Sei sulla pagina 1di 78

EDUEgypt Program Culture Participant's

Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
1 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

Table of Contents

Chapter Title Page
Chapter 1 General Culture 4
Chapter 2 UK Culture 17
Chapter 3 US Culture 34
Chapter 4 Corporate Culture 64

Appendix I
Appendix II
Appendix III


Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
2 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

No culture can live, if it attempts to be exclusive
-Mahatma Gandhi-
In todays fast evolving world, the rhythm of life is rapidly accelerating. Day in day out,
individuals and businesses are faced with new challenges. To solve these challenges, businesses
and individuals collaborate to find innovative solutions that sustain mutual benefit.
Cultural awareness is not anymore a luxury or something that is branded for intellectuals. It is a
business must have skill.
Culture Sensitization and training enables companies to radically improve the cohesion and
efficiency of people and cultural dynamics, through the analysis of corporate cultures, national
and international teams, departments or divisions and a better understanding of the deeply rooted
motivations, styles, personalities and behaviors of individuals.
In this module we will cover three main areas from the cultural sensitivity perspective:
1. We will go through different dimensions of culture.
2. Then we will cover both British and American cultures in a quick nutshell.
3. Finally we will take you across corporate culture and how business should be conducted
in nowadays global world.

By the end of this course you shall be able to:
Recognize the importance of cultural awareness.
Relate culture to the BPO industry.
Describe different elements that differentiate cultures.
Recognize the cultural nuances of the American & British cultures.
Identify business etiquette practices in corporate culture.

Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
3 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

Chapter One
General Culture

"Culture is the widening of the heart and the spirit"

Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
4 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

Introduction to Culture


1. Get an overview of what culture is.
2. Expose trainees to culture as a concept.
3. Elicit the course objectives.

What is your idea about culture?
Why is it important for us to go through it?


Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
5 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

1.0 What is culture?

Different people have different ideas on culture. Awareness of
our own perception and the definition of culture is the first step
in becoming culturally competent.

So What is culture?

Possible answers:
The way we dress the way we behave, the way we think the way we live; in other words who we

Culture is:
The integrated sum total of learned behavioral traits that are shared by members of a
Any thing around us including tangible & intangible aspects.
Example: (dressing code, eating habits, music, language, religion, architecture, history).

Yes, this is what culture is; it is what makes us unique. It is this uniqueness that is going to help
us understand our customers.
I am exactly as I am supposed to be and you are exactly the way you are supposed to be.
No one is better than or less than.

Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
6 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

2.0 Why do we need to understand culture?

Cross-Cultural Mistakes:


Enhance awareness of the importance of cultural sensitivity through knowing more
about cross-cultural mistakes made by multi-national companies.

The importance of cultural awareness and acculturation which is adjusting & adapting to a new
environment which is one of the key success factors in international business as a multinational
or global company.
Some examples on companies that used culture to its advantage like:
In the Middle East: they serve MC Arabia.
In France: they serve wine
In Philippines they serve McSpaghetti
In India: they never serve beef.
In Islamic Countries: they never serve pork
In Israel: they serve kosher meat
Mattel Company and Barbie dolls case:
Barbie dolls made by Mattel company are very successful in the US market, however
when first sold in Japan they didnt sell.
The reason was that mothers refused to buy them because of their western features (blond
hair, blue eyes, long legs,..) (Japan is a very nationalistic society).
The Mattel company making Barbie dolls changed the Barbie doll features in Japan to
make it profitable (dark hair, narrow eyes, short legs) therefore sales reached millions of
dollars in the first year of launch.
Iran prohibits Barbie dolls instead they have Sara and Dara (two dolls) these dolls reflect
the Iranian culture and they wear the Iranian shaloul (veil)
Saudi Arabia outlawed Barbie dolls, saying that she did not conform to the ideals of
Islam and their culture and so Fulla doll came up as it doesnt have a nationality and fits
with their culture.

Summing up, learning about culture is paramount in successfully satisfying your global
customers in the BPO industry in this flat border-less world we are living in, as cultural
Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
7 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

awareness will help you:

1. Become tolerant, objective and non-judgmental.

2. Weigh the pros and cons and then make a decision.

3. Show empathy to your customer (if we have no idea about who they are or what they are
how would we understand their situation)

4. Understand that you may have a lot of things in common with your customers, but you
must consider the possibility that there might be differences as well.

5. Understand some of the influences affecting our clients and customers behaviors, and in
turn help them respond in ways that help build the relationship.

Potential misunderstanding can be avoided if you understand some of the general differences
between the different cultures which is the objective of this module; not to tell you everything
about the customers culture as it is simply not possible but aiming at putting you on the path to
understanding cultural differences and promote cultural sensitization.

Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
8 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

3.0 Understanding cultural differences

What is important to the customer should be of great importance to us irrespective of our own
There may be major differences in mindsets, values and approaches to business interactions.
Apart from differences like time zones, work schedules, holidays, logistics, accents, names and
language, there are underlying factors in western business culture that are crucial to understand.

3.1 High Context and Low Context
Source: Edward T Hall: Beyond Culture

High or Low??!


Understand the difference between high and low context cultures.

What is your idea about high context and low context cultures?
High Context Culture: People in these cultures are more governed by intuition or
feelings than by reason. Context is more important than words, which might include the
speakers tone of voice, facial expression, gestures, postureand even the persons
family history and status. In other words, a high context culture is one in which the
communicators assume a great deal of commonality of knowledge and views, so that less
is spelled out explicitly and much more is communicated in an indirect ways.

Low context Culture: People in these cultures regard logic, facts, and directness as
important values. Solving a problem means lining up the facts and evaluating one after
another. Decisions are based on facts rather than intuition. Discussions end with
actions. And communicators are expected to be straightforward, concise, and efficient in
telling what action is expected. Explicit contracts end negotiations unlike in high-context
cultures which depend less on language precision and legal documents.


Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
9 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

High Context Low Context
Meaning assigned to stimuli surrounding the
Focus is on content of the message
communicated by the words and sentences
Verbal messages have less focus
The message itself means all

Importance given to history, status,
relationship, religion.
Importance to the content of the message

A no would be communicated in a roundabout
People do not hesitate to say no

Can you draw a link to Soft Skills: Being assertive and using a Service No?

Meaning of Agreements and Commitments
Americans prefer clear specifications to vague information.
They are uneasy with vague expressions of general commitment.
Commitments are taken literally and seriously. So once you commit something to
the customer, the timeline has to be met.

Directness, Especially in Addressing Disagreements
The style of communication in Low context cultures is characteristically direct,
candid and relatively unconcerned with face-saving or the avoidance of conflict.
Hence, when faced with a situation when you cannot say yes to the customer, be
direct and honest. This is often mistaken with being blunt. That is untrue.
Use a Service No. It tells the customer that you are trying your best to help them
without trying to hide the facts.

How does one develop their beliefs and perceptions?

The answer is: social conditioning.
Everyone learns things in childhood that affect their perception of things around them and the
way they interact with people around them. The extent to which the total environment (or
context) is meaningful in communication varies dramatically from culture to culture.
Each individual is conditioned by the culture that they grow up in. This means that all of us view
the world through these colored or conditioned lenses.

Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
10 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

3.2 Monochronic/Polychronic Time
Geert Hofstede
What is the difference between the following images?

Days Weeks Months Years

Did you notice that in the first image time is linear as opposed to the other in which it is circular?
It cant be argued that our cultural context has a huge impact on the way we conduct business.

Chronemics is the study of the use of time in nonverbal communication. The way that an
individual and a society would perceive and value time.
Monochronic and Polychronic time systems are two terms used to refer to time and its influence
on society.

Spring Summer
Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
11 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

Monochronic or Polychronic??!


Understand the difference between Monochronic and Polychronic cultures.

What is your idea about Monochronic and Polychronic cultures?

Americans are a very clear example on Monochronic cultures as they are obsessed with
time. For them, time is not flexible. Plans for the following week are often made with a
specific time in mind, which then become a fixed part of a persons schedule. Most
Mediterranean and Asian cultures, on the other hand, usually take their own time to get
down to business.
How can you successfully do business in such cultures? For instance how does this
impact us when talking to customers from Monochronic time cultures?
In short we can say that Monochronic cultures like to do just one thing at a time. They
value certain orderliness and they plan an appropriate time and place for everything. They
do not value interruptions. Polychronic cultures like to do multiple tasks at the same time.
A manager's office in a Polychronic culture has an open door, a ringing phone and a
meeting all going on at the same time.

Can you think of other examples to differentiate between those two culture types?

One task at
one time
are strictly
adhered to
Time is
Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
12 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

Act and Guess


Understand the difference between
Individualistic and Collectivistic cultures.
Understand the difference between low power
distance and high power distance cultures

Can you guess what cultural dimensions were presented in the role-plays?
What did you get from the role-plays? What information can you infer from them
regarding every dimension type?


3.3 Collectivism and Individualism:

What is the difference between the two images?

Research has shown that parents in Individualistic cultures stress the value of being independent;
both economically and socially. On the other hand collectivist societies are made to understand
that they have an overarching responsibility towards the group, namely the family and society at

I am, I studied, I
am going to
My family is, I
belong to, my
father is, my brother,..
Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
13 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

Child: I want to study photography.
Parent: What! I am sorry you will not do such thing. You have to get an MBA.
What will people say?

Such an exchange is very common in collectivist cultures.

A person working at Honda (a Japanese car manufacturer): I am a Honda man who happens to be
an engineer.

On the other hand individualism is the norm in countries like the U.S. These cultures focus on
the individuals achievement and not the family they belong to, their age or their social status.
Hence independence is of great value at the workplace.

A person working at General Motors (an American car manufacturer): I am an engineer who
happens to work in GM.
Now how does this affect us when interacting with our clients?

Think back to the Parent Ego state. Isnt it the voice of our culture in a manner of speaking? If
we operate out of the parent ego state, then we believe that our ideas are correct or appropriate
and the other persons are not. So remember, that we must remain objective and operate out of
the Adult Ego State, failing which we might come across as condescending or insensitive to the
other person's perspective.

Individualist Collectivist

Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
14 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

3.4 High Power Distance and Low Power Distance:
How do you address your supervisor?
Do you feel free to question your supervisors decision?
Is hierarchy very important in your organization or culture?


Low power distance: less powerful members of society in are allowed to challenge the unequal
distribution of power and vice versa.

In low power distance countries supervisors and subordinates are on a more equal footing
in terms of pay, freedom to express opinions.
In high power distance countries employees might feel they dont have the freedom to
voice their point of view or question the decision made by a supervisor simply because of
the position they hold.

Remember: This can also change with the kind of organization one works in.

Mindset about Management Hierarchy
In American business culture, rank and title are not as important as they are in some other
cultures. Managers often expect their subordinates to own their responsibilities and take
complete control of it.

American business etiquette (Do's and Don'ts)
Americans are very casual when it comes to their style of conducting business activities.
Even though you must use a title when you address them by their last name, e.g.
Mr. Jones, Mrs. Robinson, etc., you will find that they often ask you to address them by their
first name.

So how does that affect us on calls?

Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
15 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

Summing up: The most important things to keep in mind to remain culturally sensitive in
the BPO industry:

Importance of timetwo minutes should mean two mins.
No interruption!
Thank you and please.
Mean what you say and say what you mean.
Be direct. Dont beat around the bush.
Listen to what they are saying.
Treat everyone equally.

