In China, personal feelings and hint of criticism should not be dealt with publicly as it might cause public embarrassment and unpleasantness.

A glass of tea that is automatically set out in front of arriving guests is how the Chinese allows the guest to feel comfortable and appear gracious. 5. 1 Surface harmony Surface harmony is an essential skill because the world of Chinese etiquette is very insensitive to unpleasant genuine feelings as it concerns matter of “face”. To the Chinese, things are done more for show than for substance; for example, manners are tools which they use to maintain pleasantness at all times, even when it is not entirely felt. Surface harmony is disturbed when one expresses his/her disagreement.

Therefore, it is advised to remain quiet and “give face” as it might result in sabotage, subversion or revenge as the Chinese are well capable of such actions. 5. 2Intermediaries Intermediaries can be useful in communicating something unpleasant to the Chinese, and they help to ask questions, as preservation of face and surface harmony is considered highly important to Chinese. Intermediaries are highly useful in negotiations as they provide back channels for information that might prove too sensitive or risky. However, anger may be expressed directly for strategic purposes.

5. 3 Social relationships Chinese manage their social relationships by an imaginary circle that surrounds them. Relatives, friends, neighbours, classmates and co-workers are within the circle. These people have relationships with one another and hence, bear some sort of obligation. Chinese tend to go all out for them, be it putting themselves at great inconvenience or even ethically questionable circumstances. The rest of the world, whom a Chinese treats like a stranger, remains outside of the circle to whom with no particular obligation. 5. 4 Non-verbal communication.

Chinese have various non-verbal communications. Firstly, Chinese tends to have a shorter social distance compared to many western cultures, for example, a Chinese friend might stand a little close to you for comfort or breathing directly into your face when talking to you. Furthermore, if one steps backwards, his/her Chinese counterpart may advance accordingly. When dealing with a Chinese, particularly the older ones, one should not touch a member of the opposite sex you do not know extremely well as other types of physical contact can be misinterpreted.

However, it is said to be perfectly acceptable for Chinese to be physical with members of the same sex. Traditionally, Chinese are seldom demonstrative with the opposite sex in public. Therefore, foreigners should keep in mind that they are well advised to avoid more passionate forms of contact besides holding hands with a companion. During a conversation, one should not slink down in chairs as they are deemed disrespectful. Furthermore, some Chinese will avoid meeting one’s eyes or smile. This is a sign of shyness or keeping feelings to themselves. Thus should not be confused with insincerity, unfriendliness or anger.

Silence is a virtue for it represents reflection or a sign of politeness. Gestures such as “come here” by curling index finger upward, “okay” sign with thumb and forefinger forming a circle, and shrugging of shoulders showing “I don’t know” may not be understood by the Chinese. Nodding or shaking of head, thumbs-up and clapping of hands for applauding are universally accepted gestures. 5. 5 Ways to reject a Chinese Rejecting people or saying ‘no’ can result in losing face, therefore the Chinese devised a number of methods of refusing without saying ‘no’.

Ways to reject are, saying to grant the wish would be “inconvenient” as it means there are political problems associated with fulfilling a request, or it is “under consideration” or “being discussed”. This generally means that something is unlikely to happen. Another way is to blame someone else for the roadblock by finding a scapegoat. Lastly, a Chinese may tell a lie such as inventing a story to get out of the uncomfortable position in which a person feels placed. 11. References and Acknowledgements 1. De Mente Boye. (2004).

Chinese etiquette & ethics in business. Boston: McGraw-Hill. 2. Scott D. Seligman. (1999). Chinese Business Etiquette: a guide to protocol, manners, and culture in the People’s Republic of China. United States of America: A Time Warner Company 3. About. com: China Online (n. d. ). Retrieved on June 13, 2007. http://chineseculture. about. com/od/businessculture/Chinese_Business_Culture. htm 4. Communicaid global communication: doing business in China. (n. d. ). Retrieved on June 13, 2007. http://www. communicaid. com/chinese-business-culture.

asp 5. Chinese Culture. (n. d. ). Retrieved on June 13, 2007. http://www. chinese-culture. net/html/chinese_business_culture. html 6. Kwintessential- Language and culture specialists (n. d. ). Retrieved on June 13, 2007. http://www. kwintessential. co. uk/cultural-services/articles/china-business-culture. html 7. China’s GDP grows 10. 7% in 2006. (January 25, 2007). ChinaDaily. com. cn. Retrieved on June 25, 2007. from http://www. chinadaily. com. cn/china/2007-01/25/content_792311_2. htm 8. Economy – Economic Structure & Trends.

