World cultures, customs, habits and philosophies - Theme

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Habits, customs and philosophies from all around the world

Table of contents

  • What are habits and customs?
  • What are typical Asian habits, food customs and philosophies in Asia?
  • What are typical European habits, food customs and philosophies in Europe?
  • What are typical Latin habits, food customs and philosophies in South America?
  • What are typical Mediterranean habits, food customs and philosophies round the Mediterranean?
  • What are typical Scandinavian habits, food customs and philosophies in Scandinavia?
  • Recipes from around the world

What are habits and customs?

  • Habits are the things you do regularly without being conscious that you are doing that, its on autopilot.
  • The behaviours become automatic over time, without us realizing it.
  • You have good and bad habits. What in one country can be a positive habit, can be experienced in another country as negative.
  • Habits can play a significant role in our life. They are like automatic paths in our brains, which lead your behaviour.

SPOTLIGHT: EUROPE

What are typical European habits, food customs and remarkable philosophies?

What are typical European habits, food customs and remarkable philosophies?

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Habits in Albania

  • Superstitousness - Albanian are very superstitious people. The evil eye is a superstitious belief. The evil eye means that someone could become jealous or envious of you and your family and do a black magic ritual to bring you bad luck.
  • Other Albanian beliefs are don't point at a graveyard with your finger.
  • One for good luck: Throwing salt or sugar to the ground will bring good luck.
  • When you enter a friend's house step inside with your right foot first.
  • When you are in Albania, you can see Dordolec - That is a protective doll or stuffed animal placed on a house or property. It acts as a charm to ward off the evil eye – a curse believed to be brought on by envy. Essentially, it's a decoy to attract envious gazes, the homeowner's possessions will be protected from misfortune this way. Or Dordolec can also mean "scarecrow" which protects crops from birds.
  • Besa - An unique concept which means "keeping the promise" and forms the structure of Albanian social life. It emphasizes honor, loyalty and hospitality. It forms the moral code that guides interactions in daily life.

Habits in Austria

  • People in Austria love their sweets, breakfast most of the time consists of sweet breads, or with honey or jam. Apfelstrudel is an all time Austrian favorite served with coffee.
  • It is normal to drink alcohol in Austria, also during lunchtime. Schnaps is a common drink, it is a drink with fruits, without any additional sugar in it.
  • To add (flat or sizzling) water with the wine, literally is very common. 
  • Costume is socially completely accepted in everyday life in Austria. Besides the famous Lederhosen and Dirndls, there are many other forms of authentic costume that you can find, not only in villages but also in cities. By the way the woman's apron is tied, you can tell if she is single or married.
  • In 1685 the first coffeehouse was opened. Austrian coffeehouses are famous. Did you know that Vienna's coffee houses are officially recognized cultural heritage and have also been recognized as such with UNESCO.
  • Yodeling is an ancient tradition found not only in Austria, but also in other Alpine countries. The history of yodeling goes back to prehistoric times, making it one of the oldest means of communication. With yodeling, people communicate with each other between two different mountains, always switching between chest and head voice. 
  • Almabtrieb - Once the days get shorter and temperatures drop, it is time for the shepherds and shepherdesses to take the livestock back from the alpine pastures to the stables. During Almabtrieb, people celebrate the success of summer and the fact that the animals have returned safely. There are parades with decorated cattle, farmers' markets and live music. Almabtrieb takes place every year between September and October.

Habits in France

  • France is the land of liberté, égalité and fraternité. And every year the French show this by going on strike if they disagree with something. This often takes place in March and April. 
  • La Bise - It is quite normal in France to greet someone with some kisses. In some areas they give two kisses, in others even four. Moreover, this is also regularly done when you see someone for the first time and want to introduce yourself.
  • Both at noon and in the evening they eat warm food, and often go for three courses. It is therefore quite normal at lunch to order an appetizer and dessert, and it is certainly customary to drink a glass of wine with it. 
  • Think France, think cheese, baguette, madeleine cookies, champagne, escargos, crepes all bought on the marche (market).
  • Apéro: Around drinking time (between 6 and 8 p.m.), the terraces fill up with people enjoying an "apéro." This is a time to relax with a drink and some tasty snacks.
  • Chansons -  French music, or chanson, is loved around the world. Enjoy the beautiful melodies and lyrics of artists such as Edith Piaf, Jullette Greco and Charles Aznavour.

Habits in Poland

  • Food, food, food and food. Love goes through the stomach. A lot of plates and a lot of food is meant as a warm welcome. Food like bigos, zurek, rosol and pierogi. There are a lot of choices of sausages and ham.
  • Poland is very proud of their culture and traditions. 
  • Wodka is the drink of the country, and special wodka bars. Many wodka with spices and flavors are served.
  • Wigilia (Christmas Eve) is an important celebration. 12 dishes without meat stands for the 12 apostles.
  • Name days are celebrated, you can compare it to celebrate a birthdays. Each day of the year is associated with specific names (of saints). Name days are celebrated with parties and family of course.
  • Kapcie are offered to you, once you enter a house or a hotel. Kapcie are your house shoes. You dont want to walk around in your shoes or on your socks.
  • Family is important, time is spent with family. 

