The World Habits & Country Customs Bundle


Habits, customs and philosophies from all around the world

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World cultures, customs, habits and philosophies - Theme
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World cultures, customs, habits and philosophies - Theme
Crossroads: activities
Crossroads: competencies
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Understanding other cultures abroad and around: blogs en contributions of WorldSupporters

How to live and stay in the Philippines?

How to live and stay in the Philippines?

Orientation on living in the Philippines

How to orient yourself with the islands of the Philippines?

  • The Philippines consists of 7.107 islands, of which only a part is inhabited. The total amount of islands is ever changing, depending on the tides.
  • Whilst orientating on living and working in the Philippines you should be careful with using generalisations. It is important to mention that in the Philippine Choice Indexes you will find are simplifications of the diverse reality that is the Philippines.

How many foreigners are living in the Philippines?

  • Around 180.000 foreigners are living in the Philippines, students and tourists are excluded.
  • The largest percentage of foreigners is from the United States.
  • The Philippines is also a popular destination for people from China, Japan, India and Canada.

What important factors help you in choosing for a long stay or emigration to the Philippines?

Why choose the Philippines?

  • In most parts of the Philippines the people are able to speak English. An English speaking local population makes life easier.
  • The Filipino hospitality provides foreigners with a warm welcome and stay.
  • Convenient visa arrangements, where people above 50 are eligible for the Special Residents Retirees Visa (SRRV) of the Philippine Retirement Authorities (PRA) Program.
  • Diversity of the country; with many pristine nature locations.
  • Affordable living.
  • Nearby other easy to reach vacation destinations (For example: Japan, Korea, Hong Kong). It is very affordable to do a city trip on the weekends in one of these countries.

"The best thing about the Philippines is the people. I have never encountered a more optimistic group in all of my life. They help one another when they are in trouble. Families are close. For the most part, the people are not driven by what brands they wear or type of car they drive".

Philippines expat

Factors to not consider living in the Philippines

  • You need a lot of time and patience to get around and to arrange things.
  • Communication is tentatively indirect and with a smile, which can be difficult at times when challenges arise.
  • The temperatures can get really high, in the dry season it can rise up to over 40 degrees Celsius.
  • There is a rainy season with typhoons, during these times it rains a lot and flooding can occur.
  • When residing in Metro Manila, you will have to deal with a lot of traffic (jams).

How do you form an image of the Philippines as a destination for living and working?

Tips for reading

  • Culture Shock! Philippines (Culture Shock! A Survival Guide to Customs & Etiquette) written by Alfredo Roces. The book gives a good explanation of the culture shock and what to expect when living in the Philippines.
  • Handbook Philippines written by Niklas Reese and Rainer Werning. This book gives a good oversight of the history and influences on the contemporary Filipino culture.

Tips for watching

  • To get a broader idea of the Filipino life, we recommend watching the BBC documentary: Toughest place to be... (a jeepney driver). An inspiring story about the everyday life of a jeepney driver in Metro Manila.

Orientation on working in the Philippines

How can you orient yourself to work and/or start a business in the Philippines?

  • Salary wise it is advisable to work as an expat in the Philippines, instead of working for under a local contract for a (local) company. The minimum wage in the Philippines in Metro Manila is around 600 php per day, around 13.000 php per month. Office jobs (white collar jobs) pay around 30.000 php per month and managerial functions can pay double or even more.
  • You are required to have a Non-Immigrant Visa for pre-arranged Employment when working in the Philippines. In that case the employer should get the work permit and help you with your Visa Application. 

What are sectors to consider when searching for a job in the Philippines?

  • Nowadays, there are many job opportunities in the Philippines for foreigners, for example in call center industry or the import/export sector.
  • New businesses that are established in those sectors are looking to hire international expats.
  • With this, the demand for bilingual employees is on the rise.
  • The Netherlands is an important trading partner for the Philippines: The Netherlands is a very important (a lot of recent years "the first") export destination for the Philippines in Europe. If you have sufficient knowledge of European & Dutch markets, your job search position will improve!
  • Officially, more than 100 Dutch companies are being represented in the Philippines; probably a lot more via informal ways. Yearly, more and more Dutch companies make plans to start investing in the Philippines.