Always remember: Cultural tools are guides to help us understand our
Customers. Each customer is unique. Trying to fit everyone in a
Category will lead to over simplification and be patently incorrect.
Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
16 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

Chapter Two

UK Culture

"A nation's culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of
its people."
-Mahatma Gandhi-

Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
17 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

1.0 Introduction

We are in London, England. The place is associated with beautiful countryside, vast expanses of
greenery, and renowned historical art and architecture.
Do you know the names of some important cities of the UK?
Some of them are: London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Belfast, Cardiff,
Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Bristol, Liverpool, Sheffield, Oxford, Cambridgeamong others.

The people in the UK are straightforward and admire anyone who has great determination. In
general, they are very religious and have a hesitancy to talk about their private lives. However,
start a conversation about Football, and you will have a healthy exchange of ideas along with
avid listeners. Some people believe that the English are rude or impatient, but that is not true. It
would be wrong to believe everything we see in the movies about the English. They do have a
clear concept of their personal space and would expect others around them to respect it. It is
supposed that their lack of expression and avoidance of eye contact are perhaps rude. However,
it is only a matter of the body language displayed. In reality, the English are warm, friendly
people who may not gesture much or talk loudly as they are very conscious of maintaining a
sense of decorum at all times. This is perhaps because the monarchy is such a major influence on
several aspects of their lives.
You must be aware that there are several cultures in the world that have been influenced by the
English. All countries that were ruled by the British at some time will have remnants of their
influence on the Education, Government & Political processes, at least.

2.0 History of the UK
We could go right back to the Stone Age and the Bronze Age to understand the background of a
country like the United Kingdom. However, for a broad understanding, it would be simpler to
look at history the country from the Middle Ages the point at which a powerful empire was being
born. For a long time, the country has been referred to as England or Britain and its people as the
English - right through the ages during their period of strength as Colonizers of the World, when
England was becoming a power to contend with and had the ambition to be a presence over most
of the world.
Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
18 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

The Vikings and Celts who came in from Europe are perhaps the ancestors of the English people:
In 43 AD Britain became part of the Roman empire. Wales was conquered 30 years later. Rome
didnt overpower Scotland till much later. For almost 400 years, the Romans held sway over
Britain before they withdrew. The Anglo Saxons and then the Vikings were the next conquerors.
England conquered Wales and was defeated by Scotland. The Hundred Years war with France
occurred in the 13th and 14th Centuries.
In 1485, King Henry VII came to power and Henry VIII succeeded him 20 years later. He
formed the Church of England asserting its independence from the Roman Catholic Church. In
the mid-1500s Elizabeth I became Queen and ruled for 45 years. It was during her reign that the
country emerged as a prominent political power. It was also under her regime that culture
flourished and saw some of its greatest achievements.
Britain also went through some of its most devastating disasters like the Plague and the Great
Fire of London, before the Industrial Revolution that began in Britain transformed most of the
Western World.
Britain had a strong presence in the Northern Sector of America where it had control over its
several colonies. America revolted and declared its independence from Britain in 1776.
With the Industrial Revolution, Britain gained supremacy as a formidable industrial nation and
held its position for 80 years. By the mid-19th century, however, the USA and Germany were
posing a challenge to Britains prominence. Several independent craftsmen who were out of
work, due to the rising mechanization, migrated to America.
Britain had spread its colonizing wings over India and China after America and Australia. The
difference in these cases was that the two were strong civilizations unlike the primitive ones of
the US and Australasia
. Having got a successful and strong foothold in these two civilized and
populous nations, Britain looked to take over control of Africa.
In all these places, the British established communities of merchants and manipulated the native
governments. They did not suppress the local religions nor did they destroy local architecture.
They did however, impose their own system of laws and introduced Western Education. By
1900, along with other European influences, Britain had its empire stretching across the world.
The Republic of Ireland gained independence after the First World War and Queen Elizabeth
was crowned a few years after the Second World War. It also marked the end of the European
supremacy over the world. The US and USSR
now emerged as the superpowers to be contended

Is a region of Oceania comprising Australia, New Zealand, the island of New Guinea, and neighboring islands in
the Pacific Ocean.
The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
19 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

The United Kingdom of Great Britain was a unified sovereign state that included Wales and
Scotland with a Monarchy and a Parliament that was shared. Later it was unified with Ireland.
However, Ireland became a Republic after WWII. Today, Ireland is divided into Northern
Ireland which is a part of the United Kingdom and the Republic which is independent of it.
Modern Britain now also comprises the devolved states of Scotland and Wales, where they make
their own decisions about state matters, though they are largely governed by the Parliament of
the UK.
Britain is now a part of the European Union which was formerly known as the European
Economic Community (EEC).

3.0 Transportation
Have you ever wondered about the transportation system in the UK? Have you heard anything
about it? Do you recall any reference to it in books or movies?
The UK has a very well-developed transport system. Most of the country is quite efficiently
networked by the roadways, airways, railways and waterways. The airport that we landed in this
morning, Heathrow, is the worlds busiest! The ports are busy too.
Public transport by way of buses, coaches, trains, the Tube, and the trams, is an economic option
for local travelers. Taxis do tend to be expensive alternative; however, the Hackney carriages,
which can still be found in certain parts of London, have an advantage because of their expert
knowledge of the city.
The use of personal cars has greatly increased in the recent years, while dependence on the bus
service has decreased. At least 70% of the British own a car. The motorways are the main arterial
roads that connect towns and cities. All along the motorway one would find service stations for
re-fuelling and for refreshments. The main roads are 2-lane main roads where a speed limit of
70mph is maintained. The country lanes that run through the urban residential areas and the
countryside are designated as A-roads and B-roads, where a speed limit of 20-60mph is
maintained. Car owners are required to pay an annual road tax. In the UK there is an efficient
and reliable breakdown rescue service e.g. AA, RAC, and Green Flag.
The British drive on the left-hand side of the road and the seat-belt rule is compulsory for the
driver and all passengers. As a rule, the motorists are polite and strictly follow the Highway
Code and traffic rules. They would be liable to lose their license and face imprisonment if laws
are broken.
Though Britain has some toll bridges, the concept of toll roads is rare.
Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
20 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

