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Regional Expertise

Measuring and Reporting Leadership and Core Competency Domains

This interim report summarizes the results of an independent assessment of Department of Defense (DoD) personnel systems and databases, focused on the identification and differentiation of what personnel data exist, where, and at what organizational level, as well as what is done with those data.

Regional Expertise and Cultural Proficiency

This report describes the development of an operational tool for planners that enables them to identify REC capability requirements during the planning process.

The Infusion of Language, Regional, and Cultural Content into Military Education

This report documents the Institute of Defense Analyses' examination of the infusion of language, regional, and cultural (LRC) content into Professional Military Education (PME) across the Services, from pre-commissioning through the General Officer/Flag Officer (GO/FO) level.

Birthday Traditions and Superstitions in China

Because of superstitions associated with birthdays, celebrations are relatively new in China. Only certain birthdays—like turning 60 or 80—have generally been considered worthy of a celebration.  For example, the 30th birthday is seen as unlucky for women, so women say they are remaining 29 for an additional year.

The Diverse Tribes of Tanzania

Located in East Africa, on the coast of the Indian Ocean and in the African Great Lakes region, Tanzania is home to more than 150 ethnic groups and tribes. Although a large part of the population speaks the nation’s official language, Kiswahili, most ethnic groups have their own dialect. In fact, 126 distinct languages are spoken in Tanzania.

The Sea Women of Jeju Island, South Korea

They’re known as “haenyeo” (“sea women”) of Jeju Island, South Korea, and for centuries, they’ve made their living as divers. Farmland is scarce, due to the island’s volcanic nature, and haenyeo harvest food from the sea.

These professional women divers, 23,000 strong in the 1960s, venture 30 feet below the ocean’s surface without oxygen tanks to catch shellfish, conches, abalones, sea urchins and other sea creatures that can be sold for food. They not only share a way of life, but they also share everything they catch.

Eating french fries with a fork, and other aspects of German social etiquette

Rules of social etiquette are different in every country: do you smile, shake hands, show up early, refuse or accept offers of drinks, eat with your hands or with silverware? It can be hard to keep track of it all.

The Grand Egyptian Museum to Exhibit the Largest Collection of Tutankhamun Relics

When it opens later this year, the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) will be the largest archeological museum in the world. Built on a slope on the Giza Plateau just outside of central Cairo, the museum’s glass facades will offer a breathtaking view of the surrounding pyramids.

The structure—the size of ten soccer fields—will house some 100,000 artefacts. Among them are the contents of Tutankhamun’s tomb, a collection of more than 5,000 objects shown in its entirety for the first time.

The World of Wagashi

In Japan, sweet treats are practically a way of life. You might know about the unique flavors of Kit Kat bars, or the chocolate-coated biscuit sticks called Pocky. Another well-known Japanese dessert is mochi, a sweet rice cake made of glutinous rice called mochigome. Mochi is one of many types of wagashi, traditional Japanese confections that have been made for over two thousand years.

Celebrating the Chinese New Year: The Year of the Ox

For 15 days each year, people in China, and many other parts of the world, mark the end of winter and the beginning of spring with the Chinese New Year. Also known as the Lunar New Year, the festival begins with the new moon and lasts until the next full moon. Because of that, the date ranges from January 21 to February 20. The origins of the holiday can be traced back 3,500 years to the Shang Dynasty, when people held sacrificial ceremonies in honor of gods and ancestors at the beginning of each year.