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Travel Cultures Language

Sweet Dreams of Ice Cream and Primal Rhythms

by Meredith Mullins on July 18, 2016

Ingoma Nshya Drummers in Rwanda, breaking cultural barriers. (Image © Lex Fletcher.)

The unifying power of music
© Lex Fletcher

Conquering Cultural Barriers in Rwanda

An open-air truck bumps along the rutted streets of Butare, Rwanda. The beaming woman in the back broadcasts through a crackling microphone.

Hello. Hello. You are about to experience something new.

 Do you want to have a good life?

 Do you want your children to grow up healthy?

 Sweet dreams. The answer to your prayers.

 Ice cream.

 If you’re old, it will make you young again.

 Come and see the dreams of women.

 Ice cream.

The Art and Philosophy of the Doggy Bag

by Meredith Mullins on June 27, 2016

Dog with Doggy Bag, showing how different cultures deal with restaurant leftovers. (Image © Meredith Mullins & Charlie Meagher.)

Did someone say “Doggy Bag?”
© Meredith Mullins & Charlie Meagher

How Different Cultures Look at Leftovers

Are restaurant leftovers going to the dogs?

That depends on to whom and where you pose the question. Different cultures have different approaches to taking restaurant leftovers home. The history of the doggy bag is a bit furry . . . er, blurry.

The First Doggy Bag

Some say the idea dates back to Roman times, when food was often taken home in a napkin from multi-course, recline-while-you-eat meals.

We can trace the first doggy bags back to the U.S. during WW II when food was scarce and waste was unthinkable.

At Lunch in the World—How to Stay Out of the Soup

by Sally Baho on June 29, 2015

The continents depicted in cream in a bowl of tomato soup, illustrating that people at lunch around the world have different cultural do's and taboos. (Image © eyegelb / iStock)

Places to eat, and people to meet. Do you know what’s taboo?
© eyegelb / iStock

10 Cultural Do’s & Taboos at the Table

When you travel the world, there’s much more to dining than tasting the food.  In fact, it’s the cultural dimension of the dining table (or mat) that often makes or breaks the meal. Here are 10 cultural do’s and taboos to keep you out of the soup when you’re at lunch in the world.

#1 Chile: Respect the Mealtime

In many places in Latin America, the working lunch just doesn’t work.  On a business trip to Santiago, Chile, a colleague suggested that we save time by continuing our meeting over lunch.

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