Posts Tagged "culture"

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 do I admire in Gran Canaria?

What do I admire in Gran Canaria?

Island Gran Canaria belongs to the Canarian Islands, being a 3rd regarding the surface. In 2013 was acclaimed to be the best holiday destination in Europe. It is regarded to enjoy all benefits of African climate  (sun and low number of rain) and nature (green all-over a year, with potato crops 4 times a year, cherries 2 times) and European order and way of living. In Firgas Harmony of nature and way of living First what I has been stacked by on Gran Canaria is the harmony in the open space and in the cities. I had to dig in my perception what makes me feel so good in any city or town. What I have founded is the mixture of colours – yellow, sand-yellow,green and blue and a lack of billboards and adverts in the cities, as well a low number of banks and discount shops in the cities. Instead my eyes have caught numbers of sculpture not only in the city space, but along the roads, beautiful every rondo on the streets decorated with ceramique tiles. And amazing landscape formulated by colourful building, mountains and trees. Coast line and beaches View from the beach on the Playa de Ingles There are many famous beaches on Gran Canaria. The most beautiful is the beach with the Maspalomas dunes in Playa de Ingles (called to honour Englishmen discovering the island for recreation aims), a nice beach in Playa de Mogan (with picturesque marina) Architecture The city architecture and landscape shaped by nature are amazing and exceptional. I liked different architectural styles, what I admire isa harmony, even in a small decoration. Sculpture on the road from Playa de Isla to Las Palmas Cultivation of tradition and regional cultural awareness What I really admire is a sense of regional pride and cultural awareness. You can sense it when visiting the Museum of tomato feel this in such small details as information about toilets (on which are presented traditional Canarian dress) Industry I admire Gran Canaria for a wisdom to develop the tourism industry not damaging the landscape and also developing agricultural industry – highlighted their local specialities – sweet bananas, tomatoes, rum (ronmiel and others).I like the idea of using...

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What I admire in Belgrade?

What I admire in Belgrade?

When I have got a mentoring assignment in Belgrade I was wondering how Belgrade is looking now, as I was there 20 years ago. At that time Poland was a communist country, and former Yugoslavia was for Poles a window for western world. So has seemed to me Belgrade. And how is it now? I find some artefacts typical for socialist countries – trolleybuses produced in Hungary, which were also present in Warsaw. I have walked and was looking for something to connect. And wow- I looked in the sky and have spotted amazing ceiling. When I visit a place I try to connect with it, finding something specific, amazing, extraordinary. It can be architecture, music, nature, people or just atmosphere on the street. In Belgrade I have found beautiful old building in art deco style. Belgrade has number of beautiful buildings, see below. Another connection I have felt when visiting in the evening the Frida restaurant. Delicious food, energetic music, and amazing decoration- especially in the bathroom. All below photos were taken in the bathroom. An last but not least – hotel were I stayed – hotel Moscow, with its ceilings, art. Deco windows and floor decoration in ancient style. Wonderful!  Enjoy! Wiola...

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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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