How is professional recognition and diploma legalisation arranged in the Philippines?

  • Attained professional certifications and diplomas are not automatically valid in the Philippines.
  • Certain professions for example in the fields of nursing and medicine require specific certification by local authorities.
  • Employers may require original or notarized copies of diplomas. Always bring these with you when you travel to the Philippines for work.
  • The application for a work visa and other legal documents is made easier when you bring your official documents and diplomas. A copy or scan will not suffice in most cases.

What are good sources for finding job vacancies in the Philippines?

  • When looking for jobs in the Philippines it is advised to use your personal or other networks (ask around), as it is the easiest and most reliable way to find a job.

What are important factors to consider when applying in the Philippines?

  • Applying for a job is considered a very formal occasion in the Philippines.
  • Looks are important, so always make sure you look professional when going in for an interview.
  • Having a good network is very important as well. Using connections is usually the best way to get an invitation or interview when applying to jobs.
  • If you are looking for a new job, inform as many of your friends, acquaintances, and colleagues of whom you'd think could help with your search for a job in the Philippines.
  • Make sure the employer will take care of- or at least help with your work visa application. Be wary of companies that insist it is your responsibility to take care of the work visa; it is practically impossible to attain a work visa all by yourself.
  • As commuting can be problematic -especially in metro Manila and Cebu- make sure to take the office's location into consideration when applying for jobs.

What are specific CV requirements when applying for jobs in the Philippines?

  • When submitting your CV make sure that all information can be verified. Employers in the Philippines have the tendency to rigorously verify diplomas and references.
  • When submitting a resume the outlook should be professional, make sure your ID-picture is professional as well (a tie is required).
  • Follow international standards in regards to writing your CV, these apply to the Philippine setting as well.

Orientation on starting a business or doing business in the Philippines 

What are sectors to consider when starting a business in the Philippines?

  • Economic prospects are looking good for the Philippines; forecasts show that the Philippine economy eventually will become bigger than their neighbours; Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia.
  • Macro-economic fundamentals are becoming stronger and stronger and the Philippines' business environment is being improved constantly to increase the country's competitiveness.
  • Still; the inequitable distribution of wealth and the low level of social development of large parts of the population are continuous matters of concern.
  • Opportunities abound for investors targeting the following sectors: business process outsourcing, electronics, agriculture, renewable energy, infrastructure, and shipbuilding.

What are important factors to consider for start-ups in the Philippines?

  • A lot of factors need to be considered when setting up your own company in the Philippines: What papers and licenses are required, how to find reliable business partners, etc.
  • If you want to do business in the Philippines the first things you need to do is incorporate and register your company.
  • This follows a bureaucratic system that can easily take over a month to complete.
  • Ask for an expert that is experienced with starting up a business in the Philippines, this will reduce a lot of hassle.
  • Social media plays an important role in the Philippines -especially Facebook- it is a good place to market your business.
  • Be wary of excessive fees for accountants, registrations, and other things. Consult others with experience when you are unsure about the appropriateness of fees.
  • When starting up a business it is important to find out what bank is best for you. An international bank might be a good idea.
  • If you need to import goods into the Philippines, check port and airport regulations. The regulations and fees for import in the Philippines differ from other countries.

What company types are most commonly used by foreign companies in the Philippines?

  • Most foreigners have a single-proprietorship or corpated business where 60% of the company is owned by a Filipino passport holder.
  • IT is a popular sector to invest or start up a company. Multinationals rely on the Philippines when it comes to outsourcing customer service. This sector is on the rise due to low wages and high proficiency in English.
  • Retail and catering are also popular sectors in which foreigners are activily doing business in the Philippines.

How do you find reliable business partners in the Philippines?

  • Research who you know in the specific sector you want to become active in.
  • Using your network is another good way to meet people.
  • There are several conferences on international business in the Philippines; here you can find business partners that are looking to cooperate with international businesses.

What compliances are needed in regards to accounting in the Philippines?

