Culture 101: Bank Holidays

April 29, 2009 § 2 Comments

Among European countries, Great Britain has the least number of public holidays. Given that Great Britain is a country with so much history, it is quite surprising that GB has so few holidays. In fact, most holidays in England are what so called Bank Holidays–which happen to coincide with the days when banks are closed. There are May Bank Holiday, June Bank Holiday, Summer Bank Holiday, & October Bank Holiday. And yes, these are exactly what they are called. Very uncreative!

I guess this tells us that the British are a highly resourceful group of people. They wouldn’t waste a good working day for anything. This year’s first bank holiday is actually next Monday–the first Monday of May. Happy Bank Holiday to all! (It sounds a bit awkward, isn’t it?) 🙂

[Simon N.]

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Culture 101: Japanese Bonding

April 16, 2009 § 2 Comments

The Japanese are well-known for having a strong sense of social bonding and uniformity. They see themselves not as individuals but as members of a community. Apparently, this is also reflected in the way they live their lives. While Japanese flowers are among the most beautiful in the world, most traditional Japanese flowers have little or no scent.

There are certainly fragrant flowers in Japan, but they are mostly confined outside of homes. I guess the Japanese prefer to decorate their homes with origami flowers; they just don’t want to stand out too much from the crowd. A very humble act, I would say.

~Image Credits: Jacke747

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