Habits in Portugal

  • The Portuguese are traditional and conservative. Innovation and major changes within the family or community are not easily accepted. Life in Portugal revolves around the family and even now in the 21st century, old customs and traditions can be seen daily.
  • Fado is a typical Portuguese music movement from the 19th century and the life song of the locals. While Fado used to be popular only in bars and brothels of the poorer neighborhoods in Lisbon and Coimbra, nowadays it is very popular and you come across it in many places.
  • Typically Portuguese are azulejos, Portuguese tiles that you find a lot on and in railway stations, churches and houses. Often they are blue and white, but they can also be richly colored.
  • Ginja - The liqueur is always served in a shot glass, with a spirit at the bottom. 
  • Port is also a typical Portuguese drink.
  • A lot of fish is eaten, which is not surprising given the coastline of 850 kilometers. Popular fish dishes are the bacalhau recipes used to prepare dried cod. It is said that there is a bacalhau recipe for every day of the year. Besides dried cod, grilled sardines and caldeirada, stew with potato and different types of fish, are favorites. The Portugese love their meat as well: chicken piri-piri or arroz de sarrabulho (rice with pigblood).
  • Most towns and villages in Portugal have their own traditional festas or romarias. Romarias are local religious festivals that honor the saints of a particular area in Portugal.
  • Time is relative and being late for appointments is very common. 

Habits in Spain

  • Siesta-Nap and relax time (shops are generally closed) when the sun is shining between 2.30 and 4.30 PM.
  • Tapas-Shared with drinks and in company, small dishes. In many ways served from the counter or from the menu: grilled pimiento, manchego, chorizo, patatas bravas, tortilla.
  • Dinner is eaten late during the evening, 9 PM is general time to start. 
  • Flamenco-Dance from Andalusia, with costumes and music with a soul.
  • Eat a grape, every hour the clock makes a sound on new year's eve. Twelve times and it will bring you prosperity.
  • Kisses (two) are common as a greeting, also when you don't know each other well.
  • Manana, manana means tomorrow, in general do not stress out and take it easy. Do not worry the Spanish are not so strict with their punctuality, being late is common.
  • Cursing and talking loud is part of the culture. Often you can just follow conversations on the street.
What are typical Scandinavian habits, food customs and remarkable philosophies?

What are typical Scandinavian habits, food customs and remarkable philosophies?

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Why habits?

For a while now, I am inspired by all kinds of ways of living... Hence this magazine about Scandanavian Habits. I wish you can add as well. You hear more and more about all kinds of Scandinavian habits. All kind of different habits or way of dealing with life, that are interesting. What do you think?

Habits in Denmark

Hygge

  • The danish word Hygge is impossible to translate, same as the dutch word Gezelligheid. What is the difference between Hygge and Gezelligheid, from my point of view? I think Hygge you are. It is a way of life, the way you live your life, instead of a way of making a sort of atmosphere. Gezelligheid can be made or the atmosphere is already with you, and thus as well a part of you. The dutch use the term Gezelligheid more of an atmosphere. It is not a reflection of you. Hygge is a mentality, a part of the danish identity. You will sit cosy at the couch with your thick socks, with a cup of Moon tea, in total harmony with yourself and the surroundings. You are, and you are not making an atmosphere. Not sure if I am right. What do you think?
  • "Hygge is een toestand die je ervaart als je in harmonie bent met jezelf, je echtgenoot, de belastingdienst en je ingewanden". - Tove Ditlevsen

Habits in Finland

Jokamiehen oikeudet

  • Jokamiehen oikeudet is common in Finland. They have a concept called ‘Everyman’s rights’, it allows everyone to roam freely in nature, camp, eat and pick berries and mushrooms anywhere in forests. How nice is that? As long as it all causes no damage or disturbance to nature or the landowner. 

Sisu

  • Sisu is the national character of the people in Finland. It is determination, interior gutts that comes from inside. What else can it be, living in a dark and cold country? Does sisu also apply to where you are from?

Habits in Iceland

  • Loud Sniffing - Sniffing in Iceland is not unusual, it's considered normal there. Blowing your nose is seen as impolite.
  • Dining etiquette - Talking with your mouth full, reaching out to the other side of the table, on top of someone else’s plate, eating quickly, using toothpicks is considered as normal dining etiquette. Same as obtaining a second without being offered is normal. Leaving the table before everyone is done, and bringing your plate to the kitchen is also normal.
  • Soaking in hotsprings - Icelanders take full advantage of their abundant hot springs. Public pools and hot tubs are a common sight, and soaking naked is a daily social activity for many.
  • Strong Naming Traditions - Icelanders have patronymic surnames, meaning their last name reflects their father's name.You either have the family name with -son or -daughter (dóttir) behind it.

Habits in Norway

Friluftsliv

  • Frilufsliv is the concept of an outdoor lifestyle. Rejuvinate in nature. Go on a date in nature. Walk, hike up the mountain, ski before work. Walking on sundays is a common habit. You get the point. 

Helgefylla, Julebord, Afterski

  • Drinking alcohol in Norway is very expensive. So Norwegians specify the time, when alcohol is being consumed. The specific time in the weekends is known as Helgefylla. During holidays, at a Christmas party is Julebord, or after a day of skiing the so called Afterski. We call it Apresski, the drinking after skiing, but can be every day, we don't go skiing that often.... In Norway when it is alcohol-time, a lot goes down the throat. 

Kaffepause

  • Coffee is the popular. Norway has a high number of amount of coffee drunk per person every year. Coffee in the morning, coffee in the afternoon, coffee in the evening. Coffee, coffee and coffee. With or without a cinnamon bun.

