Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Afghans Way of Living

Afghanistan is located Southern Asia, north and west of Pakistan, and east of Iran. Kabul is the capital city of Afghanistan. Afghanistan has arid to semi-arid climate, cold winters and hot summers.

The official languages of Afghanistan aer Pashtu and Dari. An estimated thirty-five per cent of the Afghan speaks Pashtu while half of the whole population speaks Dari. Aside from these two, languages such as Uzbek, Turkmen, Baluchi, Nuristani and Pashai are also spoken. Bilingualism is also common in Afghanistan.

The belief system that is practiced by more than half of Afghanis is Islam. This is reflected in the personal, social, political, legal and economic lives of the believers of the religion. For Afghan Muslims, it is their obligation to pray at least five times a day. Friday is their holy day. During this day, shops are closed to dedicate time for worship. Instead of the conventional Saturday and Sunday weekend, Afghans have it on Thursdays and Fridays.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Thai Etiquette

Interesting Thai etiquette should be taken into account before you decide to visit the place. This may not be important to you, but all these are perceived by Thais as their forms of respect and pride. So since Thailand is not your territory, better brace yourself.

Thais treat a man's head as the highest part of the body. If you accidentally touch someone's head, you are required to ask for immediate apology. Kissing in public areas like the streets or sidewalks is an act of rudeness. Even if Thais have liberal understanding on sexuality, they maintain a strong sense of decorum. Thais have high regards to their kings. Thus, any show of disrespect to their kings is a major faux pas. Anything that displays the king's image should be treated sacred. These include their currency, magazine covers, postage stamps and newspapers. You should not toss these to the ground nor treat them harshly. Licking the back of postage stamps is a no no. Money dropped by accident should immediately be picked up for brushing. Most importantly, these items should never be trod upon as it is like you are putting your foot above the head of the monarch.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Education And Economic Status Of Thailand

Education in Thailand has been given its highest premium by its government. It has achieved its greatest progress throughout the years since 2001. Thailand's government has always been proud of the turnout computer literacy rates among pupils and students all throughout the country. Moreover, there has already been a widespread use of the English language in schools and universities.

Thailand, after enjoying its recognition as the world's highest economic growth rate from 1985 to 1996, has been considered a newly industrialized country. Thailand's economy continues to boost because of strong exports. The country's exports has reached to an increasing value of over $105 billion worth of products and services annually. Exports vary, but are not limited to, rice, agricultural products, rubber, jewelry, textiles and footwear, automobiles, computers and electrical appliances.

Language Games Of Thais

Thais are courteous people. This is what my friend has been telling me because he has basically traveled to Thailand from time to time. I have proven true when I went there last week for a visit. Not only they are warm in welcoming you, they are also very polite and tact in treating you. These are both expressed in their verbal and non-verbal languages.

Thais are very particular with their social identity as deemed by age or wealth. They initiate a gesture called wai. This is done by gracefully bringing together the hands to the chest or beneath the nose to show great respect and submission. Thais call their older siblings as pii. Thai words are added to the end of every sentence especially when talking to strangers, elders, or colleagues. Kha is added to sentences when you're talking to a female. You add the word khrup when talking to a male.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Thais Are Proud People

Thais are very proud people. Like any other Asian country, Thais have a rich history, well-established hierarchical structure of status. Thais are said to be one the races in the world who enjoy high level of literacy. Thailand has put its premium to improving its educational system. The country has a well-organized structure of school system of pre-school, primary, secondary, and tertiary education. Both the public and private sectors promote quality education enabling them to contribute greatly to the country's overall development. The government even supports free education providing it until Grade 12.

Because the country has never been colonized, they shout it out loud to the world that their educational system is not based on European models. It improvises its own model that is both essential and beneficial to Thai students. The country has updated curricula that are reliable and coherent. These enable the students to learn to adjust rapidly and appropriately to the signs and times.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Malays In The Corporate World

If you go to Malaysia for purely business, you should at least be equipped with the corporate etiquette of the country. Here are some things I've learned second-hand from a business associate.

During business affairs, you should ready your business cards as people involve in the meeting usually exchange cards among each other. Because of the their pride as a nation, Westerners should never be late in social and business functions. Give a call if you will be late. Stay relaxed when on your first meeting the Malay gets late or your business affair does not start on time. Remember that you are in Malaysia and no matter what the business and social stratification here, they are still your boss, geographically speaking. In meetings, you should also know that Malays love to engage in lengthy discussions before getting down to business. Decisions are therefore made slowly and patience is required. Malays are not frank people. That is why you must listen attentively to them. You must know how to read between the lines so that proper and immediate judgment be made.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Malays' Body Gestures

Malaysians are warm and friendly people. They are affectionate too but they don't show it in public. If you prepare yourself to go to Malaysia for travel, it is important to be aided first with the Malay culture.

When it comes to body language, you should avoid touching anyone of the opposite sex most especially the top of the head as this is sid to be the home of the soul. They are also particular with the use of either left or right hand. If you eat, touch people, and pass things, you should use your right hand and never your left. Moving objects and picking up things with your feet are insulting to Malays. “Excuse me” is also translated into giving a slight bow when arriving or leaving, entering or passing other people. Be careful when you give a smile or grin in Malaysia. This may mean various interpretations for them. This could mean anger, shock, surprise, happiness, embarrassment or amazement. Furthermore, hands placed inside the pockets signify anger to Malays.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Malay Is A Proud Race

Malaysians, like any other races, are proud of their country, their past, their economic success. As everyone knows, there has always been a rivalry between the Malays and the Chinese in Malaysia. There are policies of the land that the Chinese feel that they are second-class citizens. Unsurprisingly, Malays support this claim because for them it is the only way to overcome traditional dominance. Malays live in rural areas while the Chinese rule in the business environment in the urban areas.

Shaking of hands in Malaysia is necessary for business meetings and social events. This is done before and after the meeting takes place. If you greet a woman or an older person, nodding or rendering a slight bow is a must. If engaged in this scenario, you have to introduce people who have higher ranks or older people first, women before men. Guests and tourists should greet Malay men with a nod and a smile. For the Malay men, this compensates the warm accomodation they give to all visitors.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Malaysia Is The Little Asia

Malaysia is said to be the little Asia. They say if you go to Malaysia, it's as if you have traveled the whole of Asia because of its multiculturalism. True enough, when I went there for a visit last year, I am fully contented with my travel, learning bits about Malaysia and the whole of Asia as well.

My first spot was the Petronas Towers. With its great engineering and architecture, the Petronas Towers are declared among the tallest buildings of the world. Upon seeing the towers alone, it made me feel like I was devoured by the whole of Earth! Whoa!

My next stop was the Golden Triangle. It is known to be the main shopping district of Kuala Lumpur. I went there in the evening and realized that even during the last stretch of the night, people come and go in the area. People were celebrating, merrymaking. The Golden Triangle is the place to find yourself.