(2006). Retrieved on June 20, 2007. http://china-europe-usa. com/level_4_data/eco/042_3. htm 9. China – Business etiquette, manners and cross cultural communication. (n. d. ). Retrieved on June 15, 2007. http://www. cyborlink. com/besite/china. htm 10. China – Business & Travel Etiquette. (n. d. ). Retrieved on June 15, 2007. http://www. crazycolour. com/os/china_02. shtml 11. Business Card Etiquette by Neil Payne. (n. d. ). Retrieved on June 15, 2007. http://www. sideroad. com/Business_Etiquette/business-card-etiquette. html.

Foreign Cultures Essay

Foreign Cultures Essay

The problem of the students who have to learn foreign cultures or not had concerned a number of people. Some individuals advocate that the students are just need to know their own country culture.However, their are a large group of opponents have an opposite perspective. As far as I concerned,The students in college are necessary to know the foreign cultures. Most of the student will go to other countries in the future for their jobs or visit their relatives or friends.

So they have to know some foreign cultures for the convenience and live without troubles. If you are a tourist on that country, and you know the foreign cultures, you can enjoy your trip. If you are working on that country, you will put more focus on your work and getting more friends. But if you don’t know the cultures of the country which you live, you will have a lot of troubles.

You can not pay any attention on you major work, you will not happy because some awkward things will happen.

In addition, if you familiar with the cultures of foreign countries, wherever you are you will be the person who is most attractive. A lot of people might think you are really intelligent and know a lot of interesting things and knowledge they don’t know. So you might getting a lot of friends who interest you. If you are in the foreign country, you will have live easier and smoother. to get a good job. If you want to be a teacher in the school or a tour guide, you will need this culture a lot. In the conclusion, learning foreign cultures are really helpful, they are a sort of ability that can avoid some embarrassments, and can help you getting more opportunities to make new friends and good jobs in the future.

What does it mean to be a wife in another culture? Essay

What does it mean to be a wife in another culture? Essay

Information technology, television, and newspapers are altering the world at a rapid pace. When we talk about another culture now, we find that with increased education and the affect of the world becoming a global village; it is difficult to find a culture that has remained impervious to the western influences. Even in countries with supposedly same cultural values, the role women have to play are changing rapidly. The role of a wife is also changing and the very traditional roles are fast disappearing or can only be find in primitive or conservative families.

There are however, certain peculiarities, which are related to the cultural expectations and religious influences [Rashid, 2000], and even the families not practicing the old customs pretend to be following the traditional values to conform to the norm of the societies. In personal relationships, it is difficult to select a typical American culture for the Anglo-European families sharing the same religion. The institution of marriage, role expected from man and woman in family life has different meaning for different families.

In some conservative families, marriage still means ‘till death us do part’, while others may choose to live together for various reasons [SmartMoney, 2007]. Even the same sex marriages are becoming legal in more and more States. The institution of marriage is under threat in most of Western Europe and America. Economic independence, weakening of religious perceptions of marriage and social welfare state is removing most of the compulsions to make a failing marriage work and divorce rates are increasing at an alarming rate.

People living in other societies, are still under the influence of the values of traditional societies, religion plays an important role in the society and family life. The economic dependence of man and woman on each other, stigma attached to divorce, lack of social welfare system to take care of a split family and unacceptability of sex outside marriage have resulted in development of societies quite different from ours.

As a result, many of the societies considering themselves civilized have role of women that would compare favorably with the Victorian concepts of role of women in European society. There are also other cultures, which have imposed the values of middle ages where women have a total subservient role in family and social lives. In Saudi Arabia, for example, the women are not allowed to drive a car [Nasr, 2006] and the institution of polygamy is acceptable and practiced.

This essay presents the role of woman as wife in other cultures. The impact of religion on family life in these cultures and changes in the societies with the penetration of media and international awareness on the role of women in the society are also discussed. For this study, the original role of an Iroquoian wife (Native Canadian tribe), An Indian Muslim wife, a Saudi Arabian, and an Afghan wife have been selected.

