Every state of the globe has its cultural traditions. Additionally, traditions and culture represent the mindsets of the people of the country. Like their history, religions, beliefs, way of life, etc. When people of one state travel to another state, they find it difficult to understand each other because of a lack of knowledge regarding the cultural traditions of the other states. Additionally, most the tourists compare their culture with the place or country they came to visit. In some countries, hand gestures, facial expressions, behavior, and traditional practices are the same. So, travelers need to know the culture they are about to engage in. Knowing about the cultural traits can make them aware of multiple perspectives and behaviors that they should adopt while in a foreign land.
Table of Content
- What is Culture?
- Traditions and Cultural Translations
- List of top 26 Cultural Traditions Around the World
- Flowers to a Russian
- Gifts to Chinese Classmates
- Avoid salt while Dining in Egypt
- Concept of Punctuality in many States
- Table Manners in Norway
- Using Sharp items
- Losing a tooth in Greece
- Avoid Clinking Glasses but say Cheers in Hungary
- Avoid Discussing Business in the Events in Bolivia
- Don’t try to “go Dutch” in Turkey
- Avoid Using Red ink
- A Trip to the Sauna in Finland
- Sitting Seat in the Taxi
- Greeting a Magpie in the UK
- Birthday Greetings in the Netherlands
- Greeting People in Japan and Germany
- The finger-pulling tradition in Austria
- The tradition for unmarried people in Germany
- Face on a Birthday Cake
- Wife-Carrying as a Competitive Sport
- Durga Puja in Bengal
- Lucia Festival of Sweden
- Yi Peng in Thailand
- Fasching Parade in Germany
- Shinbyu in Myanmar
- Bonfire in the United Kingdom
What is Culture?
Culture can be understood as a way of life. It includes the beliefs, norms and values, religion, rituals, language, and traditions of a group of people that are passed on from generation to generation. In other words, you can say that culture is a society’s complete way of living.
Traditions and Cultural Translations
The majority of people still don’t know the exact meaning of cultural translation today. In the 1990s the concept of cultural translation was introduced. It is extremely important to be well aware of the top cultures of the world. You can understand any culture of any state by translating it into your local language. Additionally, this not only involves language translation but also dialect, architecture, and food as well. Furthermore, the field of anthropology can be a great help.
Simply put, cultural translations can help you understand the culture and traditions followed in different parts of the world.
Here, we have come up with a list of top cultural traditions followed around the globe.
List of top 26 Cultural Traditions Around the World
Here is the list of the top 26 culture traditions around the world. Interestingly, this list is the observation and report of some multinational companies as well. For avoiding any kind of confusion one should be vigilant to learn some of these customs and cultural traditions mentioned below:
1. Flowers to a Russian
It is the tradition in Russia that one must be careful in giving flowers to a Russian. For instance; you should avoid giving red and yellow flowers as they represent the deceased and experts who survived the war. They also represent a termination of a relationship and friendship.
2. Gifts to Chinese Classmates
Chinese civilization is one of the oldest around the globe. Additionally, Chinese is a symbolic language. Interestingly, everything in China represents something. Therefore one should be careful what he is giving his friends. For instance, you should avoid giving white flowers to a friend as it depicts death or funerals and is also a color of ghosts. Similarly, clocks, handkerchiefs, umbrellas, green hats, and straw sandals or shoes are all bad gifts to give in China.
3. Avoid salt while Dining in Egypt
In several traditions and cultures, it is not bad to ask or add salt to a meal. But there is an exception to this case in Egypt. Meaning thereby, asking for salt represents insulting a host in Egypt. Additionally, to some locals, it also means that you did not like the taste of their food.
4. Concept of Punctuality in many States
Being punctual is known as a wonderful gesture and quality in many states but not in all countries. For instance, in Venezuela, it is a trend to be late in parties, dinners, and functions. It is a very common practice to be 10 to 15 minutes late and is abnormal to be on time. But in countries such as Germany U.S, Japan, and South Korea being late is a bad habit. Similarly, in Malaysia, it is normal to be 5 to 60 minutes late. However, in China people encourage punctuality. Furthermore, in Greece and Mexico, it is ok to be late. The knowledge of the different cultures and traditions empowers you in multiple productive ways. Hence, a sound awareness of these cultures and traditional traits from different regions can make you get along with the people more conveniently.