Kos or koselig

  • What is kos? How is it done? It is like hygge, it can be practiced alone or with others. Inside your home or outside your home. In your bed, beside a fire place, on the couch, in a cafe, in the forest, on the beach. Actually anywhere cosy. Add a good book or movie, cookies and a few candles and you are totally koselig.

Habits in Sweden

Dostadning

  • Have you heard of the ritual Döstädning? It is called death cleaning. Cleaning everything up, before you die, so others won't be hassled with your mess. It is a good way of saying goodbye to things, to share memories and to give away stuff which are important to you to others you love and share the story behind things. 

Fika

  • The Swedisch term Fika is having coffee or tea is a phenomena. It is part of life, an important time of day. Hanging out with friends and get to know each other. A common time to fika is 10 am or 3 pm. You can have tea or coffee or even something else. And a cinnamon bun is part of the deal. Different right? For me, a cinnamon bun is a whole meal. In the Netherlands we have cake when it is someones birthday, or eat a cookie together. Homemade cookies are still special, since not everyone has time to bake. What is your take on Fika?

Fredags mys

  • Friday cosy or fredags mys is a popular concept in Sweden. It is eating comfort food, like pizza and chips. Wow, such a nice concept it is the dutch borrel, might be a little the same?

Lagom

  • Just read a whole book about the concept of lagom. It is the Swedish way of life. Lagom is a balancing act, it’s a desire for the good doing everything just right. Lagom is an experience, art and a lifestyle. It is the design, interior decoration, architecture and nature.
What are typical Mediterranean habits, food customs and remarkable philosophies?

What are typical Mediterranean habits, food customs and remarkable philosophies?

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The Mediterranean Sea is surrounded by 16 countries. Of these 16 countries, 6 are in Europe, 5 are in Africa, 4 are in Asia. The 6 European countries that border the Mediterranean are Spain, France, Monaco, Italy, Greece, and the island country of Malta and Turkey. The 5 African countries are Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco; the 4 Asian countries are Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Cyprus. Since the Mediterranean area is quite big, it is difficult to generalise, but let's try for a change.

To me the Mediterranean is famous for food. Often people speak about the Mediterranean diet. A Mediterranean diet consists food that is found in the region like fresh vegetables, local herbs and spices, fish and seafood, lentils, poultry, eggs, cheese, yoghurt, nuts. Consume with (a moderate amount of) wine and plenty of water.  Many nutrition experts recommend the Mediterranean diet for health reasons. There is hardly any red meat in the diet.

Habits in Cyprus

  • Family is a priority in Cyprus. Parents take care of their children. When parents grow old, children will take care of them. Old people take care of their grandchildren. Family is everything!
  • People Cyprus are generally slow and they postpone things until the next day. Nobody is in a hurry and try to enjoy every minute of life.
  • The meze is a selection of small dishes, like tapas. The meze is a good formula to enjoy multiple flavors and to socialize over a long meal.
  • Some people in Cyprus believe in the evil eye, which brings bad luck, there are charms to keep you protected.

Habits in Egypt

  • The hot climate has defined the Egyptians' national character - calmness. People in Egypt like to take it easy. They are often late and spend a lot of time to make a decisions. Non-punctuality and slowness are justified by the habit of living by the "Egyptian time". It is from the Mediterranean habit to relax. Egyptians' favorite word is "Bukra", which means "tomorrow". Which reminds me of mañana mañana.

Habits in France

  • Fresh and homemade are the two words that describe home cooking in France. Most meals are freshly prepared meals. Everything made from scratch from salad dressings to bread. It is a daily practice for many Europeans. The French are famous for drinking wine with their dinner. All in moderation, then it is even good for health!

Habits in Greece

  • It is recently I have visited Greece. Greece was on my bucket-list. Greece with an interesting history. What I remember is that people in Greece consume greens as well as herbs numerous times. They love to drink herbal drinks such as chamomile, Greek mountain tea, and add thyme and oregano to their meal every day.
  • A Mediterranean habit is everything in moderation and it was coined by the Greek philosopher Cleobulus. It is key in living well.
  • Messimeri - is the Greek siesta, from 2PM - 5PM. Shops are closed, people are eating lunch or sleeping. 
  • A Greek year revolves around saints days and festivals. Most people are named after a saint, areas, stations, boats you name it. Did you know that name days are more important than birthdays? And of course take the Mediterranean habit to celebrate it all!
  • Panigiria is a celebration where everyone/the whole village comes together to celebrate. Music, food (souvlaki), the syrto, the sirtaki and other dances are ingredients of this celebration. 
  • The Greeks eat late, around 9, 10 or even 11 PM with a lot of ouzo (anis drink with 40% alcohol) and cozy times around the dining table.
  • The Greek used to throw their plates on the floor after the meal. This tradition is typically Greek, but already forbidden. It is dangerous because of the shreds flying around. When you see plates flying around, that might be because the restaurant has a permit. 
  • Olive oil and olive trees are found all over Greece. The Greek love their olive oil.
  • Mezedes - are the Greek tapas. Keftedes, salad, calamaris, souvlaki, octopus, spanakopita (spinach and feta in dough).