  • Accounting requires is a lot of paper work so it is advised to hire an accountant and/or bookkeeper, especially for bigger companies.
  • A local accountant can be a great help as they are aware of how things are done in the Philippines. Foreigners tend to have a harder time as compared to locals. A Filipino helping hand is a great addition to your company.
  • If you decide to incorporate your company you will have to put at least 60% in the name of a Philippine citizen. Make sure that you either fully trust this person or make up a contract that states that they are not allowed to make any decisions in regards to the company. Make sure that you protect yourself from malice and miscommunication, a shareholder agreement can help with this.

How does the sales tax system work in the Philippines?

  • Foreign corporations are only taxable on income derived from sources within the Philippines.
  • Of course, if applicable: Check your individual agreements with e.g. Dutch tax law.
  • A 12% value added tax (VAT) of the gross selling price is imposed to all importation, sale, barter, exchange or lease of goods or properties and sale of services.

What are important factors to consider in regards to the contract of employment in the Philippines?

As a business owner you have the option to offer people an agreement or a contract. An agreement is not an official work contract. This lets you pay the expenses of the person you made the agreement with for up to a certain amount of pesos per day. Common examples for this type of agreement are volunteers, interns or parttime helpers. You can pay a certain amount per day for their expenses (meals, transport, etc.), but you have to remember to keep the receipts as proof. 

When offering an official work contract you have to consider a lot more requirements.

  • Your company/organisation has to register with the following institutions:
    • Social Security System (SSS)
      • SSS provides employees with social benefits. Financial contribution is required by the employer as well as the employee.
    • PhilHealth
      • Employers are required to register their staff for PhilHealth so they can provide their employees with Social Health Insurance.
    • Pag-IBIG
      • Employers are required to register their staff for Pag-IBIG so they can provide their employees with financial help for home ownership (mortgage).

General information in regards to employing people:

  • The Philippines has a lot of official non-working holidays. Check your calendar regularly to be up-to-date with these holidays. Always make clear to the staff on what days they are required to work and what days they aren't.
  • When the company has less than 20 employees extra pay for holidays and overtime is not required.
  • Minimum wage is around 500 pesos per day in the North Capital Region (NCR). Other regions have their own rules in regards to minimum wage.
  • When coming up with a contract or agreement you can find specific templates for the Philippines on the internet.
  • General considerations of employment contracts apply to the Philippines as well.
  • For international employees extra factors need to be considered:
    • Visa Arrangements.
    • Arrangement of accommodation.
    • If accommodation is provided what are regulations for spouses.
    • Escape clause in regards to leaving the country.

What are important factors to consider when taking over a company in the Philippines?

  • See above, all requirements should be taken care of.
  • Check outstanding issues or requirements that the company has not been able to follow, so there won't be any issues in the future.

Orientation regarding education in the Philippines

How does the education system work in the Philippines?

The Philippines is following a Kindergarten to Grade 12 program, which covers 13 years of basic education with the following key stages:

  • Kindergarten to Grade 3.
  • Grades 4 to 6.
  • Grades 7 to 10 (Junior High School).
  • Grades 11 and 12 (Senior High School).
  • Tertiary education: after graduating from high school, students are encouraged to go to college or university as most entry level jobs require a college degree. The Philippines has over 1,000 universities and colleges.
  • International schools: In the major cities you can find schools that identify themselves as 'International'. This means classes are taught in English, although primary and high schools are still required to follow the local curriculum. International colleges and universities offer diplomas and curricula from universities in the west (most common are UK and USA). These schools generally offer high quality education. The international schools are very expensive; tuition fees are equal to or sometimes higher than European and American fees.   
  • Dutch, chinese, german or spanish lessons can be arranged with private tutors. 

What should you pay attention to when choosing a school in the Philippines?

  • There is a large diversity of opportunities when arranging education in the Philippines, whether it be for your children or yourself.
  • International schools can be found all over the Philippines, managed by different people with different backgrounds. Check certification and school evaluations as quality between schools can differ significantly.
  • Private schools are available and vary in price; the most expensive schools can ask yearly tuition fees of over 300,000 php. Most colleges that are considered to be of good quality are in a price range of 80,000-200,000 php per year.
  • When choosing a school or college it is very important to look at the school’s reputation. As there are over 1,000 colleges in the Philippines it is important to pick the right school for you. Applying for a job after graduating can be a taxing endeavor but with a degree from University of the Philippines, La Salle, Ateneo, or University of Santa Tomas the process will be much smoother. Some companies only hire student from the well-known schools.
Nepali Culture

Nepali Culture


The special culture events I have joined during my volunteerwork. 