People do use the railway more in the present day. The network has two parts Northern Ireland
and Great Britain which are independent of each other. The British railway system is about the
oldest in the world. It has five main high-speed lines: the West Coast, East Coast, Midland, Great
Western and Great Eastern. The network originates in London and branches out to the rest of the
Trams were a popular system of travel in the 19
and early 20

centuries. Today the light rail system has taken over.
The most economical and popular means of local transport, however,
is the London Underground, which is also called the Tube because of
the tube-like tunnels through which the trains move. Covering close
to 475 stations, the network is the longest in the world. The tube map
makes it very easy for commuters with its color-coded lines and schematic layout.
The Underground has eleven lines e.g. the Bakerloo line, Central, Jubilee, Metropolitan,
Northern, Piccadilly, Waterloo etc. It has two types of lines the sub-surface and the deep-level.
The London Underground now has a line that connects the city to Heathrow Airport.
Ferries are used to transport both passengers and vehicles with the UK. They are the main means
of travel to Ireland from the British Mainland. However, one could also travel by air. The Dover
Ferry is perhaps the oldest Ferry service from Dover in the UK to Calais in France.
Single deck and double decker buses (which are red) ply in towns and
cities. The local bus services network the whole country. Coaches are
used for travelling longer distances or for going on school outings.
Taxis are a common sight in the cities. In London, the taxis or cabs are
black, but in the rest of the country they are of different colors.

Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
21 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

4.0 Geography of the UK
I reland
Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean. The landscape is largely that of central plains
surrounded by a ring of mountains that run along the coast. The coast on the west has several
islands, bays and headlands. The River Shannon is the longest river in Ireland and it divides the
island into two. There are other rivers and some large lakes or Loughs.
Ireland constitutes about 84% of the island and Northern Island the remaining 16%. The Irish
Sea separates the island from the island of Great Britain.
Irelands mountains were formed due to volcanic activity millions of years ago, of which the
Giants Causeway is a resultant geographical phenomena. The large portion of the Central
lowlands, however, is made up of limestone which is covered with glacial deposits of clay and
sand, giving rise to the formation of Bogs.
Ireland is the largest producer of zinc, but also has mineral deposits of gold, silver, dolomite,
calcite, limestone, sand and gravel. There is also speculation about the petroleum reserves.
Scotland lies on the northern end of Great Britain and shares a border with England. Its
geography ranges from barren lands to craggy highlands to islands and archipelagos. It has
Britains highest peak called Ben Nevis. It is also a storehouse of natural resources of coal, zinc
and iron, and is a contributor to the regions
economy by way of its petroleum reserves.
Scotland has 10 major rivers and 10 freshwater
lakes or lochs of which the Loch Ness is one.
Scotlands largest city is Glasgow and not its
capital, Edinburgh, which is the political hub.
Edinburgh and Glasgow are located in the Central
Lowlands where one would find the bulk of the
Scottish population. There is also another area of
fairly high population density around the cities of
Aberdeen & Inverness. The islands of Scotland are also inhabited, though not as sparsely as the
Highlands where one would find only 8 people per square kilometer scattered over the villages,
small towns or out-of-the-way farms!

Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
22 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

Wales is mainly a peninsula with a few offshore islands. Like Scotland, it shares a land boundary
with England. It is largely mountainous especially in three regions: Snowdonia, the Cambrian
Mountains and the Brecon Beacons.
Wales has several waterfalls and some of them are the most striking in the UK. Like Scotland,
Wales also has fresh water lakes. It also has man-made where reservoirs where sailing and
fishing are popular sports.
England is bordered by Scotland in the North and Wales to the west. It also has a few islands.
The Isle of Wight is the largest of these small islands. A large part of the terrain in England is
hilly. Poole is a natural harbor and the largest on the South central coast. The largest river in
England is the Severn, followed by the Thames and Trent.
London is Englands largest and busiest city. It is also Englands most populated urban area.
The National Flag of the UK is called the Union Jack which is also the royal
banner used for civil and state purposes.
The basic design is that of a red cross of St. George, who is Englands patron
saint, the white cross of St. Patrick and the Saltire of St. Andrew, patron saint
of Scotland. St. David, patron saint of Wales is not represented in the Union
Jack. However, each country has its own separate flag.
The Union Flag is flown on specific days to mark the birthdays of the Royal Family and the
Queens anniversary. It is also flown for the opening and the duration of the legislative session of
Parliament. On certain days, the Union Jack is flown at Half-Mast to commemorate deaths and
funerals of the sovereign, members of the Royal Family, the Prime Minister and any other
foreign ruler.
The Armed Forces, Air Force & Navy have several of their own flags for different occasions and

Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
23 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

4.1 Climate
What kind of climate does the UK have?
It has rain, sunshine and extreme cold too. Does anyone know when it rains in the UK? Does the
sun shine throughout the year?
The UK has a temperate climate, but one can expect rainfall at any time of the year interspersed
with sunny days. The western and northern parts of the country get the highest rainfall. Since it is
an island, the country has varied weather patterns which can be rather unpredictable. One day
could be bright and sunny and the very next a rainy day. The weather is difficult to predict, but
usually the winters are mild and summers do not normally have temperatures higher than 32C.
January & February are considered the coldest months. July and August are about the warmest
months in the year.

Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
24 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

5.0 Business Interactions
Punctuality is something that the British are sticklers about. Even a 10-minute delay (which for
the foreigner is not a big deal as per the practice in his home country) is considered an insult in
Punctuality is one important factor about interactions with the British. So also is being direct in
ones conversation while being polite.
Work life in the UK in general is serious professional business. Most people in Britain work a
regular five-day, eight-hour week. A large percentage of people work in the service industry.
The service industry sectors include restaurants, hotels, shopping, travel, computer and finance.
The British do work hard, and some of them work longer than the mandatory 48 hours. Every
organization is bound to give its employees a 4-week annual vacation.
The focus is to do business ethically. Corporate responsibility is taken rather seriously, for which
business practices are being improved and individuals are being held accountable for their
actions. Independence and responsibility have become the work culture.
Decision making is done with the consensus of every member of the team. Ideas are bounced off
each individual and criticism is given objectively to reach an agreement. Direct approaches are
encouraged where facts are drawn objectively and concrete evidence is used to convince. Hence,
the decision making process can be extremely slow and deliberate.
Punctuality as we've seen in the activity is strictly adhered to in every sphere. A lack of respect
for someones time is considered rude and unprofessional behavior. This may not be the case for
foreigners who come from other places where deadlines are more flexible. However, the British
are quite blunt and will not hesitate to let someone know that they are out of line in their
Intercultural awareness, though, is considered vital to business practices in order to have stronger
relationships and improved communication with clients, customers and co-workers. Efforts are
constantly made to minimize any negative impacts that intercultural differences might bring up.
Life in the work environment in the UK, however, is reasonably informal and relaxed. A general
friendly atmosphere is maintained where colleagues can feel more comfortable. Office banter is
not without its hint of wit very much in keeping with the British sense of humor.
Flexible working hours are being looked at as options and the advantages & disadvantages being
weighed. The need of the corporate world is efficiency and productivity; therefore, if working
from home or changing work hours will only add to ones efficacy, it should be a welcome shift.
A Work-life balance is key to greater contribution, commitment and productivity. Hence, several
organizations are allowing for this redefinition of the work culture.
Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
25 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

5.1 Business Attire
The British are quite formal in their dress sense. They believe in being well presented at all
In the business world, the dress code is formal. Managers wear plain dark suits with well pressed
white shirts. Shoes should be black leather with laces and plain, dark socks that reach mid-calf.
Women are expected to wear sober skirt or pant suits with plain colored or white blouses for a
formal setting. However, like for men, the dress code is now being relaxed for women in the
business world.
Other male employees generally wear formal shirts with ties, but do not necessarily sport suits
except for an interview. Today, for working men, Pinstripes and pastel shades are considered
acceptable. Working attire is undergoing a change. Business casuals are being introduced for
semi-professional situations which also allow for half-sleeved shirts and chinos or khakis.
In the manufacturing domain or the labor industry, uniforms are used as the norm. The working
situations, easy maintenance and a sense of equality are taken into consideration.
6.0 Political Set-up
What is the National Anthem of the UK? When is it sung?
God save our gracious Queen!
Long live our noble Queen!
God save the Queen!
Send her victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us,
God save the Queen!
6.1 Government
The government in the UK is that of a Constitutional Monarchy where a King or Queen acts as
the head of state.
I am sure you know who the current Monarch in the UK istell mewho is it? Yes, the current
Monarch is Queen Elizabeth II. The Queen is the head of state of many of the Commonwealth
countries and some overseas territories.
The Monarchs Role
Let us see what some important roles the Queen has as the Head of State:
Head of the Armed Forces
Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
26 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

Appoint Prime Ministers
Approve some legislations
Bestow honors
Open each session of Parliament
Dissolve Parliament before elections

Apart from these official roles, there are other ceremonial roles that the Queen performs. What
do you think those might be?
The Queen has to be politically neutral, and hence, her role is principally ceremonial. She is the
reigning Head of State of 15 independent sovereign states in the world besides the UK, viz.
Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, and 9 other such states. She
is the acting Head of the Commonwealth and also the Supreme Governor of the Church of
As the Head of State she is required to travel to other countries on official visits and host guests
from other nations. Besides travelling abroad, the Queen also visits hospitals, schools, factories
and other places in Britain. At times of celebration or sorrow, she is required to address the
nation as the Head of State or even the world as the nations representative and this is broadcast
over the television and radio. She also bestows titles of honor, e.g. of Knighthood or Damehood,
Peerage (Peer to the House of Lords) or as Member of the British Empire, twice a year.
The Head of States ceremonial and official duties are not part of party politics. Only the elected
Parliament is responsible for making and passing legislations. The Head of the State is not
changed when governments change providing a national focus, stability and continuity.
The Monarch or Sovereign does not govern according to his or her own free will but as indicated
by the constitution. In the UK, the constitution is not a written document rather it has been set up
by non-statutory rules or conventions.
The Sovereign is required to be politically neutral as a constitutional monarch and act on the
advice of ministers on all matters. The Queen is not allowed to vote or stand for election. Though
the Prime Minister and the Cabinet are appointed by the monarch, it is the Prime Minister who
makes the actual choices and the Queen respects these.
The Cabinet is chosen from the members of the Prime Ministers party. Cabinet members are
responsible to the House of Commons. Executive power is used by the Prime Minister and the
ministers of the cabinet who are sworn in by the Queen as the Ministers of the Crown.
The Prime Minister
The Prime Minister is the political head of the country and also the highest political authority. He
heads the Cabinet which comprises members of the leading political party. His powers include
Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
27 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