Habits in Israel

  • Israeli diet is considered the healthiest of the world. It totally fits the Mediterranean diet, it is the Mediterranean diet! A lot of vegetables, lemon, chickpeas, moderate amounts of dairy and meat, and all with olive oil. All meals are served in small portions. 

Habits in Italy

  • I remember my time in Italy with huge meals, of multiple courses, hours and hours spent around the table dining with friends and family. One specific ingredient used in Italy is olive oil. Healthy to the max, used in small portions. 

Habits in Malta 

  • Daily life in Malta is very laid back. No one seems to ever be in a rush.
  • Many locals enjoy good conversation over a coffee. Malta is a very much family-orientated island, and you can see families spending time together.
  • It is too hot during the day, especially in summer, when the sun is high on the horizon, so the shops are closed and people are resting.

Habits in Monaco

  • Monacan habits are also connected to food! Daily eating habits reflect a Mediterranean heritage. French and Italian influences can be found in the local recipes. Breakfast is very small, but lunch and dinner often have multiple courses.

Habits in Morocco

  • Morocco has a small part of the country, which is on the Mediterranean coast. You will find Mediterranean habits in Morocco. Family is for most Moroccans is the most important element in life. It is family before work, friends and sometimes even marriage. Many Moroccans live with their families before and after marriage. The topic family is a populair topic to talk about. It is normal to inquire about details of family relationships of a person you don't know.
  • The people in the country are in general warm, open and do not have any inhibitions. A guest is a gift from Allah. People are likely to invite you to their homes. 
  • Dine and feed your guests even if you are starving is a proverb. The people are generous and will likely send you home stuffed and full. 

Habits in Spain

  • Flamengo is the example of exercise in a fun way, while dancing. Joy and sorrow threaten to overwhelm you. The raw passion of flamengo can bring you to another world. Get transformed as well and listen to:
  • Pata Negra, Blues de la fontera (1987)
  • Chambao, Flamenco chill (2002)
  • Every one takes naps, the so called siesta. Shops are closed, people eat with family and friends and take a nap afterwards. The nap has the effect that you can't sleep early, so you work until later in the evening, since you had a siesta. You have dinner later and you sleep later.
  • Mañana mañana is a word from the Spanish language that means tomorrow and morning. This word describes the period of time between midnight and noon. It means it is done sometime tomorrow, which means no stress. Take it easy. Enjoy life and relax when possible.

Please help me adding

  • Algeria
  • Libya
  • Syria
  • Lebanon
  • Tunisia
What are typical Dutch habits, food customs in the Netherlands and Dutch philosophies?

What are typical Dutch habits, food customs in the Netherlands and Dutch philosophies?

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Dutch habits

The Dutch have some unique customs and habits that may seem strange to foreigners.

  • Gezelligheid - Gezelligheid is an important concept in Dutch culture. It means cosiness: being together, having fun and relaxing. Gezelligheid kent geen tijd is a famous dutch expression. Gezellig he?
  • Oranje, oranjegevoel - Orange is the color of the Dutch. The Dutch wear orange on Kingsday and when the dutch football team is playing (high level only).
  • Zuinigheid - Fruitfullness, the dutch generally don't like to spend more than necessary and will watch de kleintjes (small coins).They pay close attention to their pennies and go dutch or send a tikkie (online share costs or pay back what someone has spent for you).
  • Complaining - The Dutch love to complain, and talk negative but that doesn't mean they are unhappy. It's more of a way to connect with each other. Most popular topic is the weather to complain about, it is often too cold, rainy or too hot.
  • Cycle - The Dutch cycle, in the rain, with children, doing groceries, everywhere. People sit at the back of the bicycle, with the legs on one side.
  • Directness - The Dutch are generally very direct in their communication. They say what they think and like honesty.
  • No small talk - The Dutch dislike unnecessary small talk and like to get directly to the point.
  • Kringverjaardag - It is a habit to celebrate ones birthday in a circle of chairs. One of my former collegues reminded me of this dutch habit. It goes like this, either it is a dutch party and you bring your own food and often a kring verjaardag. Th -ere is not much swapping of chairs and a lot of talking in the group, less individual talks perhaps with your neighbours sitting on the right and/or left side. 
  • Happy birthday - Is wished to everyone attending the kringverjaardag, not only meant for the celebrant.
  • Self-reliance - Dutch people are very self-reliant and like to solve problems themselves. Not to be dependent of another person.
  • Kingsday - It is celebrated the night before the 27th (birthday of the King) and the day itself. The Dutch wear orange and especially in Amsterdam and bigger cities it is celebrated on the streets. For the children in all kind of places there is the Vrijmarkt: second hand stuff is sold on the streets.
  • Broodje kaas - The Dutch often lunch with a cheese sandwich or other cold snacks. Hot lunches are less common. Pre-made sandwiches are made and put in a lunch box and that is what the Dutch have for lunch.
  • Beschuit met muisjes of hagelslag - Hagelslag (chocolate sprinkles) and muisjes (small anise seeds) are popular toppings for sandwiches. Round toast with muisjes is served when a baby is born in the specific colors of the baby's gender.
  • Drop is a salty licorice-like candy that many Dutch people like. Many foreigners do not like the  salty licorice, the sweet drop they like better.
  • Koffietijd - The Dutch love coffee and often drink it with cake or pastries or one cookie (not two or three) you can take out of the cookiejar and afterwards it closes.
  • Frikandel, kroket or bitterbal - A frikandel is a deep-fried meatloaf that is a popular snack or try a bitterbal: small fried veal, beef in a crunchy jacket.
  • Stamppot is a traditional stew of potatoes and vegetables, with kale (boerenkool), onion and carrot (hutspot), sourkraut (zuurkool), andijvie, spinach etc etc.
  • Birthday calendar or tiles- Many Dutch people have a birthday calendar hanging on the toilet so they never forget a birthday or a tile with Delfts blauw with a wisdom like sentence for example: Oost, west, thuis, best. East, west, home is the best.
  • Sinterklaas - Every year on december 5 children get gifts from Sinterklaas (kind of Santa claus) when they have been good children. The gifts are also given after Sinterklaas has entered the Netherlands and you put your shoe near the chimney, with a carrot for his horse and sing a song. The whole Zwarte pieten discussion is mentioned somewhere else.
  • Dutchies - As a slang term for cannabis joints or blunts, or a few different entities related to Dutch culture and travel. I am refering to this image, one of the Dutchies! Our mascotte.