The Irish Culture Essay

The Irish Culture Essay

The Irish are the people living on the Island of Ireland. Their culture is not that huge as per many beliefs. This is due to the prominent divisions that are there between urban and rural people, between the Protestants and the Roman Catholics and also divisions between the Irish speakers and the English speakers. This division has gone ahead to even affect the new migrants and the native population (Mitchell, 1998). With such divisions, the Irish culture is bound not to be monumental, though it is significant to as far as international levels.

The old pagan tradition is still considerably reflected in the Irish calendar up to date. The Christian traditions have also a significant effect even though they came much later. For instance, in other countries around the world, Christmas coincides with the winter solstice, something that was chosen deliberately (Comerford, 2003). In Ireland, Christmas just like most places have several local traditions, some of them are in no particular way connected with Christianity.

One example is on 26th December where it is also known as St. Stephen’s day.

There is a custom of “Wrenboys” who make door to door calls with assorted material’s arrangement. These equipments tend to vary with place which is meant to a dead wren that has been trapped in the furze. There is also the 1st of February which is the Brigid’s day. This day has also acquired different names which include Imbolic and Candlemas. This too does not have any Christian origins. Instead, it is seen as another observation that is religious in nature and was superimposed during the start of spring. There is also the Brigid’s cross that was made on this day out of rushes.

It is used to be a symbol of a solar wheel that is pre- Christian. Sumhain in November is another festival that is still greatly observed to date and it is currently called Halloween. Halloween has gained popularity and is celebrated world wide. The other pre- Christian festivals that have their names as Irish months name include Bealtaine that is May and Lunasa which is August. Easter and Marian observances are part of the important church holidays (Mitchell, 1998). The most eventful and prestigious of all is the S. t Patrick’s day.

It is marked as a national holiday in the republic of Ireland. To really ascertain its importance, the day is celebrated with a lot of festivals in the cities and within towns all around the country. Parades and marching bands are also availed to mark that day. Dancing is part and parcel of the Irish culture. In Irish dancing, two main kinds have been identified. They are the Riverdance and Real Irish dance. The Riverdance is very popular in that it is running up to the moment in major cities apart from Ulan Bater. It is even credited with the Irish economic boom by some economists.

On the other hand, the Real Irish dance is performed in such a manner that men do not dress in frilly blouses and one is not allowed to communicate except in a note in print to the panel of adjudicators (Comerford, 2003). The work habits in the Irish community vary with different people. Farming is largely prevalent in Ireland even though it is one of the activities in the Irish culture that comes from way back in history. Therefore in arming, the men are the ones who handle most of the activities that are related to it.

The women on the other hand do the marketing of the produces. The Irish farmers have come to be known for using the latest methods in agricultural production. The kind of produce that they make includes meat and dairy products. Cereals like wheat and barley are also chiefly produced. In production the Irish industry has done tremendously well in pharmaceuticals textiles, clothing, and even in fishery (Mitchell, 1998). Language is only one way of communicating. There are other forms of sending a message that bring forth communication. Gestures are one way of communicating.

The Irish culture also has its own unique gestures. Women are allowed to sit first before the men. The women are supposed to sit with their legs crossed right at the ankle or even at the knees. It is considered informal to have ones ankles crossed over the knee. A good gesture also includes buying your friends or drinking partners a round of drinks when your turn comes. It is looked at as rather rude not to. Therefore the people tend to be disciplined and everyone knows what is expected of them at a particular situation no matter how informal it may seem or be.

Shoving the line is frowned upon. Order is highly regarded and no one is supposed to be treated unfairly to an extent of having others shove the line. Using a firm handshake is also seen as a good gesture. Loose handshakes are associated with disrespect towards the person greeted or eve lack of interest. Therefore firm handshake symbolizes reverence (Comerford, 2003). In terms of governance, the Irish government of the time holds the office only and only when it still has the support of the majority of Dail Eireann members.

The Taoiseach who is the head of the government can voluntarily resign and if he/she does so, the whole cabinet is considered to have resigned. Then a new nomination is put for Taoiseach before the parliament to approve a new one. The Irish government according to its constitution should constitute between 7-15 members. The head of the government is nominated by one of the houses of parliaments and the Irish president formally appoints him. For that post, each political party nominates its member who needs the support of the majority members of parliament to win (Mitchell, 1998).

