One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.;
- Henry Miller -
Before I tell you about Mudita’s plans for 2021, I would like to wish you a Happy New Year! May 2021 bring you joy, good health, success, and plenty of opportunities to learn and grow.
Despite the challenging year we’ve just left behind and its aftermath, I’ve resolved to stay positive and to keep the content of this blog aligned with my original vision of a connected world, of people traveling, meeting other people, and fully immersing themselves in the beauty of different places and the mysteries of different cultures.
If you’ve visited the blog recently, you might have noticed a pop-up introducing a new section scheduled to go live by mid-February: while the majority of the current posts revolve around the link between culture and workplace behavior,Outside Business Hours" will be dedicated exclusively to cultural matters related to those places and communities we might have been acquainted with during a business trip, we might plan to visit in the future, or we’ve always been curious about.
As I believe that human behavior can only be understoodin context", going forward I would like to share more about the elements forming the cultural contexts at the very core of each cluster: fromOutside Business Hours" you can expect posts about food, travel, trivia facts, recommendations about places to visit, activities worth joining, books and journals worth reading, and much more.
In an old post that you might have read, we’ve discussed the luxury fruit culture in the Confucian-Asia cluster: did you know that the "internal ‘rules’ governing okurimono no shûkan (the practice of giving gifts in Japan) stem from the philosophy of yin and yang" and that "the number of strands in the cord that ties the envelope, the odd-numbered units of bills the envelope contains, the way the envelope is folded, are all material embodiments of the encompassment of yin by yang, of female by male, and the life that flows from that hierarchical ordering"?
("Envelopes with different meanings – one is for an auspicious occasion that can occur more than one time, and one is for a funeral" - Source: Global Encyclopaedia of Informality, Volume 1).
If not, that’s the kind of material you’ll find on "Outside Business Hours".
Meanwhile, if the art of gift wrapping has piqued your curiosity, I’ll leave you with two book recommendations on the subject, ones I have deeply enjoyed: "Gift Wrapping: Creative Ideas from Japan", and "Furoshiki: The Art of Wrapping with Fabric".
Looking forward to starting this new chapter with you!
Despina Moralidou is a chartered linguist (CIOL) and accredited translator, and for the better part of her adult life she has been working as a freelance translator/editor and in-house project manager specializing in Web, Marketing and Software localization. She has a Master’s degree in Specialized Translation (Surrey) and a Postgraduate diploma in International Cultural Cooperation & Management (Barcelona). She sometimes writes and/or shares thoughts on language, culture, her field of work, and anything else that catches her eye here .
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