It is a Romanian pre-Christian tradition to give those you care about on March 1 a mărțişor (martzishor): a red and white string from which a small decoration is tied, symbolizing strength and health for the year to come.
March 1 is the beginning of the new year in the old calendar used in both ancient Rome and in Dacia (which roughly corresponds to the territory of today's Romania).
March 1 symbolizes a new beginning and therefore gifting someone a mărțişor is a form of sharing and celebrating the mystery of life. And it is also a form of purification and renewal, leaving behind the Old and welcoming the uncertainty of the New.
The Renewal Ritual is not an abstract, weird thing. In fact, it can be found everywhere: an office party, going out with friends, celebrations and anniversaries, these are all practical ways in which people underline the separation from what it was, making room for new and hopefully better experiences.
When you are trying to relate to another organizational, national or ethnic culture, use your Cultural Intelligence tools: you will discover that each culture has a specific Renewal Ritual and you will be able to connect to it in fundamental, meaningful and mindful way.
What Happens in Ukraine Can't Stay Anymore in Ukraine! Presidents Yanukovych flees Kiev, not before throwing important documents in the lake of his sumptuous residence.
Well, it turns out that young Ukrainian journalists are not shy of collecting, drying and posting them on the internet.
Just in case anybody has any remaining doubts: globalization and intercultural exchanges are here to stay. It is up to us to develop our Cultural Intelligence and be part of something bigger than us, while remaining our true selves.
The picture and the text bellow was sent by our special envoy and "bargaining corespondent" in Guatemala, Patricia Rojas-Zambrano.
Please take this chance and share with us your bargaining experiences in cultures around the world.
Meet Micaela, weaver and tough negotiator. "Name your price my friend- she said when I seemed put off by her asking price, we have just begun, give me chance to sell you my work. After bargaining back and forth a few times and we both felt it was fair, she said " I am glad you gave me the chance to serve you". Whether you are in Chichicastenango, Guatemala or London, UK it requires Cultural Intelligence to navigate the trade world. How about to know you have found a friend?
This is the first session of a great series of meetings with European entrepreneurs, organized by Prof. Burton Lee, PhD, MBA-Stanford University, Senior Financial,Technical & Policy Advisor for startups, angels, VC, corporations, universities, ST&I agencies.
I will post here
The values, the behavior and the beliefs of a culture are revealed in each little thing that surrounds us: the messages on billboards and posters, how (and if!) people use their public space, how merchandise is advertised, what happens in the cafes and restaurants, etc.
There are endless clues everywhere around us that help reveal the values, symbols and emotional imprints that form that particular culture.
In fact, one of the most fun part of my Cultural Intelligence Training is to teach my clients how to take note of these clues. People are amazed about the abundance of information that helps increase their CQ (Cultural Intelligence Quotient).
Take the prompting from the picture above: "ENJOY LIFE!" There are a few cultural groups for whom this type of messages does not really make sense. Here is the dialog I overheard:
French man: What a non-sense! what does that mean, "enjoy life!"? Am I going to enjoy life 'cause somebody wrote it on a paper? Is as if somebody would tell you "Don't forget to sleep!"
American woman: Arghh, you're always commenting on everything! This is a wonderful positive message!.. It is actually very nice that someone, somewhere thinks of you and reminds you to enjoy life!
French man: What are you exactly talking about?!. Why would anybody remind you to enjoy life? You either enjoy the damn life or you don't, you can't enjoy life at command, "hey, you, what's your name, come here, ok, sit down, now ENJOY LIFE!!! Now, right now I want you to ENJOY LIFE!" Let alone the stupidity that follows after this "wonderful positive message"!
American Woman: You know what, you are mean. Mean and disrespectful!
What do you think about this exchange? If it helps you, here is the full picture of the message disputed by the French-American couple: