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Culture Crossing: A Basic Guide to Countries

CultureCrossing.net is an evolving database of cross-cultural information about every country in the world.  This user-built guide allows people from all walks of life to share essential tips with each other about how to navigate our increasingly borderless world with savvy and sensitivity.   Easy to navigate and free to use, CultureCrossing.net provides an opportunity for travelers, business people and students to:

  • Find information on 200+ countries and add your own knowledge to our guides
  • Ask our experts
  • Connect directly with community members from around the world
  • Access global resources to further your cross-cultural exploration

The information posted in our individual country guides is submitted by people who are either natives or residents (or former residents) of the featured countries. Every day additional information is added by community members who have had experiences living, working, studying or traveling in each particular country. All of the information posted on the website is vetted by a Culture Crossing staff member and checked for credibility by cross referencing with at least two other sources.   

When using the country guides for reference, it is important to understand that they provide only generalized information and that there are always exceptions to the rule. The purpose of offering this generalized (and abridged) version of the information is to introduce people to some of the cultural tendencies exhibited by people from different nations.

By providing this information we merely hope to remind people to be alert to these tendencies in order to avoid unnecessary miscommunication or conflict when interacting with people from other cultures. We also hope that by reading about the wide variety of cultural tendencies in the world, people will become more aware of how their own culture impacts the way they act, react and interact with the world.

HOW THE COUNTRY GUIDES WORK

Every country page provides basic cultural tips as well as information relevant to conducting business or studying in the specified country. Read on to see how we’ve organized our country pages and learn more about the kind of information they offer:

THE BASICS

GREETINGS
The most common forms of greetings in the country for men meeting men, women meeting women, and meetings between men and women.

COMMUNICATION STYLE
Whether to be direct or indirect when communicating (verbally or non-verbally) in a variety of circumstances.

PERSONAL SPACE & TOUCHING
The appropriate amount of space to give when speaking or interacting with others. Also, the amount and frequency of acceptable touching during conversations.

EYE CONTACT
An overview of the appropriate amount and type of eye contact acceptable/common during conversations.

VIEWS OF TIME
An overview of how people in this country view time (expectations about being on time, whether people covet their time or give it freely, etc.).

GESTURES
Common gestures used by country nationals, along with their meanings.

GENDER ISSUES
Roles, perceptions and expectations of women and men in each culture.

LAW & ORDER
Tips related to how strictly various laws are followed and/or enforced (drinking and smoking ages, traffic violations, interactions with law enforcement agencies, etc.).

TABOOS
Specific behavior and gestures that are considered rude and/or obscene.

MISCELLANEOUS
Relevant information that does not fit into any of the categories listed above.

BUSINESS BASICS

DRESS
Recommended attire for men and women when conducting business.

TITLES & BUSINESS CARDS
Most common titles used when meeting people in a business setting. Also, appropriate protocol for giving and receiving of business cards.

MEETINGS
Tips related to protocol for attending and participating in business meetings.

NEGOTIATIONS
Cultural etiquette, tips and techniques for negotiating with the people in each country.

GIFT GIVING
The most common rituals and protocol surrounding the giving and receiving of gifts. Also provided is a list of appropriate and inappropriate gifts for different situations.

MISCELLANEOUS
Relevant information that does not fit into any of the categories listed above.

STUDENT BASICS

CLASS RULES
Information about appropriate dress for students on campus/in the classroom, grading systems, etc.

SOCIALIZING
Etiquette tips for dating and partying in each country. Additional information and caveats for women in social situations.

MISCELLANEOUS
Relevant information that does not fit into any of the categories listed above.

 

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