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4 Countries That Keeps Their Ancestors Tradition Alive

4 Countries That Keeps Their Ancestors Tradition Alive

Inscriptions on mountain walls and tribal traditions define our culture and our identity. They give us a perspective of our beginnings and it build us inside and out. Our heritage shapes our character, likes, dislikes and our food preference. Some cultures prefer eating raw food or even fermented food, it transcends into the countries modern cuisine. These heritages eventually become the country’s greatest treasure.

They say history is visible through your food culture, hence if you want to understand a foreign country always join in people and food. Sometimes you might even be invited to join an amazing dance and an after party with traditional wine.

There are many countries that uphold their ancestor’s traditions and if you’re looking for a culturally enriching adventure then this would be a great read for you.

1. Iceland – The Land of the Vikings.

Over the years, Iceland has been known for its gender equality, its scenic beauty and its wonderful traditions. Iceland or Is-land known to many Scandinavians and Central European community, is a land which offers wondrous opportunities and great living standards. Iceland is often associated with women rights and the land of the Vikings.

Iceland has always been associated with their brother countries such as Sweden and Norway as they share the same roots and heritage. The atmosphere and the love for great unique cuisine is something interesting in Iceland. However, Iceland is the one country which celebrates their ancestor’s tradition and names it as one of the most important public holidays.

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During the era of the Vikings, the common food would be the cold Icelandic shark meat. These sharks have a coat on the epidermal layer which protects them from the cold. However, this coat is a form of toxin which becomes a dangerous poison for the human body. Hence fermenting has been a common tradition to release these toxins which could result in fatality if eaten without caution.

However, if you’re in Sweden you might find a similar cuisine but it isn’t celebrated with a festival. In Iceland there’s a harvest feast where you tend to indulge in a platter of fermented shark’s meat, cow brain and ox eyeballs. It’s a feast where you enjoy the cuisine of your ancestors and waste nothing, it’s the way of the Vikings.

If you’re in Iceland be sure to take part in the amazing festivities and community gatherings.

2. Mongolia – The Land of Genghis Khan.

Mongolia is a land which is at the borders of China, they’re an exquisite country who treasures their nature and have a culture which is both welcoming and unique. They tend to celebrate their differences in tribes and their history. A nation which is known for its perseverance, it’s tenaciousness, it’s strategizing and its leadership. It’s the land of Genghis Khan.

For the people who aren’t familiar with Genghis Khan he may have been known as a cruel and a tenacious leader. Their culture is a mix of influences from the Chinese, Russians, Tibetans, and Buddhist which has incorporated in their nomadic culture. One of their most renowned traditions are their marriage traditions. A bond between a man and a woman is viewed as something sacred. Hence, their cuisine and their weddings are one to be remembered by.

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During the older times, the women used to exchange a fur coat, equivalent to the worth of the women. Hence the higher the quality the more the women are worth. Even though in this modern world this tradition has changed and they have moved on from past belief’s, they still have it as part of the ritual. Their marriages are filled with classic traditions, good food and a party to be remembered.

So if you happen to be in Mongolia, make sure to take the opportunity to be part of a traditional family and if you’re lucky you might be able to be part of a wedding.

3. Argentina – The Bridge of Tradition and The World.

I recall when my partner and his friends made a vacation to Argentina, I’ve never heard the end of the same story. However, they’ve claimed it to be one of the best countries in the world for its hospitality and it’s love for music and history. Argentina, is known for its huge influence in the Latin American world, for its culture, character and its beautiful history.

They became world famous after their findings of the very first Inca Tribe sacrifice in the Argentinian mountains. It’s believed that a child is sacrificed for the good of the community and becomes a holy savior. Although these practices are no longer practiced, plus the mere existence of the Inca tribe has been destroyed, Argentina still celebrates this part of their culture as their greatest treasure.

Furthermore, for those who are enthusiastic about wine and good meat then this is the place to be. It’s the place where you can learn about history and modern culture all with sharing a table with an Argentinian. You can go around drinking mate as well as embracing the beautiful nature, and great food.

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Hence if you’re planning to head to Argentina be sure to try that good old lama steak. I’m sure you wouldn’t regret it.

4. Kazakhstan – The Land of Eagles.

A world known for its nomadic lifestyle and beautiful nature, Kazakhstan is a land where the influence of nomadic turkey and Islamic culture became part of their heritage. They believe in superstitions with animals as well as the balance of the universe. Hence they have a strict practice of nurturing the universe.

Although it’s not a traditional place for many travelers, it’s definitely a place worth visiting. Their traditional cuisine is horse meat; they prefer the traditional beef jerky in the form of horse jerky. Usually enjoying a great meal means sharing it with families and friends.

They’ve carried forward their ancestor’s practices in mercy killing of the livestock and having the head of the women prepare the dishes. The men share the head of any livestock, while the woman are forbidden to touch the head. Furthermore, the men are the first to begin the meal and the women tend to enjoy certain parts of animal organs which guarantee to keep their youth flourishing and which increase their fertility.

The country is divided between the modern society and the traditional families who work hard to preserve their culture. Every year before harvest they celebrate this culture with their traditional Eagle Trainers. These eagle trainers train the birds to become hunters and to catch preys, without vision. It’s amazing, despite many hurdles they’re still holding on to their custom and heritage as a part of their lives.

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Hence if you’re ever travelling to Kazakhstan, make sure to enjoy your time with the locals instead of in hotels. It will be an unforgettable adventure.

In a nutshell, it’s amazing to travel and discover different cultures and heritage, so I hope this article has been of great read for you.

Featured photo credit: pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on April 11, 2019

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

How Communication Skills Help Your Success

Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

Create a Positive Experience

Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

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Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

Help Leadership Skills

It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

Build Better Teams

Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

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How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

1. Listen

Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

2. Know Your Audience

Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

Here is a good way to think about it:

Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

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3. Minimize

I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

4. Over Communicate

So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

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5. Body Language

The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

Conclusion

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

Now go communicate your way to success.

More Resources About Effective Communication

Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

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