5. Table Manners in Norway
There is a tradition in Norway to avoid using utensils or cutleries while eating. For instance, in other states where it is a good thing to use chopsticks, spoons, knives, and forks while eating, the people of Norway find it unethical. So it is a unique tradition you must know for the sake of knowledge and knowing it can also help to survive in Norway if you plan to visit it sometime.
6. Using Sharp items
Another unique trend is using sharp items in different countries gives different meanings. For instance, in China using or gifting sharp items is a good gesture. It is because sharp items represent the cutting of ties between them and bringing each other close. And in Dutch, on the other hand, sharp objects bring bad luck. Furthermore, to the people of the Netherlands and Chinese, an unwanted gift brings them close. Above all, gifting sharp items, knives and scissors is a good gesture in China.
7. Losing a tooth in Greece
Unlike other states where losing milk teeth will bring money to children by the tooth fairy, in Greece it’s a different story. The children in Greek go to their roofs and toss their teeth traditionally. To them, the child who has tossed his teeth on the roof will live a healthy life and brought happiness to his family.
8. Avoid Clinking Glasses but say Cheers in Hungary
In Hungary, it is unethical to clink glasses while having a drink together. But you can say cheers as it is a good gesture and a symbol of happiness. When a Hungarian sees someone clinking their glasses, it reminds them of the war with Austria in 1849. In this war, Hungarians were badly defeated. Furthermore, the people of Hungary know that Austrian generals celebrate their events by drinking beer and clinking their glasses. Therefore, they hate to clink their glasses while having a drink.
9. Avoid Discussing Business in the Events in Bolivia
There is a famous tradition in Bolivia not to make any business talks at family events or occasions. It is because people of Bolivia believe that family dinners are is for developing personal relationships. But if the host gives you any business topic for discussion you can go for it. In short, it is wise to avoid business talks on occasions in Bolivia.
10. Don’t try to “go Dutch” in Turkey
In Turkish culture, proposing to make half payment of the meal will end up offending your host. In other words, it will be smart and wise to invite the host to some other dinner party. And at that party, you should make the whole payment.
11. Avoid Using Red ink
While it is entertaining to use different-colored pens for many people, using them is different in South Korea. It might be insignificant to use red, blue, or green ink elsewhere. But in South Korea, if you are writing the name of a Korean, make sure not to use red ink as it symbolizes death in the Korean tradition.
12. A Trip to the Sauna in Finland
A sauna is considered a place for relaxation and unwinding. In Finland, it is more than just for relaxation. Inviting a client to the sauna means successfully terminating a business or starting a new one.
13. Sitting Seat in the Taxi
Most people opt for sitting in the backseat of a taxi as it is considered a sign of refinement. However, in Australia, this behavior is considered snobbish and arrogant. This is why Australians often sit in front of the taxi driver.
14. Greeting a Magpie in the UK
To avoid bad luck, it is a custom in the United Kingdom to greet a lone magpie. This is why you should not forget to stick to this traditional act.
15. Birthday Greetings in the Netherlands
An interesting tradition in the Netherlands is birthday greetings. In the Netherlands, there is a tradition of greeting the person celebrating the birthday in addition to greeting the family and relatives as well. This tradition reflects so much warmth and positivity making people feel more productive.
16. Greeting People in Japan and Germany
The tradition of greeting differs from country to country. For example, in Germany, as well as many other countries, people shake hands with everybody in the room. On the other hand, the greeting tradition is more formal in Japanese culture. People in Japan greet and thank someone by bowing. In Argentina, France, and Brazil, it is a tradition to kiss a person on the cheek when greeting him. While only one kiss is enough in Argentina, in Brazil and France, two or three kisses are often exchanged.
17. The finger-pulling tradition in Austria
In Austria and Bavaria, there is a finger-pulling tradition in which the objective of the game is to drag the rival’s finger across the table. This emerges as an interesting tradition and not much common in other parts of the world which makes it even more unique.