The Irish government is elected for a ruling term of five years. In this case since the current government was elected in 2007, it is expected to conclude its term in 2012 and go for a general election. In parliament, the senate and parliament debates are available and even published all the way through the session. The issues and questions tabled by the members of parliaments during the sitting are taken by the minister in whose docket it concerns. The replies are published at the end of each day’s parliamentary proceedings.

Each committee meeting has an official report which is published in 2-3 working days and at most in a week’s time. Therefore Ireland has a democratic system of governance (Comerford, 2003). In essence, the Irish culture is a unique one and identifies the Irish people. It is richly religious with over 80% of its population being Roman Catholics. They have lots of days they observe that are not necessarily Christian oriented but that is what makes them uniquely Irish. References. Comerford, R. Ireland Inventing the Nation. New York: Hodder Books, (2003). Mitchell, Frank and Ryan, Michael. Reading the Irish landscape. London: SAGE. (1998).

American Mania: When More Is Not Enough Essay

American Mania: When More Is Not Enough Essay


It takes immense courage to question something that has been so firmly etched into one’s mind or something that everyone accepts as normal, it also takes great insight to be able to see past the monotony and mundane details of life and observe something that is greatly and equally affecting a nation. Mr. Whybrow accomplishes this with great eloquence in his book American mania.

Adam smith’s American dream of depth and desire”

The book begins with the chapter titled “Adam smith’s American dream of depth and desire” in which Mr.

Whybrow gives an account of his taxi ride on the way to the airport to catch a flight from Los Angles to New York, he tells his story in almost a poetic manner describing the myriad of scenes that he observes. He points out everything that makes him reflect on how rapidly the world is moving and how everyone is being swept away with this storm and how no one stops to think about where they’re actually headed and how everyone has less and less time for the small things in life, things which once were considered to be the essence of life.

The author seeks to explain “the dramatic shift away from social concern and toward competitive self-interest that occurred during the closing decades of the 20th Century” (p. 257). Whybrow, himself a British immigrant, advances the hypothesis that Americans are a nation of “migrants” who are outfitted not just with the self-seeking genes but also with the restless, risk-taking genes of those who have risked all to look for a new land of opportunity. Whybrow argues that highly migrant people are novelty seekers, restless and optimistic risk-takers,


Whybrow’s theories are provocative because they not only revisit the possibility of psychoanalysis in the alliance of culture, speculating beyond the anthropology and identity politics that all cultures are just as advantageous, but also challenge us to reassess the insufficiency of our psychological descriptions. Identifying a culture as hectic or obsessed is somewhat useful in attempting to avoid the idea of national character but to propose a basic personality as the repository of a society’s values, from which individual character differentiates is a mammoth task Mr. Whybrow manages to make the reader question the values and beliefs that we have come to cherish so dearly.


Peter Whybrow (2006) American Mania: When More Is Not Enough. Retrieved on 18th October 2006 from :

Race And Ethnic Relations In Global Perspective Essay

Race And Ethnic Relations In Global Perspective Essay

When I did my research on Hmong people in unit six I found their history and culture to be very interesting, that is why I choose the conflict of the Hmong people and the Vietnam War to do this project on. Before getting into the exact conflict and the harm that the war caused many Hmong people I am going to write about the Hmong culture. http://www. historyguy. com/hmong_rebellion_in_laos. html#. UYxyE6JnG8g The Hmong are ethnically different from the Vietnamese, Cambodians and Lowland Lao.

They lived in the mountains between Laos and Vietnam.

They were considered less “civilized” than the other ethnic groups mentioned. They were considered to be Semi-Nomadic because they practiced the slash-and-burn as their way of getting food. Before the French came and made Indochina a Colony the Hmong were persecuted for their way of life, after that they were left alone and not bothered by the other groups. During the Indochina War (1946-1954) the Hmong people supported the French because they protected them.

When the French pulled out they left the Hmong people to survive on their own, little did they know that this would not be the last time this would happen to them.

In the early 1960’s JFK sent in the Special Forces (Green Berets) to South Vietnam. They landed right by the Hmong villages. Right after they landed, the American soldiers started to recruit the young men in the villages to help them fight the North Vietnamese. They agreed to do this not because they had love for the South Vietnamese, but because they thought that the United States would be a good replacement for protection since the French had left them with no protection. The United States also recruited young Hmong men who lived in Laos to form a “Secret Army”.