the legislative and the executive. He also directs the process of lawmaking to achieve the agenda
of his party. Political government policies are governed by the Prime Minister. In effect, the
Prime Minister is the public face of the government.
The Prime Minister resides at 10 Downing Street, the official residence, as long as he or she is in
Do you know who the current Prime Minister of the UK is? -------------------------------------
The Parliament consists of the House of Lords and the House of Commons. The House of Lords
has members who are from the nobility in Britain, and hence are not elected. They are also
known as peers. They function in an advisory capacity to the crown. Their numbers could be
from 650 700 and are divided into three major categories: Lords Spiritual (2 of whom are
Archbishops and 24 are senior bishops). The lay peers are known as Lords Temporal and senior
judges are known as the Law Lords, who could also serve as Lords Temporal.
The House of Commons, though traditionally considered a lower house, is the battlefield where
political frays are held. This house has approximately 650 elected members.
The UK has three major political parties the Labor Party, the Conservative Party and the
Liberal Democrats who contest elections in the country. General elections are held in intervals of
five years and a government can only stay in power as long as it has the support of the majority
of the House of Commons.
In the UK, each of the countries has a different system of government.
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have devolved assemblies, which are deemed National or
Provincial Government where there is just one level of local government. Each has local
councils, county burroughs or districts.
England has a more complex pattern with no separate governing body other than the Government
of the UK. Of the 9 regions that it is subdivided into, only Greater London has an elected Mayor
and an elected Assembly. London has been divided into32 burroughs and the City of London,
which is between a district and a unitary authority. The other regions have local County &
District Councils which are elected in separate elections and are responsible for different
Councils have executive functions which are implemented by Committees of the council. Most
councils are headed by a council leader and a cabinet or a directly-elected Mayor. District
councils have Wards which serve as the electoral divisions. The local parish of a community
serves as the local council which holds various local responsibilities. It is also consulted for
Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
28 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

Counties take care of education, libraries, social services and transport, whereas Districts manage
environmental health, housing, leisure, garbage & local infrastructure.
Local authorities can appoint members of the Local Police and Fire departments. In some places
the resources for these two services are pooled.
London is governed by a uniquely structured Corporation of London. It is unaffected by the local
government and democratic reforms.
Why are the Irish divided? What is the conflict about?
The Native Irish are not really in conflict; however, Northern Ireland falls under the English rule.
The Republic of Ireland gained independence in 1921 and as part of the treaty; Northern Ireland
was put under British rule. Since that time, Northern Ireland which is mostly all Protestants has
been fighting the native Catholic Irish for its freedom.
7.0 Festivals & Holidays
Public holidays are also Bank holidays and most businesses are closed on those days. There are
generally 8 such holidays in the year and they are different for the four constituent countries of
the UK.
England and Wales have similar holidays in the year, which are for New Years Day, Good
Friday, Easter Monday; Early May, Spring Bank Holiday, Summer Bank Holiday, Christmas
Day and Boxing Day. Some bank holidays are given in lieu of the actual dates if the holiday
falls at the weekend.
Scotland includes the Feast of its patron saint, St. Andrew. This holiday is taken instead of
another statutory holiday in the year.
Similarly, in Northern Ireland, the Feast of their patron saint, St. Patrick and the commemoration
of the Battle of Boyne are included in the list of statutory holidays in the year. As a result, they
have 10 holidays in a year.
The National Festivals include St. Valentines Day, St. Davids Day(Patron Saint of Wales), St.
Georges Day (Patron Saint of England), Halloween, Guy Fawkes Day, St. Andrews Day (
Patron Saint of Scotland) and Remembrance Day.
The UK, in general, has several well-known festivals and holidays which are not public holidays.
These are based on the traditions and folklore that have prevailed in the country for ages. Every
town, village and hamlet has its own traditions and some of them involve months of preparation
and planning. Do you know what some of these traditions are and on which dates the feasts may
be celebrated?
Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
29 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

What are some of the traditions that are celebrated as festivals in the UK?
What is the significance of some of them? E.g. Shrove Tuesday, Mother's Day, Father's
Day and St. Andrews Day.
Shrove Tuesday is the day just before Ash Wednesday. (Shrove means confessing ones sins
and seeking absolution for them.) It marks the beginning of a period of fasting and abstinence
Lent which is a 40-day observance before Easter for Christians. Therefore, people tend to
indulge on the last day feasting on food that is not eaten during Lent. It is also known as the Fat
Tuesday or Mardi Gras or Carnival season. The last three days before Lent are spent in festivity.
A variety of pancakes are made on Tuesday and pancake races are held. Hence, the day is also
called Pancake Tuesday.
Mothers Day is a day when over the world, motherhood is celebrated and mothers are honored.
Children give their mothers gifts and cards, treat them very specially and give them a good time
on the day. In most countries, the second Sunday in May is chosen as Mothers Day. However,
in the UK, it is known as Mothering Sunday and is celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent.
Similarly, Fathers Day is a day when fathers all over the world are celebrated and honored. It is
celebrated on the 3
Sunday in June. The day was introduced to complement Mothers Day, so
that both parents are given importance on at least one special day in the year.
St. Andrews Day is the Feast day of the patron saint of Scotland and is celebrated on the 30

of Nov. each year. The day is Scotlands official National Day and is a bank holiday.

8.0 Economy
The UK is one the five large economies of Western Europe. Not only is it a major developed
capitalist economy, it is also a leading financial and trading center. Some of the major financial
businesses include Banking, Legal affairs and Accounting. Agriculture is an important
contributor to the countrys economy. It is intensive and highly mechanized. Farmers who own
private small farms provide at least 60% of the countrys food needs. Though the UK has large
natural reserves of coal, natural gas and oil, it has to import some quantity of oil and gas as the
reserves are low.
Soon after the Industrial Revolution, the UK concentrated on heavy industries. Shipbuilding,
coal mining, steel & textile production were some of them. It was the first country to be
industrialized and therefore had a large presence in the global economy. British products found
Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
30 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