18. The tradition for unmarried people in Germany
The cultural traditions surrounding marital status often differ across cultures, but there are rarely any customs for single people. In Germany, a single person is showered with cinnamon powder or pepper, depending on his/her age. On the other hand, people buy funny hats for their 25-year-old friends on Saint Catherine’s Day as a tradition.
19. Face on a Birthday Cake
This tradition is quite common across the world. In Mexico, as the celebrating person takes a bite of the cake, his friends shove his face on the birthday cake. This tradition has made its place in almost every country of the world and people love shoving the cake and cream on the face of the person who celebrates his birthday. This brings excitement and thrill to the birthday party.
20. Wife-Carrying as a Competitive Sport
An interesting competition in Finland is about carrying one’s wife. This tradition has been around in Finland since 1992 and is called the Wife Carrying World Championship. The prize is beer and the amount varies with the weight of the wife.
21. Durga Puja in Bengal
Every year, a festival of Durga Puja (also called Durgotsav) is organized in West Bengal. The festival marks the victory of the goddess Durga in a battle. This means that the festival represents the victory of good over evil and is celebrated zealously across the state. The custom of celebrating Durga Puja comes from the most popular cultures in the world and is also celebrated in some parts of India and surrounding countries.
22. Lucia Festival of Sweden
In Sweden, there is a popular Christmas tradition that is celebrated on the 13th of December. Although a few people have an idea of why it is celebrated, it is termed Saint Lucia’s feast day. In addition, it is also the darkest night in Sweden according to the old almanac.
23. Yi Peng in Thailand
Yi Peng is a popular Buddhist festival celebrated in Northern Thailand featuring a ritual of lighting paper lanterns termed as khom lai. The Buddhists believe that this act of releasing lanterns frees them of bad luck. As this festival is based on the Thai lunar calendar, the exact dates shift every year and this is why it commonly falls on the full moon in November.
24. Fasching Parade in Germany
In case you plan to travel to Germany in January/February, be sure to check out the famous Fasching parade. This parade, also known as Karneval, is an entire week of festivals and parties which end with a huge parade with masked creatures, bands, and magic tricks. In addition, this festival is associated with the festivals of the Christian church where entertainment is welcomed before the arrival of Lent.
25. Shinbyu in Myanmar
The Shinbyu Ceremony is an interesting one, where young boys are presented to the local monastery so they could become novice monks. This is a part of the Theravada Buddhist tradition, which brings good luck and is significant to the Burmese culture. This is one of the different traditions in the world. The tradition involves a procession by the boys where they endure the ceremonious shaving of the head and trade in their silk robes.
26. Bonfire in the United Kingdom
Last but not least, Bonfire in the United Kingdom is another interesting cultural tradition translation. This night is one of the UK’s most interesting events. It is a big family night where people gather to watch the mighty fireworks displays. Meaning thereby, this traditional bonfire consists of some gloomy origins. It is because on the 5th of November the famous Gunpowder Plot was introduced. Additionally, Guy Fawkes and his fellow men were planning to destroy the Parliament houses of London. Therefore, to remember that day, celebrating the 5th of November with a bonfire became a tradition of the United Kingdom.
To conclude we can say that enhancing a business is the most important part of one’s internal growth. And for that reason, you require a source that can convey the message of your product or brand in the global market. Meaning thereby, these cultural translators and interpreters are the gateway for achieving your goals as they can assist you in understanding the cultural activities of different states.
In short, having knowledge of global cultural traditions is mandatory for your company today. Additionally, the knowledge of different cultures and traditions of multiple states is not only beneficial in business but in many other fields as well. Like tourism, traveling, etc. The most important thing to keep in mind is to assess your own goals and mission first.
The right translation partner would not only make your work easier for you, but it would also make sure you make it big in the global world. To reach the target audience, be careful to choose the right translation management software, tools, and promotional channels. Other than this, you need to coordinate a successful multilingual content marketing strategy. Only then your business can interact with the target audience and make sure it attracts them. The choice of a suitable content marketing tool will be a step in securing a good place in the global world. If you are looking for a reliable language partner, contact us!