SPOTLIGHT: ASIA

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

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

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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?

    Image


    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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    Habits and customs in Argentina

    Habits and customs in Argentina

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    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

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    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.
    Cooking recipes from around the world and checking local eating habits - Worldsupporter Theme

    SPOTLIGHT: RECIPES

    Recipes from around the world - Bundle

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    Recipes from The Caribbean or with a Carib twist by WorldSupporters - Bundle
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     Recipes from all over the World: From sustainable recipes to local food habits

    Table of contents

    • Recipes  and cooking tips from Africa or with a African twist
    • Recipes  and cooking tips from Asia or with an Asian twist
    • Recipes  and cooking tips from Europe or with a local twist
    • Recipes  and cooking tips from Latin America or
    ........Read more

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    The World Habits & Country Customs Bundle

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

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

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    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 European habits, food customs and remarkable philosophies?

      What are typical European habits, food customs and remarkable philosophies?

      Image


      Habits in Albania

      • Superstitousness - Albanian are very superstitious people. The evil eye is a superstitious belief. The evil eye means that someone could become jealous or envious of you and your family and do a black magic ritual to bring you bad luck.
      • Other Albanian beliefs are don't point at a graveyard with your finger.
      • One for good luck: Throwing salt or sugar to the ground will bring good luck.
      • When you enter a friend's house step inside with your right foot first.
      • When you are in Albania, you can see Dordolec - That is a protective doll or stuffed animal placed on a house or property. It acts as a charm to ward off the evil eye – a curse believed to be brought on by envy. Essentially, it's a decoy to attract envious gazes, the homeowner's possessions will be protected from misfortune this way. Or Dordolec can also mean "scarecrow" which protects crops from birds.
      • Besa - An unique concept which means "keeping the promise" and forms the structure of Albanian social life. It emphasizes honor, loyalty and hospitality. It forms the moral code that guides interactions in daily life.

      Habits in Austria

      • People in Austria love their sweets, breakfast most of the time consists of sweet breads, or with honey or jam. Apfelstrudel is an all time Austrian favorite served with coffee.
      • It is normal to drink alcohol in Austria, also during lunchtime. Schnaps is a common drink, it is a drink with fruits, without any additional sugar in it.
      • To add (flat or sizzling) water with the wine, literally is very common. 
      • Costume is socially completely accepted in everyday life in Austria. Besides the famous Lederhosen and Dirndls, there are many other forms of authentic costume that you can find, not only in villages but also in cities. By the way the woman's apron is tied, you can tell if she is single or married.
      • In 1685 the first coffeehouse was opened. Austrian coffeehouses are famous. Did you know that Vienna's coffee houses are officially recognized cultural heritage and have also been recognized as such with UNESCO.
      • Yodeling is an ancient tradition found not only in Austria, but also in other Alpine countries. The history of yodeling goes back to prehistoric times, making it one of the oldest means of communication. With yodeling, people communicate with each other between two different mountains, always switching between chest and head voice. 
      • Almabtrieb - Once the days get shorter and temperatures drop, it is time for the shepherds and shepherdesses to take the livestock back from the alpine pastures to the stables. During Almabtrieb, people celebrate the success of summer and the fact that the animals have returned safely. There are parades with decorated cattle, farmers' markets and live music. Almabtrieb takes place every year between September and October.

      Habits in France

      • France is the land of liberté, égalité and fraternité. And every year the French show this by going on strike if they disagree with something. This often takes place in March and April. 
      • La Bise - It is quite normal in France to greet someone with some kisses. In some areas they give two kisses, in others even four. Moreover, this is also regularly done when you see someone for the first time and want to introduce yourself.
      • Both at noon and in the evening they eat warm food, and often go for three courses. It is therefore quite normal at lunch to order an appetizer and dessert, and it is certainly customary to drink a glass of wine with it. 
      • Think France, think cheese, baguette, madeleine cookies, champagne, escargos, crepes all bought on the marche (market).
      • Apéro: Around drinking time (between 6 and 8 p.m.), the terraces fill up with people enjoying an "apéro." This is a time to relax with a drink and some tasty snacks.
      • Chansons -  French music, or chanson, is loved around the world. Enjoy the beautiful melodies and lyrics of artists such as Edith Piaf, Jullette Greco and Charles Aznavour.