A majoring party of 2 boys: when the boys are between a age of 5 and 9 they get a majoring party, most of the time with their brothers but sometimes also with sons of friends from their parents. Before the party they have to go through rituals like saving their head. During the party the boys are sitting on a throne like little princes, everybody is come to them to give them presents and congratulate them. The rest of the party means a lot of food, the appetizer was like a main course for me but they expect you to eat a main course as well so I had that as well. You never eat enough in Nepal is what they told me. There is also a dancefloor and the second you step off that dancefloor you stop dancing. Only specific on the dancefloor people dance. The music that they play is not for little boys or older people but modern music for the youth which I think is really special. When we give a party for our younger children we play the music they like.

A wedding party: Wedding’s are so different in Nepal then in the Netherlands (and Europe). The weddings in Nepal take several days. The first day is the engagement which is already special because in Europe the engagement is months before the wedding. After that you have a party for only the woman who is going to get married, for all her friends and relatives. This is where I went. It’s not a small party but really all the people they know are invited. At this party there where around 500 people. The future bride is also sitting on a throne here and she is dressed in red with a lot of golden jewellery. She gets presents from everyone who is coming to the party. The most weirdest was that her husband is not invited to this party. Or actually now that I think about it, in Europe we have a bachelor party but that’s meant to be a party where you say goodbye to your wild life before you get married. The party from the future Nepali wife is actually eating a lot of food and after that you are able to drink and dance. All the Nepali party’s end around 10 o’clock pm! After that everybody goes to bed because they stand up again early (around 4 or 5 o’clock am). After this party (that is supposed to be close to the future wife her parents house) the husband throws a party near his house. The future wife is supposed to be here. The day after that there is one evening where the woman is supposed to cry for at least 3 hours. It’s still not totally clear where that is good for but I believe it’s their way to say goodbye to their life before they get married and to say goodbye to their life at their parents house. After the wedding she is going to live at here husbands house. The day after this they get married and have another party for this. Then she is going to live with the husband for a few days (3 or 4) and after that she is going back to her parents for 1 week I believe and then after that she is going to live with her husband for good.   


Ritual after someone’s husband died: Outside the house they offer some food to the gods. When you come inside the house to give your condolence the whole family starts fake crying because when they don’t do that it’s bad look for me. After that you are forced to eat or drink something. The mourning takes 12 days, in this time the wife always wears a white scarf. After the 12 days she has to wear white for 1 whole year. In the 12 days of mourning the wife is not allowed to leave the house and after the 12 days she first has to visit her own fathers house before she does other things outside. The husband who died in this situation was the breadwinner of the family and his wife was not schooled at all. Even for the cremation they had to borrow money. It’s really sad because they have nothing like a life insurance so the family had no money at all. 

What are typical Latin and South American habits, food customs and remarkable philosophies? - Bundle

Habits and customs in Argentina

Habits and customs in Argentina


Habits and customs in Argentina

  • Tango is not just a dance to me. The tango is sensitive and it is based on improvisation. When going to tango events, I always wish to be more feminine in life. Dancing through life with high heels and a nice dress. In Buenos Aires they dance on the streets, like it is common to dance the salsa in Cuba on the streets. Can’t wait to join!
  • Asado - An Argentinan habit is to eat a lot of meat. Asado is a way of preparing, barbecue style.
  • Clap your hands, when you like to enter a house, most of the time there is no doorbell and even when there is, still clap.
  • A comedor is a small restaurant, where you can eat what the people in Argentina eat! Most of the time a huge traditional meal is served with bread. 
  • Gauchos - Who has not heard of the gauchos? The gauchos are a mix between cowboys and Indians. They travel through the country on a horse.
  • Mate with Yerba- More and more popular and well know in other countries besides Argentina is Mate with Yerba. It is a kind of tea drunk with a straw.
  • Merienda time- The time, it is the time when it is time for snacks! Snacks are regularly on the menu.
  • Polo- Polo is played in Argentina. It is hockey played on a horse. The best teams are from Buenos Aires
  • Round and round- A round with the dog, it is common on a Sunday to walk or drive in the car the same round in the village, to meet neighbors and friends on the same streets.
  • Wine - My favorite wine is Malbec. The roots of the wine are from France. Malbec is a huge success in Argentina and is now a days synonymous with Argentina. 
Habits and customs in Brazil

