Posts Tagged "affective skills"

I Amsterdam

I Amsterdam

This time when visiting Amsterdam I spotted big letters in the fort of the Rijskmuseum that form a sentence “I Amsterdam”. It is a favourite place for many people to take a photo. To my amusement I found another “I amsterdam”, in rainbow colours,in the front of the Hermitage Amsterdam. Since I was in Amsterdam a day before the Gay Parade, I supposed that the rainbow “I Amsterdam” had been prepared for that reason. The whole city was decorated with rainbow balloons and posters presenting liberal attitude of Dutch to diversity. As I was curious about the meaning of “I Amsterdam”, I found out that it is a new logo of Amsterdam, launched[1] in 2004 to rebrand unfavourable image of the city which gained an international status of a ‘swinging’ youth centre, based upon sexual liberation and narcotic indulgence. Judging by a huge number of people taking photos and spending time in the area of logo “I Amsterdam”, the new city brand proved a great success. What I like in Amsterdam – besides the location of the city which makes it possible to walk almost to every interesting point in the city – are towers, which forced me to walk around with the head in the clouds.           What I admire in the Netherlands are the clear symbols of the Dutch culture (called artefacts) which are easy to recognise for everybody. And I appreciate the fact that Dutch treat them as a true part of their national identity, not only a tourist attraction. Dutch artefacts Wind and watermills The windmills and watermills are iconic symbols of the country. Do you know that Dutch celebrate National Windmill Day in May, when 950 mills are open to visit? For Dutch windmills are the symbol of connection with nature which is an integral part of their intrinsic self. When talking with them about nature, they always mention  “wood, water, green”. Clogs (klompen) Clogs are made from wood.  Approximately 3 million pairs of klompen are made each year (mostly for tourists), but farmers and gardeners still wear them. The red painting on top is a traditional motif on a painted clog and it makes clogs look like leather shoes...

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What have POLAND and India in common?

What have POLAND and India in common?

This year there is a 60 anniversary of diplomatic and trade relations between Poland and India. The Polish Indian Forum discussing relations between both countries was held on the 20th of January in Warsaw at the Polish Chamber of Commerce. Representatives of Chambers of both countries have confirmed low level of trade and investments up to now. The Polish Ministry of Economy announces every year the „priority countries” in their promotion activities. This year India is among other 10 countries on the priority list, so there is a hope that the situation will change for better. Why is India a good trade partner? Indian market is huge and its potential is growing – population of 1,3 billion of people, 26 million of children born every year and Indian society getting richer and possessing large disposable income along with a third largest economic by GDP, there are good preconditions for economic development and power. If is so good, why the trade exchange between both countries are at such low level? In was quite funny, when during the session with Polish entrepreneurs investing in India and Indian entrepreneurs investing in POLAND, the answers for the question: which barriers and problems do you experience in cooperation with the host country, the same arguments were quoted. So Poles complain about infrastructure in India (low quality of roads, electricity not available all time, visa problems, burocracy and bribery. What do Indian entrepreneurs complain about investing and working in Poland? Low quality of roads (they compere Polish roads with those of Western Europe, visa problems, burocracy and bribery. And that Polish clerks do not speak English. So the list of barriers looks very similar, but on the Polish side is additionaly low level of knowledge of English. There is only one advantage of the fact that on the list are the same factors – when they are common for both countries, we know how to cope with them, we are more resilient for them and can find creative solutions. When Polish companies chose India to invest and not for example China, it is because of the fact that Indian are speaking English and there is no problem to communicate. The Forum’s headline was India –...

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Chinese cultural orientation: collectivism