      Habits in Poland

      • Food, food, food and food. Love goes through the stomach. A lot of plates and a lot of food is meant as a warm welcome. Food like bigos, zurek, rosol and pierogi. There are a lot of choices of sausages and ham.
      • Poland is very proud of their culture and traditions. 
      • Wodka is the drink of the country, and special wodka bars. Many wodka with spices and flavors are served.
      • Wigilia (Christmas Eve) is an important celebration. 12 dishes without meat stands for the 12 apostles.
      • Name days are celebrated, you can compare it to celebrate a birthdays. Each day of the year is associated with specific names (of saints). Name days are celebrated with parties and family of course.
      • Kapcie are offered to you, once you enter a house or a hotel. Kapcie are your house shoes. You dont want to walk around in your shoes or on your socks.
      • Family is important, time is spent with family. 

      Habits in Portugal

      • The Portuguese are traditional and conservative. Innovation and major changes within the family or community are not easily accepted. Life in Portugal revolves around the family and even now in the 21st century, old customs and traditions can be seen daily.
      • Fado is a typical Portuguese music movement from the 19th century and the life song of the locals. While Fado used to be popular only in bars and brothels of the poorer neighborhoods in Lisbon and Coimbra, nowadays it is very popular and you come across it in many places.
      • Typically Portuguese are azulejos, Portuguese tiles that you find a lot on and in railway stations, churches and houses. Often they are blue and white, but they can also be richly colored.
      • Ginja - The liqueur is always served in a shot glass, with a spirit at the bottom. 
      • Port is also a typical Portuguese drink.
      • A lot of fish is eaten, which is not surprising given the coastline of 850 kilometers. Popular fish dishes are the bacalhau recipes used to prepare dried cod. It is said that there is a bacalhau recipe for every day of the year. Besides dried cod, grilled sardines and caldeirada, stew with potato and different types of fish, are favorites. The Portugese love their meat as well: chicken piri-piri or arroz de sarrabulho (rice with pigblood).
      • Most towns and villages in Portugal have their own traditional festas or romarias. Romarias are local religious festivals that honor the saints of a particular area in Portugal.
      • Time is relative and being late for appointments is very common. 

      Habits in Spain

      • Siesta-Nap and relax time (shops are generally closed) when the sun is shining between 2.30 and 4.30 PM.
      • Tapas-Shared with drinks and in company, small dishes. In many ways served from the counter or from the menu: grilled pimiento, manchego, chorizo, patatas bravas, tortilla.
      • Dinner is eaten late during the evening, 9 PM is general time to start. 
      • Flamenco-Dance from Andalusia, with costumes and music with a soul.
      • Eat a grape, every hour the clock makes a sound on new year's eve. Twelve times and it will bring you prosperity.
      • Kisses (two) are common as a greeting, also when you don't know each other well.
      • Manana, manana means tomorrow, in general do not stress out and take it easy. Do not worry the Spanish are not so strict with their punctuality, being late is common.
      • Cursing and talking loud is part of the culture. Often you can just follow conversations on the street.
      What are typical Mediterranean habits, food customs and remarkable philosophies?

      What are typical Mediterranean habits, food customs and remarkable philosophies?

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      The Mediterranean Sea is surrounded by 16 countries. Of these 16 countries, 6 are in Europe, 5 are in Africa, 4 are in Asia. The 6 European countries that border the Mediterranean are Spain, France, Monaco, Italy, Greece, and the island country of Malta and Turkey. The 5 African countries are Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco; the 4 Asian countries are Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Cyprus. Since the Mediterranean area is quite big, it is difficult to generalise, but let's try for a change.

      To me the Mediterranean is famous for food. Often people speak about the Mediterranean diet. A Mediterranean diet consists food that is found in the region like fresh vegetables, local herbs and spices, fish and seafood, lentils, poultry, eggs, cheese, yoghurt, nuts. Consume with (a moderate amount of) wine and plenty of water.  Many nutrition experts recommend the Mediterranean diet for health reasons. There is hardly any red meat in the diet.

      Habits in Cyprus

      • Family is a priority in Cyprus. Parents take care of their children. When parents grow old, children will take care of them. Old people take care of their grandchildren. Family is everything!
      • People Cyprus are generally slow and they postpone things until the next day. Nobody is in a hurry and try to enjoy every minute of life.
      • The meze is a selection of small dishes, like tapas. The meze is a good formula to enjoy multiple flavors and to socialize over a long meal.
      • Some people in Cyprus believe in the evil eye, which brings bad luck, there are charms to keep you protected.

      Habits in Egypt

      • The hot climate has defined the Egyptians' national character - calmness. People in Egypt like to take it easy. They are often late and spend a lot of time to make a decisions. Non-punctuality and slowness are justified by the habit of living by the "Egyptian time". It is from the Mediterranean habit to relax. Egyptians' favorite word is "Bukra", which means "tomorrow". Which reminds me of mañana mañana.

      Habits in France

      • Fresh and homemade are the two words that describe home cooking in France. Most meals are freshly prepared meals. Everything made from scratch from salad dressings to bread. It is a daily practice for many Europeans. The French are famous for drinking wine with their dinner. All in moderation, then it is even good for health!