Habits and customs in Brazil


Habits and customs in Brazil

  • Brazilians are famous for their festive Spirit, especially Carnival, a pre-Lenten celebration known for its extravagant parades and costumes, combined with infectious samba music.
  • Brazilians love music - Beyond Samba, Brazil boasts a rich musical landscape with genres like energetic Forró, soulful Bossa Nova, and pulsating Axé.
  • Capoeira is an unique Afro-Brazilian martial art that blends acrobatics, dance, and music, is another famous aspect of Brazilian culture.

Typical Asian habits, food customs, recipes and philosophies - Bundle

What are typical Asian habits, food customs and Asian philosophies?

What are typical Asian habits, food customs and Asian philosophies?


Why this blog about habits and philosophies in Asia

I love Asia. I feel at home in Asia. I am half chinese and half dutch. I feel more at ease in filipino culture than chinese culture. I have a good friend from Japan. Throughout the years, I have tried to be open to everything Asia has to offer. To embrace Asia in my being, in my core and to understand and learn more of this continent in the world. Some of the things that really caught me...  Any Asian habits that particulary interest you? 

    Habits in China

    • Don't scoop food in your bowl for yourself, but wait for your host or hostess to do so.
    • It is impolite to eat everything in your bowl; leave a small amount as a sign of respect.
    • Slurping while eating is not rude in China, but rather a sign that you like the food. Let's slurp.
    • Never refuse an offer to have some food or drinks.
    • Red is the color of happiness, do not wear it at funerals.
    • When you have tea, make sure the teapot points at the other tables, not at a person on your table, that doesn't bring luck.
    • Squat toilets, yes they are still widely used all over China.
    • Public spitting is still a habit for some people. 
    • Drinking hot water is normal and considered healthy.
    • Early rising is a habit for many chinese people and to practice tai chi.

    Habits in Indonesia

    • Gotong royong is the spirit of communal cooperation and mutual assistance. It's a deeply ingrained value in Indonesian society and is often seen in neighborhood clean-up efforts or helping neighbors in need.
    • When having a meal together it is customary to wait for the host to start eating before you dig in. It is also considered impolite to refuse food that is offered to you. If you are full, you can take a small portion and say thank you.
    • Eating together is a time for families and friends to connect and socialize. Rice is a staple food in Indonesia and is usually eaten with every meal without rice it is not considered a meal. It's not uncommon for Indonesians to eat with their hands.
    • Life Cycle Ceremonies happen around various stages of life. Tedak Siten, a Javanese ceremony, celebrates a baby's first steps. Metatah, a Balinese ritual, involves the filing of a child's teeth to mark their passage into adulthood.
    • Batik - is an Indonesian fabric with cultural significance. Different patterns have different meanings and are worn for different occasions.

