(By: Alan Arroyo)

Where is Mexico?
  • Between USA and Guatemala
  • Population: About 122.3 MillionPicofmex.gif
  • Capital:México City
  • Religion:Roman Catholic
  • Government:Federal Republic
  • Language:Spanish

Greetings (Formal)
  • Women will pat each other’s shoulder or right forearm
  • Men will shake hands until they know each other well enough then they give each other a traditional hug and back slap

Slang/Conversations (Informal)
  • Chido – cool
  • Orale – right on
  • Fresa – preppy
  • Aguas – be careful
  • Que Padre – Awesome

  • Family is central to everything
  • Families tend to be very large in numbers
  • It is almost natural to help a family member with any need such as a finance a house
  • When invited to a household, bring a gift such as flowers or sweets
  • If one decides to take flowers, white flowers is considered for uplifting
  • Gift wrapping doesn’t follow any anything typical
  • Gifts are opened immediately
  • Arriving early is seen as inappropriate, while arriving 30 minutes late is considered fine as long as it is known to the host that the guest will be arriving later
  • At large gatherings or parties, it is fine to introduce oneself but at small gatherings it is usually the host who does the introducing
  • It is key that one’s hands are visible while wrists rest on the table when dining
  • When leaving the table after a meal, the knife and the fork are placed across the plate with the prongs facing down and the handles to the right
  • Do not sit down until invited to do so and where to sit
  • No eating until the hostess starts
  • It is polite to leave some food on the plate after a meal
  • One has to wait until invited into a household to refer the host by his/her first name

  • Hola – Hello
  • Adios – Bye
  • Gracias – Thank You
  • Como Estas? – How are you?
  • Yo Estoy fantastico – I am fantastic
  • Como Te Va? – How is it going?
  • Me va bien – It is going well for me
  • Me Dices Tu Nombre Por Favor? – May I know your name?
  • Que Musica Te Encanta? – What music is your favorite?

  • Mexican Rice
  • Chicken Enchiladas
  • Pozole
  • Tacospic2mex.jpg
  • Tamales
  • Carnitas
  • Flautas
  • Guacamole
  • Mole

  • Agua de Horchata
  • Agua de Jamaica
  • Agua de limon

  • Churros
  • Pastel De Tres Leches (Cake made with 3 different types of milk)
  • Empanadas
  • Arroz con Leche


South Africa

(By: Campbell Markantonatos)

Where is South Africa?

  • Contrary to what most would assume, it is in theSouthern region of continentalAfrica
  • Population of about 52,980,000

  • Capitals: Pretoria, Cape Town, Bloemfontein
  • Official Languages: English, Zulu, Xhosa, Afrikaans, Tswana, Southern/Northern Sotho, Venda, Tsonga, Swati, Ndebele
  • Ethnicities: Zulu, Xhosa, Venda, Tsonga, Swati, Ndebele, Dutch, Greek

    south_africa_political_map.png sout-LMAP-md.png


  • "Howzit?" - Translates to literally "How goes things?"
  • The "C" word (Yes, really)

Guest Etiquette

  • Arrive on each other's doorsteps un-invited but land up having drinks and dinner
  • Switch in and out of languages because most South Africans are bi lingual. My dad knows 4 languages fluently.
  • Americans ask how you are doing and then walk off before you have a chance to answer. When a South African asks you that, he is genuinely interested in what you have to say
  • Extremely casual.
  • Going to the movies barefoot is widely practiced, especially in smaller towns
  • Beer, Uzo, and Brandy are the nation's most popular alcoholic beverages
"Bunny Chow"--A popular South African dish that has many different versions, though the main ingredients usually stay the same (Bread, Curry)

  • English speaking South Africans behave similarly to Americans in Northern states, while Dutch speaking South Africans behave similar to Southerners
  • Sausage for days

Business Etiquette

  • Profane language is very widely used and socially accepted, even in business situations
  • Everyone refers to their seniors as Mr/Mrs and their last name
  • South Africans drink more at lunch and in business meetings than in any other situation, because bribery.
  • Usually dress about as formal as the typical American businessperson

"Bunny Chow"--A popular South African dish that has many different versions, though the main ingredients usually stay the same (Bread, Curry)




(By: Kush Patel)

Welcome to Basic guide to India.
Map of India
Map of India

Facts and Statistics

  • Location: Southern Asia, bordering Bangladesh 4,053 km, Bhutan 605 km, Burma 1,463 km, China 3,380 km, Nepal 1,690 km, Pakistan 2,912 km
  • Capital: New Delhi
  • Climate: varies from tropical monsoon in south to temperate in north
  • Population: 1,065,070,607 (July 2004 est.)
  • Ethnic Make-up: Indo-Aryan 72%, Dravidian 25%, Mongoloid and other 3% (2000)
  • Religions: Hindu 81.3%, Muslim 12%, Christian 2.3%, Sikh 1.9%, other groups including Buddhist, Jain, Parsi 2.5% (2000)
  • Government: Federal Republic

Languages in India

The different states of India have different official languages, some of them not recognized by the central Government.
such as,

• Gujarati
• Hindi external image indian-culture.jpg
• Kannada
• Kashmiri
• Konkani
• Maithili
• Malayalam
• Manipuri
• Marathi
• Nepali
• Odia
• Punjabi
• Sanskrit
• Sindhi
• Tamil
• Telugu
• Urdu

Basics of Hindi;

Hello/Goodbye: namaste

Excuse me: maaf kijiyeh

Please: meharbani she

Thank you: shukriya

Yes: haan

No: nahin
external image namaste-indian-quotthank-youquot.jpg
How are you?: aap kiaseh hain?