an overseas market till other countries became industrialized. A significant part of the
manufacturing sector perhaps is the motor industry. MG Rover was the last British mass-
production car manufacturing unit which is currently foreign owned. However, civil and defence
aircraft production and the chemical & pharmaceutical industry are still going strong.
There has been significant growth in the service sector of the UK. The financial services
dominate especially in the areas of banking and insurance. London houses the London Stock
Exchange & other financial giants. It is the hub for international business & commerce.
Despite all the industrial development and foreign trade, the UK today is facing recession and
resultant unemployment. Over 22% of the population lives below the poverty line. This is
surprising considering that the economy in the UK was one of the strongest and now has to
restructure its fiscal policies to counter the global downturn.
Like in Egypt, Tourism is an important contributor to the nations economy. The UK is one of
the major tourist destinations. In fact, London is considered the most visited city in the world,
over Bangkok and even Paris.
9.0 Food habits
British food is largely continental. It has influences from various parts of the world, though the
general misconception is that the Brits eat very bland , uninteresting food. The most common
belief has been that the British eat insipid soups, bakes and boiled vegetables. That is, however,
far from the truth. In fact, it is believed that a famous Indian Mughlai dish- Chicken Tikka
Masala- was invented in Britain!
Todays youth are very concerned with their health and many have made conscious changes in
their food habits. However, with the increase of multi-cuisine restaurants, a variety of processed
foods in the market and a lack of time, most people resort to unhealthy food choices. Eating on
the go is the current trend.
The famous British breakfast consists of eggs made to order, sausages, ham, bacon, baked beans,
toast, butter & jam or marmalade, fresh juices( mostly orange), cereal or porridge, fruit, tea or
coffee. This has become more of a myth today as most people are rushed for time. Lavish
breakfasts are now restricted to weekends or converted to Sunday brunches.
Do you know about a convenience food that was invented by an English aristocrat?
The Earl of Sandwich invented the Sandwich because he did not want to stop his card game. He
asked for meat to be put between two slices of bread and thus the sandwich was born!
Similarly, several foods have been discovered or invented because of situations that happened by
mistake or for convenience. Can you find out what some of those might be?
Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
31 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

What are some foods or beverages that we associate solely with the British? Can you name
some of them?
Tea, scones, pies, jams, puddings, roast meat, shepherds pie, stews & casseroles.
The British concept of High Tea has become an event today whereas it started as a fill-in
between lunch and dinner. What would be the menu for a High Tea?
Sandwiches of all sizes and shapes, cakes cupcakes & regular, crumpets, scones served with
jellies, jams & marmalades, a variety of other spreads. The main item of course, is the Tea. The
dilemma might only be the selection of the assortment one would choose to serve.
The High Tea has very good entertainment value as well. The occasion could be a reason to take
a break, to meet up with people for conversation, for relaxation all over an excellent cup of tea!
10.0 Sports
Do you know what the most popular sports in the UK are?
Here is a list of the sports played in the UK -- Cricket, Football, Rugby, Tennis, Hockey,
Athletics, Badminton, Cycling, Golf, Netball, Snooker/Billiards/Pool, Squash, Horse Racing &
Greyhound Racing and Motor Sports, Fishing & Angling, Boxing, Swimming, Darts & Hunting.
Of these, Cricket was invented the UK. The most popular is Football and could even be called
the National game of England.
Sport is a very important part of British culture. People are avid followers of certain sports and
would be emotionally involved in them. Most people prefer spectator sports, but many do dabble
in individual and team sports for fun or for fitness.
Major International sports have had their inception in the UK, e.g. cricket, football (association),
rugby, tennis, badminton, squash, golf, hockey, boxing and billiards. The UK also has a key role
in the development of certain sports that are a rage the world over. These are Formula One car
racing and Sailing.
Sports competitions are held within home countries and international arenas like the Olympics
and Commonwealth Games. Internally, club competitions are also popular for team games.
Horse racing used to be a popular favorite of several people in the UK. A lot of money was spent
on betting. The Royal Ascot and the Epsom Derby were two of the big attractions for the British.
The Ascot Racecourse is known for its thoroughbred horse racing. The Royal Ascot is a famous
race meeting and a major event for the socialites of England. It has a strict dress code and can
only be attended by membership or invitation.
Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
32 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

Tennis, as we know it today, began in the 19
century in the UK. Initially, it was played by only
the upper class, but today it is a world-favorite and an Olympic sport too. The Wimbledon
tournaments have a wide viewership across the world.
11.0 Music
Music is an integral part of British culture. The UK has produced and exported its music since
the 17
century. Each of its countries has its own distinct form of music. Beginning with church
music and traditional folk music, the culture of Britain is greatly suffused with melody and
rhythm. All genres of music have their source in the British traditions of music from the ages.
The UK is famous for its Classical, Continental, and Contemporary music. Several British
composers have been important contributors to the music of the country.
Much of the contemporary style of music stems from the influence of musicians who composed
in the Medieval and Renaissance periods. It was not only in the forms of music produced but also
for the various instruments.
Britain also has a rich cultural tradition of Classical music. London is a renowned center for
classical music where one would find Concert Halls and Opera Houses. The UK could be said to
be the ultimate benchmark for classical music. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is one such
benchmark. The Trinity College of Music and the Royal Academy of Music are houses of
learning for all music-related subjects. These offer a professional education in music, which
involves learning about the art and history of music, playing instruments, singing, and the theory
for composition among other related topics.
Does anyone here play a musical instrument? How did you learn how to play it? What kind of
music do you play? I am sure there are many of you who would love to learn how to play some
Today, there is no major divide in cultural barriers especially with regard to music. Modern
popular music includes other forms of music, viz. folk, jazz, pop and rock music which have
thrived in Britain from the 20
century. Britain has, because of its linguistic link with other
countries, been a major influence on the worlds music. E.g. the music of The Beatles and
several other famous musicians or singers has impacted the global development of music.
The UK was one of the countries that developed Rock music. Many modern day bands have
been inspired by British music. The new trends of music that exist today also owe their existence
to some early forms of music.
There are many popular singers, bands or groups that you may know of. Can you name some of
Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
33 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

Chapter Three

US Culture

"Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for
themselves; and, under a just God, cannot long retain it."