    Habits in Japan

    • Bonsai - Japanese people recreate nature in miniature, this specific horticulture is called bonsai. 
    • Ikigai - What is worth living? What is it worth coming out of bed for? What drives you? What inspires you?
    • Kintsugi (golden joinery) - is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum, As a philosophy, it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise. You can buy Kintsugi kits in the Netherlands, it is in my opinion a very nice way to glue broken things, with golden glue. 
    • Kirei - is an activity. You look at all your possessions and decide what you want to keep and what can go away. It is an emotional literal clean-up and clean-up action. By cleaning up, you reflect on your past and future.
    • Kurashi - translates to “way of life” or “the ideal way of spending our time,” but like many words lost in translation, it means more than that. If you haven’t tidied using the KonMari Method, focusing on your kurashi will motivate you to start.
    • Mottainai - (もったいない or 勿体無い) It is a term of Japanese origin that has been used by environmentalists. The term in Japanese conveys a sense of regret over waste; the exclamation "Mottainai!" can translate as "What a waste!" Mottainai is the feeling of sadness you have when something hasn't reached its full potential. Recycle and repair. It's all about the love you have for your old stuff.
    • O-hanami - In april are the cherry blossom viewing parties.
    • Omikuji - These are slips of paper that tell your fortune, divided into kichi (good luck) and kyo (bad luck). Depending on the shrine there are various grades of good and bad luck in between. One theory says if you read it without showing anyone else and then tie it to the branch of a tree in the shrine grounds before going home, even bad luck is converted into good luck.
    • Omoiyari - Omoi is thinking, memories and emotion. Yaru is doing. It is empathy, freely translated, it is on the other hand more ordinary and special. It's just because it's part of everyday life in Japan, not just an empathetic reaction. It is special because it makes compassion a part of the community. How do you master omoi? Start with yourself, focus inwards. If you recognize and understand your own feelings, you can translate that into compassion for others. The essence of omoiyari is that you are aware, of other people in life. You behave in a way that is pleasant for others.
    • Shintoism - Shinto is the early religion of Japan. It is a combination of two chinese characters, which means: "The way of the gods." In Shintoism the Kami are being worshipped. Kami are gods of nature. Some kami are bound to be found in certain places, others are united with bigger objects and phenomena. Amaterasu is for example the god of the sun. Marie Kondo the "spark-joy guru of tidying" and her method, the KonMari method, is based on Shintoism. Keeping the house tidy is part of the practice.
    • Shinrin-yoku - I have sent my japanese friend once a photo of me snow bathing (in a bathing suit swimming in the snow) and asked her the japanese term for snow bathing. There is no japanese term for it. And I thought there was! The Japanese have a term for forest bathing: Shinrin-yoku. To be in the forest with the trees, will make sure you will be re-energized and that you can feel your own core.
    • Sumo, Judo and Karate
    • Tea ceremony - The aim of the tea ceremony (in a small space) is to reduce daily life to the barest essentials and idealize form. Behind this idea is to intensify the brief time spent together as a moment to be cherished. Tea utensils, the preparation of tea and the tea ceremony etiquette is all very important. When you will experience a true tea ceremony it is advised to prepare yourself to understand more beforehand of this Japanese ceremony.
    • Tenei- It is about patience and respect of the daily things. Try to find harmony in the day to day activities, to be correct and punctual towards others and to be persistent of the things which are important to you, even when it is not easy. 
    • Tokimeki - As explained by the latest Marie Kondo on Netflix or in her book, do what you like and what you think is important in your life…
    • Tsukumogami - According to Shinto animism, some inanimate objects could gain a soul after 100 years of service, a concept know as tsukumogami.
    • Omiyage and Temiyage - Omiyage and Temiyage are Japanese names for two kinds of gifts. Omiyage are souvenirs you bring home from a trip. Temiyage are thank-you gifts you bring when you visit someone. Japanese people have the habit of buying plenty of gifts for their friends. As a foreigner it is appreciated when you bring Omiyage and Temiyage.
    • Wabisabi 侘 寂 - A lot of things around me are Wabisabi, especially when you try to use things as long as possible. And when you are open to see things in the light they are, and not everything has to be perfect around you. Life in it's imperfection.
    • Zakka - is to be grateful for the normal, simple things that make life special. For example your favorite sweater of coffee cup.

    Habits in Mongolia

    • There are certain habits in the ger, the yurt
    • Sleep - Always sleep with your feet facing the door, never toward the altar.
    • Whistling - Whistling in a ger is considered rude.
    • Be aware that fire is sacred to Mongolians. Do not throw garbage into the fire.
    • Elders - Always let elders lead the way and do not sit with your back or feet to the altar.
    • Hospitality - When you are offered food or drink, accept it, even if it is just a little. Use your right hand, with your left hand for support. It is customary to give small gifts to your hosts, such as fruit, candy or alcohol.
    • Holding a cup - Hold a cup underneath, not by the rim.
    • Say no in an indirect way, that is polite.

