Category Archives: Intercultural Communication

Daylight saving time (DST)

Image credit: National Research Council of Canada, “Time zones & daylight saving time” October 22, 2016. Dear All, This post discusses what DST is and where to get more information on the topic. DST is the practice of advancing the clock by one hour during spring, summer and autumn which allows extending the day by …

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Bottle drive

Dear All, Have you ever supported a charitable cause? One of the ways to do so is to run a bottle drive. This post discusses what a “bottle drive” is. So, what is a “bottle drive”? A “bottle drive” is organized collection of bottles (plastic or glass), pop (soda) cans, and milk/juice cartons for a …

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Churchill, MB

Image credit: Ansgar Walk, “Bärenmutter & Junges 3 2004-11-17” November 17, 2004, via Wikimedia Commons, (CC BY-SA 3.0).   Did you know that people who live in Churchill, MB, Canada leave their vehicles and homes unlocked?   Dear All, People who live in the province of Manitoba, in the town called “Churchill” often leave their …

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Canada Day – Fête du Canada

Dear All, July 1 is Canada Day (Fête du Canada). This posts discusses briefly the history of this day, its importance, and associated traditions. On July 1, 1867 “The British North America Act (today known as the Constitution Act, 1867) created Canada” (Canada Day, 2016). Following this, on June 20, 1868 the Governor General signed …

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Google Translate

Dear All, Have you ever thought that it would nice to speak X language? Indeed, it would be. All it takes is to start and little by little to pursue the goal. While you are doing this, there is a tool that can help you to communicate in a different language in the meanwhile. The …

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Easter greeting

Dear All: Pascha (Easter) is a very special day for people all over the world. Special food and traditions are associated with this day. Even greetings are special. If you go to Ukraine on this day, you are likely to be greeted with “Khrystós voskrés!” (Christ is Risen!). The appropriate answer to this greeting is …

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Easter baskets

Dear All, This post continues exploring traditions associated with Holy Pascha (Easter) and focuses on the Easter baskets. Pascha is the Feast of Feasts and Christians prepare for it by fasting and prayer. Pascha is the day when fasting ends. For this reason Christians bring baskets with food to Church for blessing. These baskets include …

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Pascha: Date

Dear All, Have you ever wondered why Pascha (Easter) is celebrated each year on a different day? Why it is always celebrated on Sunday and is referred to as “the Feast of Feasts”? This post focuses on these questions above. To clarify, how exactly the date for celebrating Pascha is defined each year I decided …

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Holy Fire

Dear All, The previous post focused on Good Friday, the Friday before Pascha (Easter). The present post focuses on Pascha Saturday and more particularly on Holy Fire. Each year on Great Saturday Orthodox people from all over the world come to the Jesus Christ’s tomb at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. An Orthodox …

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Good Friday

Dear All, It is the special time of the year when people all over the world prepare and celebrate Pascha (Easter). This year Orthodox people celebrate Pascha on Sunday May 1, 2016. There are a lot of traditions associated with this Feast of Feasts and I would like to dedicate this post and the following …

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St. Nicholas – Sinterklaas – Santa Claus

Did you know that Santa Claus and Sinterklaas are one and the same person – St. Nicholas? Dear All, Children all over the world wait for the Wonderworker who comes each year, around the same period, and brings something for them and sometimes even plays with them. In North America this person is known as …

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Perogies

Image credit: Kagor, “Kapersy 027” May 4, 2008, via Wikimedia Commons, (CC BY-SA 3.0). Dear All, Today I would like to speak with you about perogies! Perogies (Canadian English spelling) are considered to be traditional Ukrainian food. They are also widely available (e.g. frozen at a store) in Canada and Poland. Did you know that …

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Improve/ maintain your French

Hi All, Today I would like draw your attention to an excellent resource for the people who are learning French or who want to maintain it. If you are learning French as your additional language (second language, etc.), then you need to use it as much as possible. It goes without saying that it is …