Chinese cultural orientation: collectivism

Chinese cultural orientations You can recognize the cultural Chinese values even from poster and billboards. In an advert (no idea of what) my attention has been drawn by a sentence of „No skills, no dreams” (see photo). When I would formulate a sentence about a dream, it would be like this „When You have dreams, You can achieve them” or „Dreams are seeds of achievements”, just in an opposite way to this on the advert. A different way of thinking determines a different ways of acting. In order to understand the people’s behaviors, it is worth to know and understand the way the people from the given culture are thinking. Collectivism versus Individualism Another example of different way of thinking and behaving is a sentence on the billboard (see photo) as follow: „Love is work together. Love is never let go”. In Poland such a sentence would probably sound like „Love is a romance, love is an affection” as Polish people are very affective and emotional. In China, with collective orientation, where a wellbeing and a harmony of the group not the individuals is valued, such sentence is an exemplification of this cultural orientation. In Yangshuo I have spotted another billboard with a motto „Fire attached you and me, peace and happinness depend on all” being an example of such collectivism orientation and harmony. The different role of a group and an individual person in society reflect the notion of Individualism and Collectivism worked out by Geert Hofstede. Due to him „the fundamental issue addressed by this dimension is the degree of interdependence a society maintains among its members. It has to do with whether people´s self-image is defined in terms of “I” or “We” (from www.geert-hofstede.com). In Individualist societies people are supposed to look after themselves and their direct family only. In Collectivist societies people belong to ‘in groups’ that take care of them in exchange for loyalty. With a score of 20 of Individualism (IDV) China is a highly collectivist culture where people act in the interests of the group and not necessarily of themselves. Poland with IDS of 60 (in scale of 100) is quite in the middle, with much higher individualistic attitude than China, but...

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What about POLAND?

What about POLAND?

Intercultural Poland First Sunday in January Polish people celebrate the day of three Kings, a new  religious holyday introduced since some years. On this day a ceremony commemorating the trip of three kings to Bethlehem is performed on the street of Polish cities. In organized walk of people there are actors playing the scenes form life of Jesus and historical figures from Polish history. This year I have spotted a figure of  Chinese dragon which sourly  has not been at the time of Jesus present in the area of his  living. I find it as very nice exemplification of intercultural approach of polish society (dragon in a catholic ceremony) and good direction in culturally and religious very homogeneous country. European Union has quoted latest statistic about the percentage of foreigners living in different countries of EU. Poland is on the last position in ranking with 0,01 % of population with not being a native. This is about 40 000 foreigners, so much as the number of football funs who arrived  at one time during Euro 2012 to Warsaw  for Championship. This number confirms  the claim about Polish society being culturally very homogenous. When we take into consideration the situation –low expose of Polish people to contacts with other cultures in everyday life and “cultural” heritage of years of cultural isolation during communism (from 1945 till 1989). I welcome every sign of Polish openness for different cultures. So my WOW for dragon in a catholic ceremony. This situation confirms also the high level of Hofsede index of  uncertainty avoidance, which in case of Poland is very high – and is at the level of 92 (the higest level is 112 for Greece). Due to Hofstede „countries exhibiting strong Uncertainty avoidance Index or UAI, maintain rigid codes of belief and behavior and are intolerant of unorthodox behavior and ideas. Weak UAI societies maintain a more relaxed attitude in which practice counts more than principles” (from Wiki English). High level of UAI means that the society tends to regard strangers more as a enemy than a friend, and this set of mind is represented in a approach to others – distrust, lack of openness, exclusion of others. Poland together with Greece being on...

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Multicultural awareness and sport event. Which benefits bring international sport’s events?

Multicultural awareness and sport event. Which benefits bring international sport’s events?

We are living in more global and multicultural environment. This is the case even for the countries which are not very multicultural in population like for example Poland or countries which are not open for traveling and migration. But we are all connected with the world and other cultures via TV and Internet, and this situation requires from us more intercultural competencies. I like the definition of intercultural competencies of Jane M. Bennett as follows: “Intercultural competence; a set of cognitive, affective and behavioural skills and characteristics that support effective and appropriate interaction in a variety of cultural contexts.”  How UEFA Euro 2012 Championship has boosted intercultural competencies of Polish people? Some people might have reasoning the aim of such costly events, especially in time of crises. This question was also raised in Poland, the media have asked before and after the EURO 2012 for the benefits of the event. Most of people have founded that organizing the Euro 2012 was a good idea. This information was wildly spread, but very rare you could read WHY people find organizing Euro 2012 as beneficial for Poland.  For me the list of them is quite large. Most of the people have quoted that the new stadiums, especially that in Warsaw, called by many foreign journalists the most beautiful stadium in Europe and the new highways are the biggest benefits. Many journalist has proclaimed that Poland did a civilization step forward. I agree with this claim, but I think that the most valuable benefit of Euro 2012 we did,, was in regards to social multicultural awareness of Poles. We have gained thousands of volunteers working with foreign visitors who have experienced different culture, we have gained outlook how the fans of different nationalities behave and we have experienced that people can unite on something higher than the score of the match and their sympathy to a national football team. We have learned that people can unite on common value – friendship and joy of being together. It was really heart-warming to see how the fans from the country, which has lost the match, celebrate together with fans of the country, which has won.  People on the streets and the cafes have found...

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