    Habits in the Philippines

    • Use of 'face' in communication - Briefly raise eyebrows to confirm or to mean yes to a question and also used as a brief greeting (all silent).
    • Indicating direction by pursing lips and turning head in direction, all silent as well.
    • Baon - refers to the monetary allowance or food normally provided by the parent to a child who goes to school.
    • Bayanihan - When a house is broken, the whole community helps fixing the house. You might have seen the pictures of a group of people carrying a hut, when it needs to be transferred. It is a true community spirit. You talk, you help and protect the people around you. It is team effort, only possible when done with a group. It is truly a beautiful thing. 
    • Cockfighting is a popular national sport in big and small arenas all over the country. Goal is to gamble (win money) and eat the roosters who lost the game.
    • Finding your spot - Recently I was back in the Philippines, taking public transportation. When you would like to take your window seat, be reminded you have to climb over other peoples lap. Squeeze in between the seat in front of you and the seat with the passenger on it. Enough space, a little intimate but do-able, it has something about it.
    • Pacquiao - Filipinos adore boxer (and politician) Manny 'Pagman' Pacquiao.
    • Pagmamano - Children take your hand, put it on their forehead, as a way of greeting you. It is an act of respect. The child says mamo po, can I have your hand please? Most of the time, they say God bless (you), when put on their forehead.
    • Pasalubong -In the Philippines it is common when you have been on a trip, that you bring a token of love back to the people who stayed home. It is a filipino tradition of travellers bringing gifts from their destination to people back home. It can be anything, something to eat or to drink is always a welcoming gift, since filipinos love eating! It is actually not about what you bring, it is something that you have brought, so the other person knows you thought about them while away. The first time, I heard bring pasalubong, from multiple people, and didnt know how to act. When you see souvenir stores in the Philippines, it has the sign pasalubong. So now you are prepared.... just bring something back... 
    • Noise and music - Filipinos are crazy about high volumes and karaoke (called videoke) and music from the 70s like The Carpenters. There was one big world hit: Anak by Freddie Aguilar in 1978.
    • Remedio - Is fixing things, even though you dont know how to fix it. The filipinos use remedio. Remedio used to drive me crazy. It is fixing things with what you have, in a creative way, and if it works again... that will be clear in the near future. You have to be flexible to embrace remedio.
    • Squeeze - Squeeze your but, in the jeepney, also when you think it is already full. There will be place, when you squeeze. When you are for example sitting at the window in an airplane and you have two filipinos beside you, you squeeze your body in and out going to the aile. It is not a habit to stand up, when you can squeeze, when used to it, it works perfectly fine.
    • Volume - Pump up the jam, pump up the volume. Filipinos love loud music, loud talking, as long as it is lively. The high amounts of volume makes you feel festive and alive, even when there is not a party.
    • 'Whitening' products such as soap, make-up, deodorant are very popular, to stimulate white skin.

    Habits in South Korea

    • In South Korea, and other places I have seen it in Asia, they brush their teeth, three times a day after a meal. People bring portable toothbrushes and you often see people brushing their teeth in the washroom in their office.
    • Family is everything and the eldest son carries the responsibility of the family.
    • Kimchi is a national dish. People make kimchi at home. In the supermarkets a lot of dark bordeau red buckets can be found, so you don't see the stains of the herbs going to be fermented with the vegetables.
    • I personally love banchan. When you order Korean food it is likely you get a lot of different small bowls, (most of the time vegetarian) side dishes. For me as a dutch person, I can do without the maindish, since banchan is so delicious.