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Giving flowers across cultures

Dear All, Flowers are considered to be an excellent gift in many cultures across the globe. However, there are certain cultural difference as to what flower gifts are appropriate and which ones are not. Below are several of them: 1) In Belarus, Hungary, Russia, and Ukraine odd number of flowers are presented to living people …

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The Canadian Encyclopedia

“If culture is in fact the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves, The Canadian Encyclopedia will strive to be the most comprehensive collection of Canadian Stories online” (TCE, 2015). Dear All, Today I would like to share with you a unique Web resource for people who are interested in Canadian culture. This is a free …

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Thanksgiving in North America

“A day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God…” Video credit: Pratiks, “3 minutes pour comprendre Thanksgiving” November 15, 2013, via YouTube. Dear All, The video above discusses the history of Thanksgiving and its traditions in North America. Did you know that Thanksgiving is celebrated on different dates in Canada and in the US? This post …

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The handshake across cultures

Dear All, This post discusses one of the most common nonverbal communication means, the handshake.  According to the Cambridge Dictionary online, handshake [ˈhændˌʃeɪk] is defined as “a greeting or expression of agreement in which two people who are facing each other take hold of each other’s right hands and move them up and down” (CDO, …

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Similar flags

Dear All, This post looks into some similar flags of the world. Some of the flags are less similar than others. At the same time it may be interesting to compare them and in this way to avoid confusion. The flags below are posted in the alphabetical order. Australian – New Zealand: Bangladeshi – Japanese …

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Flags: Canada

Dear All, July 1 is Canada Day. It is a national holiday in Canada which is celebrated by Canadians in Canada and abroad as well as tourists in Canada. One of the main attributes of this holiday is the Canadian flag. Its official name is “The National Flag of Canada”. The central part of the …

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Ukrainian Easter eggs

Image credit: hobvias sudoneighm, “vegreville egg ~ world’s largest pysanka” May 9, 2007, via Flickr, CC BY 2.0. Dear All, Easter eggs (EEs) are an integral part of Easter celebration, however, traditions associated with EEs are different in different cultures. This post discusses Ukrainian traditions related to EEs. Many people know that Ukrainians decorate EEs with …

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Pascha – Easter – Passover

Dear all, Easter is coming! This year it is on Sunday April 20, 2014. Interestingly, this year Catholic, Orthodox people, and other Christians are going to celebrate Easter on the same day. This does not happen each year because of different ways in which the day for the celebration of this holiday is selected. But …

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Christmas traditions

Video credit: welcome2ukraine, “Колядка “Щедрик” Schedryk – “Ukrainian Bell Carol”” January 16, 2011, via YouTube. Dear All, Today I would like to speak about Christmas traditions in some countries and particularly about the date of celebrating Christmas and one of the best known Christmas carols, “Carol of the Bells”. In some countries (e.g. in Canada, …

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Proxemics: Personal space

Exploring various aspects of nonverbal communication in animals and humans, cultural anthropologist E.T. Hall (1966) came to the conclusion that around each person, there exists an invisible “bubble”, a personal space which can be measured with surprising accuracy. The term that he coined to refer to the branch of knowledge dealing with personal space was …

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Chronemics: monochronic and polychronic cultures

Dear All, Today I would like to discuss two concepts: “monochronic culture” vs “polychronic culture”; both concepts are pertinent to chronemics (see “Types of nonverbal communication” post for the definition). Studying various aspects of interpersonal communication, famous anthropologist Edward T. Hall (1959; 1976) noticed that English has such expressions as “time is money” and “to waste …

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High- and low-context cultures

Dear All, In this post, I would like to discuss such concepts as “high-context culture” vs “low-context culture”. These concepts were first introduced by anthropologist Edward Twitchell Hall. According to Hall, “[h]igh context transactions feature pre-programmed information that is in the receiver and in the setting, with only minimal information in the transmitted message. Low …

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