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Cambodian Culture: Facts to Know

4.13.2011

by alexandra

As mentioned in my previous blog on Tanzania Cultural Norms, knowing some facts about the country you are planning on traveling to can be extremely useful and demonstrates your respect for the culture.

Cambodia

Cambodia is sometimes described as a less developed country in South East Asia. Despite the rough and the tough lifestyle they have gone through, including brutal wars and everyday hardships, Cambodians are extremely warm welcoming people and go out of their way for people visiting their country. Around 95% of Cambodians are Buddhist, which is reflected a lot in their daily lives. Cambodia is a collective culture that emphasizes a hierarchy within society. They live with a common hierarchy where you are taught to respect your elders and almost everything is based on your age. Common hierarchy guidelines are that the parents are superior to children, managers to assistants, and teachers to students. Monks will even walk in rank order, with the oldest in front and most junior at the end. As a foreigner you will notice that certain people will ask you more personal questions to identify your “rank” in their hierarchy. They may change the way they converse with you depending on what they think your status is.

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Cultural Norms and Respect: Tanzanian Style

3.28.2011

by alexandra

At Global Basecamps we are major advocates of knowing before you go, as evidenced here and here. In order to truly understand and appreciate another country’s culture it is important to learn about their social norms and the proper etiquette there. As you start your journey to explore another country, don’t you think it would be nice to know a little about where and what you are diving into? When you are packing for your much needed vacation I urge you to take some time to research the cultural expectations and norms common to your host country.

Over the next couple of weeks I will give you some extra helpful information on what to know before you go, starting with Tanzania cultural norms and expectations. I will give you some advice on how to be a green and respectable tourist.

Tanzania

Disregarding the cultural norms and customs of the country you are visiting is extremely offensive to the local people. Your waiter, taxi driver, tour guide, and the local people will be greatly appreciative of you making the extra effort to understand their culture and demonstrating this. Even if you think you have already read about the culture, make the extra effort and learn about a certain cultural tradition that they have to make your experience that much better, and gain a deeper understanding of the local people and customs. There are plenty of dos and don'ts that people should know about before taking their excursions across the world. Simply being respectful to the local people and showing that you want to learn about their culture and day to day way of life will go a long way in enhancing your cultural experience.

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