    Habits in Taiwan

    • Politeness - Taiwanese people are very polite and respectful. It is customary to bow when greeting someone and to say “thank you” and “please.”
    • Respectfulness - Taking off shoes when entering a house: In Taiwan, it is customary to take off your shoes before entering someone's house. This is done as a sign of respect and to keep the house clean.
    • Respect for elders is considered vital, as is loyalty toward the family.
    • Leave some food on your plate - It shows appreciation for the amount of food served and is considered polite.
    • Cleanliness - Using toilet paper with the right hand: In Taiwan, toilet paper is used with the right hand, while the left hand is considered unclean.
    • Bubble tea is a Taiwanese invention, same like stinky tofu. That stinks.
    • KTV – Karaoke is a popular waste of time or night.
    • Convenience stores – Open 24/7, with a variety of food, drinks and everyday items available.
    • Gifts – Knives and scissors are not appreciated and will be seen as severing a relationship. Clocks and handkerchiefs are best avoided, that will be connected to death and funerals. Check the label: made in Taiwan is not an interesting gift and the recipient from Taiwan already has (all) things made in Taiwan.

    Habits in Thailand

    • Thai people will talk about architecture, dance, festivals and food when you ask about their culture. 
    • Sanuk is a term to express that everything should have something sanuk. Something which is worth doing. The sense or approach with a little playfulness. Even work can be sanuk, singing while working, cracking jokes in combination with the thai smile. 
    • Saving face is important as is in many Asian countries. The habit is to avoid confrontation, and not to embarrass yourself or others.
    • Social rank plays an important part in society. It goes with obligations, obedience, caring for, respect, sharing of wealth. The "big person or senior" pays the bill when dining or entertaining. The person with the most social rank pays for everyone.

    Did you know that.... 

    Asia is the biggest continent in the world. It is huge, this is the list of most Asian countries (including the Middle East)


    What are typical Indian habits, food customs, recipes and philosophies in India?

    What are typical Indian habits, food customs, recipes and philosophies in India?


    What are the customs in India regarding food?

    • Make sure you don't eat with your left hand in the presence of Indians. That's happening. Indians eat with their right hand, the left hand is used to clean the bottom.
    • Indian food is very varied and, especially in the North, vegetarian due to Hinduism.
    • According to Hinduism, the cow is a sacred animal and should therefore not be eaten.
    • Characteristic are the many spice mixes (massalas) that you eat together with rice on coconut leaves. In the north there are mainly biryanis, tandoori and creamy sauces with yoghurt.

    What are the best recipes in India?

    • Thalis: The thalis in the south are served on large steel plates with all kinds of small containers with spice mixtures and vegetables. This is eaten with rice, on a coconut leaf. It is also accompanied by bread (chappatis or naan) and yoghurt (raita).
    • Tandoori: This dish is mainly eaten in the north. It contains tandoori spices, often in combination with ordered chicken.
    • Naan: This is a leavened bread and is suspected in various Indian dishes.
    • Jalebi: Fried dough in syrup.
    • Dosa: Fermented pancake with vegetables, meat and sauces, a typical dish from South India.

    What are the best drinks in India?

    • Lassi, a sweet yogurt drink that is often used to cool spicy food.
    • Chai (tea) is a favorite in India and is spiced differently, often with sugar, ginger and cardamon.
    • Numbi Pani: lime water with sugar and often salt.
    • Kingfisher is the most consumed brand of beer in India.

    What are notable holidays and festivals in India?

    • Carnival: This four-day festival in February is mainly celebrated in Goa.
    • Independence Day: August 15 (1947) India became independent from Great Britain. There are festivities all over the country.
    • Navratri: This is a 9-day Hindu Festival to honor the god Durga. It is celebrated even more exuberantly in Guajarat and Marashtra. (October-September).
    • Naga Panchami: The snake festival. A festival celebrated by the Hindus in which they worship a real cobra or pictures of one.

    What are the remarkable habits in India?

    • Namaste is a common way to greet, it involves pressing the palms together and bowing slightly. It means "The divine in me honors the divine in you."
    • Eating with your bare hands is prefered for digestion and taste and texture purpose. Eat with your right hand only (you shake hands with your right hand), with your left hand is considered dirty, you wipe your butt with your left hand.
    • It is custom to sit cross-legged on the floor while eating, which increases flexibility and aids digestion.
    • People in India wiggle with their heads, that means what it means.
    • Do not touch heads, that is considered not done.
    • Touching the feet of elders as a sign of respect and receiving blessings is widely practiced.
    • It is customary to remove shoes before entering homes and temples as a sign of respect and cleanliness.
    • Cows are holy and walk around freely everywhere.
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