      Habits in Greece

      • It is recently I have visited Greece. Greece was on my bucket-list. Greece with an interesting history. What I remember is that people in Greece consume greens as well as herbs numerous times. They love to drink herbal drinks such as chamomile, Greek mountain tea, and add thyme and oregano to their meal every day.
      • A Mediterranean habit is everything in moderation and it was coined by the Greek philosopher Cleobulus. It is key in living well.
      • Messimeri - is the Greek siesta, from 2PM - 5PM. Shops are closed, people are eating lunch or sleeping. 
      • A Greek year revolves around saints days and festivals. Most people are named after a saint, areas, stations, boats you name it. Did you know that name days are more important than birthdays? And of course take the Mediterranean habit to celebrate it all!
      • Panigiria is a celebration where everyone/the whole village comes together to celebrate. Music, food (souvlaki), the syrto, the sirtaki and other dances are ingredients of this celebration. 
      • The Greeks eat late, around 9, 10 or even 11 PM with a lot of ouzo (anis drink with 40% alcohol) and cozy times around the dining table.
      • The Greek used to throw their plates on the floor after the meal. This tradition is typically Greek, but already forbidden. It is dangerous because of the shreds flying around. When you see plates flying around, that might be because the restaurant has a permit. 
      • Olive oil and olive trees are found all over Greece. The Greek love their olive oil.
      • Mezedes - are the Greek tapas. Keftedes, salad, calamaris, souvlaki, octopus, spanakopita (spinach and feta in dough).

      Habits in Israel

      • Israeli diet is considered the healthiest of the world. It totally fits the Mediterranean diet, it is the Mediterranean diet! A lot of vegetables, lemon, chickpeas, moderate amounts of dairy and meat, and all with olive oil. All meals are served in small portions. 

      Habits in Italy

      • I remember my time in Italy with huge meals, of multiple courses, hours and hours spent around the table dining with friends and family. One specific ingredient used in Italy is olive oil. Healthy to the max, used in small portions. 

      Habits in Malta 

      • Daily life in Malta is very laid back. No one seems to ever be in a rush.
      • Many locals enjoy good conversation over a coffee. Malta is a very much family-orientated island, and you can see families spending time together.
      • It is too hot during the day, especially in summer, when the sun is high on the horizon, so the shops are closed and people are resting.

      Habits in Monaco

      • Monacan habits are also connected to food! Daily eating habits reflect a Mediterranean heritage. French and Italian influences can be found in the local recipes. Breakfast is very small, but lunch and dinner often have multiple courses.

      Habits in Morocco

      • Morocco has a small part of the country, which is on the Mediterranean coast. You will find Mediterranean habits in Morocco. Family is for most Moroccans is the most important element in life. It is family before work, friends and sometimes even marriage. Many Moroccans live with their families before and after marriage. The topic family is a populair topic to talk about. It is normal to inquire about details of family relationships of a person you don't know.
      • The people in the country are in general warm, open and do not have any inhibitions. A guest is a gift from Allah. People are likely to invite you to their homes. 
      • Dine and feed your guests even if you are starving is a proverb. The people are generous and will likely send you home stuffed and full. 

      Habits in Spain

      • Flamengo is the example of exercise in a fun way, while dancing. Joy and sorrow threaten to overwhelm you. The raw passion of flamengo can bring you to another world. Get transformed as well and listen to:
      • Pata Negra, Blues de la fontera (1987)
      • Chambao, Flamenco chill (2002)
      • Every one takes naps, the so called siesta. Shops are closed, people eat with family and friends and take a nap afterwards. The nap has the effect that you can't sleep early, so you work until later in the evening, since you had a siesta. You have dinner later and you sleep later.
      • Mañana mañana is a word from the Spanish language that means tomorrow and morning. This word describes the period of time between midnight and noon. It means it is done sometime tomorrow, which means no stress. Take it easy. Enjoy life and relax when possible.

      Please help me adding

      • Algeria
      • Libya
      • Syria
      • Lebanon
      • Tunisia
      What are typical Scandinavian habits, food customs and remarkable philosophies?

      What are typical Scandinavian habits, food customs and remarkable philosophies?

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      Why habits?

      For a while now, I am inspired by all kinds of ways of living... Hence this magazine about Scandanavian Habits. I wish you can add as well. You hear more and more about all kinds of Scandinavian habits. All kind of different habits or way of dealing with life, that are interesting. What do you think?

      Habits in Denmark

      Hygge

      • The danish word Hygge is impossible to translate, same as the dutch word Gezelligheid. What is the difference between Hygge and Gezelligheid, from my point of view? I think Hygge you are. It is a way of life, the way you live your life, instead of a way of making a sort of atmosphere. Gezelligheid can be made or the atmosphere is already with you, and thus as well a part of you. The dutch use the term Gezelligheid more of an atmosphere. It is not a reflection of you. Hygge is a mentality, a part of the danish identity. You will sit cosy at the couch with your thick socks, with a cup of Moon tea, in total harmony with yourself and the surroundings. You are, and you are not making an atmosphere. Not sure if I am right. What do you think?
      • "Hygge is een toestand die je ervaart als je in harmonie bent met jezelf, je echtgenoot, de belastingdienst en je ingewanden". - Tove Ditlevsen

      Habits in Finland

      Jokamiehen oikeudet

      • Jokamiehen oikeudet is common in Finland. They have a concept called ‘Everyman’s rights’, it allows everyone to roam freely in nature, camp, eat and pick berries and mushrooms anywhere in forests. How nice is that? As long as it all causes no damage or disturbance to nature or the landowner. 

