At The American School of Protocol®, we are fortunate to host students from around the world during each Etiquette Certification Training class. This month, we had attendees from Canada, China, Bahamas, India, The Virgin Islands, and the states! What a wonderful opportunity to share our individual cultures and traditions during a week of exciting etiquette education.
There are many simple ways to broaden your cultural knowledge: Seek out an unfamiliar ethnic restaurant each month. Focus on local hangouts when traveling, as opposed to popular sightseeing destinations. Read books by authors of different nationalities. Attend a worship service other than your own. Regularly share a meal with someone from another nationality. Any and all of these simple steps can promote understanding and appreciation among the many cultures that make up the world in which we live.
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1. Over 6000 different languages are spoken throughout the world.
TRUE: Approximately 6,500 languages are spoken around the world.
2. Aloo Gobi is a popular Vietnamese food.
FALSE: Aloo gobi is a vegetarian Indian dish made with potatoes, cauliflower and Indian spices.
3. One of the Five Pillars of Islam is called zakat and means almsgiving.
TRUE: The five pillars of the Islamic faith are shahada (confession of faith), salat (prayer), zakat (almsgiving), sawm (fasting, especially during the month of Ramadan), and hajj (the pilgrimage to Mecca).
4. English is the most common language spoken in the world today.
FALSE: The most common language in the world is Chinese with 1,197,000,000 speakers. This is followed by Spanish (414,000,000) and English (335,000,000).
5. The currency of Nigeria is the Naira.
TRUE: One (1) Nigerian Naira = .00315 US Dollar
6. If you keep Kosher, shrimp is on your menu.
FALSE: The term ‘Kosher’ refers to biblical laws governing which foods a Jewish person may eat and their preparation. Only fish with fins and scales are allowed, such as tuna, salmon, and herring. Shellfish such as shrimp, crab, mussels, and lobster are forbidden.
7. In Nepal, you could greet someone with the word “Salaam”.
FALSE: ‘Salaam’ is from the Persian language (also known as Farsi). You could greet someone this way in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, as well as parts of Uzbekistan and Bahrain.
8. Christianity is the most commonly practiced religion in the world.
TRUE: Christianity is the largest form of organized religions in the world with approximately 2.1 billion believers. It is followed by Islam (1.3 billion).
9. In Korea, it is considered impolite to hold the bowl of soup or rice with your hands.
TRUE: Holding the rice bowl with your hands is acceptable in in other Asian countries like China or Japan, but not in Korea. Another tip for dining in Korea: wait for the oldest person to sit down before taking your seat.
10. The United States has the most educated populace in the world.
FALSE: Over 50% of Canada’s population has been educated at the post-secondary level, making it the most highly educated country in the world. Canada is followed by Israel (45%) and Japan (44%).
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