The Hmong people were dedicated to help the United States in the war and would do whatever it took to have the United States protection from the communist North Vietnamese. Little did they know but that protection wouldn’t be there for long and they would be left to face the enemy on their own. Before the United States recruited the men of Hmong, they were a neutral party in Vietnam. In 1973 the United States soldiers were ordered to pull out of the Vietnam War and left the Hmong with no protection.

When the communist won the war in 1975 they ordered the Hmong people, women and children include, to come down from the mountains. They wanted to be able to monitor what the Hmong’s were doing. I guess they probably did this to make sure that they were no longer a threat to them. Most of the Hmong people refused to come down from the hills. When the Hmong refused to come down the communist started dropping Soviet supplied toxic agents on the villages from the air, this was called “Yellow Rain”.

The yellow rain wiped out whole villages including men, women and children. In 1975 the Hmong people fled to refugee camps in Thailand to escape the horror and torture that they would have to suffer from the Lao Communist Government. In late 1975 they began arriving to the United States from the refugee camps. In the early 1990’s the refugee camps were forced to close and the people who had not fled to the United States were forced to go to non-un camps. Many of them tried to become Thai citizens but that entailed getting large sums of money from relatives.

Most of those refugees could not obtain citizenship because their relatives did not even have enough money to take care of their direct families. In 2006 the Thai government made the remaining Hmong people relocate to a more isolated area in Thailand, many of them are deprived access to join their families in the United States. They are basically left to fend for themselves and fear for their lives every day. If they would never have been asked to join the United States in the fight in Vietnam, they would still be living like they always did before.

They were not an enemy to anyone until they trusted the United States and later that trust was broken. The Hmong people who now live in the United States have what we would call a better life. In my opinion if we would have never disturbed them and their lives during the war they would have never known a different way of life. They would probably be happy just the way they were, with no enemies to mess with them and have never have lost most of their people in the war. It is our fault that they ever had this conflict.

France and French culture Essay

France and French culture Essay

Despite the recent backlash against France and French culture in the past few years, as well as there being no shortage of jokes on television and on the radio at the expense at the France, the truth is that if it were not for the French and their involvement during the American Revolution, America would not have gained their independence from Great Britain. This assertion, despite the fact that historians do not like to play the game of “what if,” the large majority agree on this point.

Historians from Gore Vidal, Stephen Ambrose and David McCullough all agree that had it not been for the assistance of France, America would not gave gained their independence. The “bear” is Great Britain. An aggressive pursuit of imperialism on behalf of Great Britain in the late 18th and throughout the 19th centuries had not been seen since the end of the Roman Empire.

The reasons for France’s involvement in the American Revolution might have been more a question of revenge against Britain than the involvement of spreading democracy throughout the world as France itself would experience only 10 years after their initial entrance into the war with their own French Revolution.

When the French entered on the side of colonists, the war was going badly in general. There had been a number of victories for the Colonists but America’s only hope that a sustained war, brought on by implementing guerilla tactics would eventually lead to a tiring of the British troops.

Also, it was the entire motivatation of the Colonists to get France on their side. Ben Franklin was pressing the French constantly for their help during this time. Also, it was not out of a coincidence that Franklin was chosen and not others since Franklin were adored by the French. Thomas Jefferson also was instrumental as well in getting France involved on the side of the Colonists. It is also not a coincidence that France was being targeted for their help. They, along with Great Britain, were the powers in the world at that time.

That is why such a statement as “Daddy and I killed the Bear” is accurate and correct. The bear is Great Britain. They did not conquer 1/3 of the world by being nice. “Daddy” is France and the child is America. “Daddy” is usually the stronger of the two and is more established. He is responsible for the care and well being of the child and helps the child to grow and to mature until eventually, the child exceeds the father in stature, independence and strength.

However, the child would not be allowed to grow if not for the effort exerted on the part of the father. A father who neglects his son and does not raise him up in a proper way and the chances increase exponentially, for that child to fail to fully realize his full potential. The very same occurred in this instance and therefore, the aforementioned statement is accurate and carried a great deal of weight and validity.