      Sisu

      • Sisu is the national character of the people in Finland. It is determination, interior gutts that comes from inside. What else can it be, living in a dark and cold country? Does sisu also apply to where you are from?

      Habits in Iceland

      • Loud Sniffing - Sniffing in Iceland is not unusual, it's considered normal there. Blowing your nose is seen as impolite.
      • Dining etiquette - Talking with your mouth full, reaching out to the other side of the table, on top of someone else’s plate, eating quickly, using toothpicks is considered as normal dining etiquette. Same as obtaining a second without being offered is normal. Leaving the table before everyone is done, and bringing your plate to the kitchen is also normal.
      • Soaking in hotsprings - Icelanders take full advantage of their abundant hot springs. Public pools and hot tubs are a common sight, and soaking naked is a daily social activity for many.
      • Strong Naming Traditions - Icelanders have patronymic surnames, meaning their last name reflects their father's name.You either have the family name with -son or -daughter (dóttir) behind it.

      Habits in Norway

      Friluftsliv

      • Frilufsliv is the concept of an outdoor lifestyle. Rejuvinate in nature. Go on a date in nature. Walk, hike up the mountain, ski before work. Walking on sundays is a common habit. You get the point. 

      Helgefylla, Julebord, Afterski

      • Drinking alcohol in Norway is very expensive. So Norwegians specify the time, when alcohol is being consumed. The specific time in the weekends is known as Helgefylla. During holidays, at a Christmas party is Julebord, or after a day of skiing the so called Afterski. We call it Apresski, the drinking after skiing, but can be every day, we don't go skiing that often.... In Norway when it is alcohol-time, a lot goes down the throat. 

      Kaffepause

      • Coffee is the popular. Norway has a high number of amount of coffee drunk per person every year. Coffee in the morning, coffee in the afternoon, coffee in the evening. Coffee, coffee and coffee. With or without a cinnamon bun.

      Kos or koselig

      • What is kos? How is it done? It is like hygge, it can be practiced alone or with others. Inside your home or outside your home. In your bed, beside a fire place, on the couch, in a cafe, in the forest, on the beach. Actually anywhere cosy. Add a good book or movie, cookies and a few candles and you are totally koselig.

      Habits in Sweden

      Dostadning

      • Have you heard of the ritual Döstädning? It is called death cleaning. Cleaning everything up, before you die, so others won't be hassled with your mess. It is a good way of saying goodbye to things, to share memories and to give away stuff which are important to you to others you love and share the story behind things. 

      Fika

      • The Swedisch term Fika is having coffee or tea is a phenomena. It is part of life, an important time of day. Hanging out with friends and get to know each other. A common time to fika is 10 am or 3 pm. You can have tea or coffee or even something else. And a cinnamon bun is part of the deal. Different right? For me, a cinnamon bun is a whole meal. In the Netherlands we have cake when it is someones birthday, or eat a cookie together. Homemade cookies are still special, since not everyone has time to bake. What is your take on Fika?

      Fredags mys

      • Friday cosy or fredags mys is a popular concept in Sweden. It is eating comfort food, like pizza and chips. Wow, such a nice concept it is the dutch borrel, might be a little the same?

      Lagom

      • Just read a whole book about the concept of lagom. It is the Swedish way of life. Lagom is a balancing act, it’s a desire for the good doing everything just right. Lagom is an experience, art and a lifestyle. It is the design, interior decoration, architecture and nature.
      World cultures, customs, habits and philosophies - Theme

      World cultures, customs, habits and philosophies - Theme

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      Habits, customs and philosophies from all around the world

      Table of contents

      • What are habits and customs?
      • What are typical Asian habits, food customs and philosophies in Asia?
      • What are typical European habits, food customs and philosophies in Europe?
      • What are typical Latin habits, food customs and philosophies in South America?
      • What are typical Mediterranean habits, food
      ........Read more
      The twelve elements of sustainable happiness and contentment - WorldSupporter Theme

      The twelve elements of sustainable happiness and contentment - WorldSupporter Theme

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      The twelve elements of sustainable happiness and contentment (contentions) Happiness elements are those elements (conditions, values) that lead to a satisfied life, a satisfied group or a satisfied society. These are elements that play a role in the degree of satisfaction you could have as a person or as a group of people (organization, family). These elements have been in....... read more
      Competencies and skills for study, travel, work and meaningful life - Theme
      Happiness quotes and statements from around the world - WorldSupporter Theme
      Comments, Compliments & Kudos

      Fika

      De Zweedse traditie 'Fika' mag niet ontbreken. Diep geworteld fenomeen beetje vergelijkbaar met Tea time in Engeland denk ik.
      Lees bijvoorbeeld deze blog

      Fika at work

      To fika or not to fika at work? Thanks for your input! It is added. Will make this magazine more complete. Work in progress. The next magazine is Asian Habits.... what do you think?

      The Finns have the best - kalsariokanni

      Danes have hygge. Swedes have lagom. But the Finns have the best - kalsariokanni or pantsdrunk - drinking at home, alone, in your underwear. Peel off your clothes down to your underwear. Place savory or sweet snacks within reach alongside your bed or sofa. Make sure your television remote control is nearby along with any and all devices to access social media. Open your preferred alcohol. Your journey toward inner strength, higher quality of life, and peace of mind has begun.

      There is even a book written about it!

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