Very well, thank you: bahut acha, shukriya

What's your name?: aap ka shubh naam kya hai?

My name is.: meraa naam.hai

Do you speak English? Kya aap angrezi aatee hai?

I don't understand: meri samajh mei nahin aaya

What time is it? Kitneh bajeh hain?

Where is the.? . kahan hai?

How far is .?: . kitni duur hai?

How do I get to .?: . main wahan kaiseh jaun?

Etiquette and Customs in India:


  • Indians hold their palms together and say ‘Namaste’ (nuh-mus-tay) while greeting each other. Hugging and kissing on the cheeks, especially with the opposite sex is frowned upon and should be avoided.
  • Take your shoes off before entering someone’s house or a place of worship – temples, mosques, gurudwaras.
  • Do not comment on the Indian style of dressing. Their concept of formal wear might differ from yours; some people might prefer to wear a traditional kurta pyjama instead of a shirt & pants. Also, do not comment on women wearing a veil – whether it is the burqaa or hijaab in Muslims, or a ghunghat (head drape drawn till the chin) in Hindus.
  • Another common gesture being the infamous bobbing of the head. A vertical nod indicates yes while a horizontal nod means no.
    external image shaking_hands_with_kids_in_india.jpg

  • Religion, education and social class all influence greetings in India.
  • This is a hierarchical culture, so greet the eldest or most senior person first.
  • When leaving a group, each person must be bid farewell individually.
  • Shaking hands is common, especially in the large cities among the more educated who are accustomed to dealing with westerners.
  • Men may shake hands with other men and women may shake hands with other women; however there are seldom handshakes between men and women because of religious beliefs. If you are uncertain, wait for them to extend their hand.

Naming Conventions

Indian names vary based upon religion, social class, and region of the country. The following are some basic guidelines to understanding the naming conventions, although you will always find exceptions to rules:

  • In the north, many people have both a given name and a surname.
  • In the south, surnames are less common and a person generally uses the initial of their father's name in front of their own name.
  • The man's formal name is their name "s/o" (son of) and the father's name. Women use "d/o" to refer to themselves as the daughter of their father.
  • At marriage, women drop their father's name and use their first name with their husband's first name as a sort of surname.

  • Many Muslims do not have surnames. Instead, men add the father's name to their own name with the connector 'bin'. So, Abdullah bin Ahmed is Abdullah the son of Ahmad.
  • Women use the connector 'binti'.
  • The title Hajji (m) or Hajjah (f) before the name indicates the person has made their pilgrimage to Mecca.

  • Sikhs all use the name Singh. It is either adopted as a surname or as a connector name to the surname.

Gift Giving Etiquette

  • Indians believe that giving gifts eases the transition into the next life.
  • Gifts of cash are given to friends and members of the extended family to celebrate life events such as birth, death and marriage.
  • It is not the value of the gift, but the sincerity with which it is given, that is important to the recipient.
  • If invited to an Indian's home for a meal, it is not necessary to bring a gift, although one will not be turned down.
  • Do not give frangipani or white flowers as they are used at funerals.
  • Yellow, green and red are lucky colours, so try to use them to wrap gifts.
  • A gift from a man should be said to come from both he and his wife/mother/sister or some other female relative.
  • Hindus should not be given gifts made of leather.
  • Muslims should not be given gifts made of pigskin or alcoholic products.
  • Gifts are not opened when received.

Dining Etiquette

  • Indians entertain in their homes, restaurants, private clubs, or other public venues, depending upon the occasion and circumstances.
  • Although Indians are not always punctual themselves, they expect foreigners to arrive close to the appointed time.
  • Take off your shoes before entering the house.
  • Dress modestly and conservatively.
  • Politely turn down the first offer of tea, coffee, or snacks. You will be asked again and again. Saying no to the first invitation is part of the protocol.

Table manners are somewhat formal, but this formality is tempered by the religious beliefs of the various groups.
    • Much Indian food is eaten with the fingers.
    • Wait to be told where to sit.
    • If utensils are used, they are generally a tablespoon and a fork.
    • Guests are often served in a particular order: the guest of honour is served first, followed by the men, and the children are served last. Women typically serve the men and eat later.
    • You may be asked to wash your hands before and after sitting down to a meal.
    • Always use your right hand to eat, whether you are using utensils or your fingers.
    • In some situations food may be put on your plate for you, while in other situations you may be allowed to serve yourself from a communal bowl.
    • Leaving a small amount of food on your plate indicates that you are satisfied. Finishing all your food means that you are still hungry.
external image Indian-Food.jpg
Relationships & Communication
    • Indians prefer to do business with those they know.
    • Relationships are built upon mutual trust and respect.
    • In general, Indians prefer to have long-standing personal relationships prior to doing business.
    • It may be a good idea to go through a third party introduction. This gives you immediate credibility.

Taiwan (Chinese culture)

(By: Eric Yeh)




1. Greeting (Hello, Good morning) 你好(ni hao), 早安(zao an)

2. Please, Thank you, Sorry (ching), 謝謝(shie shie), 對不起(duei bu chi)


1. More than 40,000

2. 2000 are need for basic literature

3. Two style – simplified, traditional

4. Chinese calligraphy

Chinese calligraphy.jpg

National Palace Museum



Communication For communication, your mission is to teach us about how another population inter act with each other. Examples: Pick a country ( Germany, India, Spain, Mexico) and share the customs of how to greet someone, hand gestures, dating practices. Should I visit the country how do I make sure I am not offensive to the people. OR you can choose people who are blind, hearing impaired, autistic, chair bound, how do you communicate with them? After the presentation, students should be more comfortable when communicating with these diverse groups and have an appreciation of the culture.
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