Toplal Panthi

Culture has no physical presence, it is not hands on and cannot be seen, touched or smelt.  Thomas (1909) would understand the argument that “culture is a phenomenon, existing only in the mind of those individuals who believe in it.”  He would equally accept that in our socially constructed world cultures guide the way we act out our social relations. One way to understand how culture works would be to recognise that groups of people who come together regularly start to organise patterns of acceptable behaviour.

Globalization creates opportunities for many countries to experience economic growth. Globalization is a term used to describe how countries, people and businesses around the world are becoming more interconnected, as forces like technology, transportation, media, and global finance make it easier for goods, services, ideas and people to cross traditional borders and boundaries. Globalization offers both benefits and challenges. It can provide tremendous opportunity for economic growth to improve the quality of life for many people. It can also lead to challenges with the welfare of workers, economies, and the environment as businesses globalize and shift their operations between countries to take advantage of lower costs of doing business in other world regions.

As we found that business organization are surrounded by different cultures. Every enterneuper or manager have to respect to the culture of their client or where they establish business. So it is becoming more necessity to have knowledge about the culture of environment for the operation of business organization. Due to massive effect of the globalization, the area of the business is going to increase day by day expanding with unexpected ratio, where the customers and the supplier of the same product can exist to the different countries with different culture. Being an international manager of the business have to knowledge about the culture of globally, some examples of different cultures with different meaning as following.

Never touch the head of a Thai or pass an object over it, as the head is considered sacred in Thailand. Likewise, never point the bottoms of the feet in the direction of another person in Thailand or cross your legs while sitting especially in the presence of an elderly person. Avoid using triangular shapes in Hong Kong, Korea and Taiwan as a triangle is considered as a negative shape in those countries. Remember that the number 7 is considered bad luck in Kenya, good luck in Czechoslovakia. Red is a positive color in Denmark but represents witchcraft and death in many African countries. A nod means “no” in Bulgaria and shaking the head side to side means “yes”.

These days the world is becoming a small village, in this context your customers, suppliers, employees and other stakeholders may have from the next junction of the world. Many studies show that until and unless you do not match your culture with your stakeholders, your business may not survive in this competitive environment. While dealing with different people of different countries, you should have different behavior and other sentiments. Few example of conversation in different countries have been given as following;


Country Appropriate Topic Inappropriate Topic
Austria Cars, Skiing & music Money, religion &divorce
France Music,books,sports,theater Prices of items,work,income,age
Germany Travel abroad, hobbies, soccer  &International Politics World war II &question about personal life
Great Britain History, architecture &gardening Politics, money &prices
Japan History ,culture &art World War II &government policies
Mexico Family &social concerns Politics, debt or inflation problems &border violations


In this regard to be a successful entrepreneur at international level, you have to go through the polycentric approach, if not it would difficult for the competitive advantages.

Finally, as a scholar of cross cultural literacy, I would like to remind you that there are many citizens from other countries such as India, China, Bangladesh and other many more countries have been doing business in Nepal since long time. You may have the objective of profit maximizing, it’s natural, it’s a characteristic of business but most important concern is that either you are matching your culture with Nepalese culture or not?  Simply culture does not mean only Dashai, Tihar and other religious activities, culture means policy, ethics, values, norms, behavior and other standards which are accepted commonly. So if you wish to survive here in Nepal, you are suggested to imply Nepalese culture as your business guidelines.



(Writer is a Lecturer, Business Environment and Strategic Management, St.Xavier’s College, Maitighar,Kathmandu)