- Abraham Lincoln -

Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
34 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

1.0 Introduction
Quiz: Presidents of the USA

1. Who was the first president of the USA?

a) Thomas Jefferson
b) Abraham Lincoln
c) George Washington *

2. Which president ran for three terms?

a) John Fitzgerald Kennedy
b) Franklin Delano Roosevelt*
c) Gerald Rudolf Ford

3. Who became famous for his doctrine which contains the spread of communism?

a) Dwight ( David ) Eisenhower
b) Harry S. Truman*
c) Jimmy Carter

4. Who was the youngest president ever elected?

a) Theodore Roosevelt
b) William ( Bill) Jefferson Clinton
c) John Fitzgerald Kennedy*

5. Who was the oldest president ever elected?

a) Martin Van Buren
b) John Adams
c) Ronald Wilson Reagan*

6. Who fought against slavery?

a) Gerald Rudolph Ford
b) Lyndon Baines Johnson
c) Abraham Lincoln*
Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
35 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

7. Who said: Ask not what your country can do for you- ask what you can do for your

a) Thomas Jefferson
b) John Fitzgerald Kennedy*
c) Andrew Johnson

8. Who was involved in a series of scandals known as the Watergate Affair?

a) James Buchanan
b) Harry S. Truman
c) Richard Milhouse Nixon*

9. Who was a bachelor president?

a) George Walker Bush
b) William (Bill) Jefferson Clinton
c) James Buchanan*

10. Who was the first Black American President?

a) Martin Luther King Jr.
b) Barack Hussein Obama*
c) Denzel Washington

What do we know about the American Culture? What is our general view or impression of the
One of the most common ways to describe the American Culture is to call it a melting pot
because it is representative of so many different cultures that have now become a unique blend.
However, today, despite the variety of cultures that make up the fabric of the US people, there is
no one culture that is predominant. Every culture retains some of its exclusivity. Hence, the
term that better describes the contemporary American culture is a mosaic where there is a
merging and yet a retention of the original influences in many ways.
Being that the people are a mlange or combination of several religious and cultural
backgrounds, there is still a distinct sense of being American. It is in the espousal of the basic
tenets of freedom and opportunity that are unique to the US and have always held an attraction
for the rest of the world. The notion of individuality and complete acceptance of the diverse
ethnicities that make up the populace is the American trademark.
Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
36 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

2.0 Geography of the United States

The US, the third largest country in the world, has 48 contiguous states which constitute the US.
Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Guam are also part of the United States.

To the north, the US shares a border with Canada. The Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean and
the Gulf of Mexico lie to the west, east and southeast respectively.

The country is so vast, and hence it has a very varied topography. North America has several
mountain ranges like the Rocky Mountains, the Sierra Nevada, the Cascades, the Appalachian
Mountains. The Mississippi River, the Missouri, Ohio River and the Tennessee River are the
major rivers in North America.
The Great Plains were originally vast grasslands. Today, a large amount of agricultural products
are grown in these plains and they are called the bread basket of America.

The famous five Great Lakes - Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior (HOMES) - are in
the northern portion of the mainland, whereas the subtropical forests and the wetlands are located
in the southern part. The five lakes together form the largest group of fresh water lakes in the

Weather conditions in the US can be of a great variety considering the size of the continent. The
country is hit by natural disasters like tornadoes, hurricanes and flash floods which have caused
considerable damage and devastated the regions they hit. Other natural disasters that hit parts of
the country are wild fires, mud slides and tsunamis. There are parts of the US that are prone to
tectonic or volcanic activity. The most common earthquake affected areas are California, Hawaii,
Alaska, and Puerto Rico.

2.1 Regions of United States
The US can be broadly divided into five regions that include states with similarities in
geography, climate, history, traditions, and
South Eastern Region
Midwestern Region (also known as Central)
Western Region
South Western Region
North Eastern Region (includes New
England and Mid Atlantic)
Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
37 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

2.1.1 North Eastern Region
New England: This region, located in the northeast of America, has six of the oldest states. It
played a dominant role in the development of the USA as the center of the first industries. The
region is characterized by rugged mountains and swift flowing rivers. As the educational hub of
the country, the region is home to universities of Harvard and MIT in Boston and Yale in
Connecticut. New England is also known as the birthplace of American Public Schools. The
people of this area are affluent and value quality products.
The States that are in this region are Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and
Rhode Island and Connecticut.
Maine, ME, has Augusta as its capital. Portland and Auburn are some of its major cities. Maine
has several suspended bridges and beautiful lighthouses. It is the largest producer of blueberries
and is famous for its French lobsters. The terrain is rugged and home to bears.
New Hampshire, NH, has several quarries and extensive granite formation. It is why the state is
referred to as The Granite State. The state motto is: Live free or Die. Its capital is Concord
and two of its major cities are Manchester and Rochester. The state attracts people for its winter
sports and for the summer cottages along its lakes and sea coast.
Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
38 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

Vermont, VT, is called the Green Mountain State. Its capital is Montpelier and Burlington is
its major city. IBM has its headquarters in Vermont. The region is famous for Dairy farming
which is its primary industry. Some of the states specialty exports are cheese and chocolates. It
produces the famous ice-cream brand Ben & Jerrys. It is also a leading producer of maple syrup
in the US. The Ski resort of Slowe is in this state.
Massachusetts, MA, is where the Boston Tea Party is enacted every year on the 16
December. Known as the Bay State, it has the city of Plymouth where the ship Mayflower
landed with the Pilgrim Fathers. The University of Harvard was first established here in 1686.
MIT in the capital city of Boston is another Ivy League University in Massachusetts. The longest
covered bridge is located here. Boston and Worcester are the two largest cities in the New
England region. Two other major cities are Springfield and Lowell.
The smallest state in the US is Rhode Island, RI. It was the first of the thirteen original colonies
to declare independence from Britain. The state is part of the mainland and only its southern
border has several beaches which draw a lot of tourists in summer. Sailing is a favorite pastime
for many Rhode Islanders. Rhode Island, also called the Ocean State, is an important industrial
state and has a historical significance as well. It has a vibrant art center. Poultry is the dominant
industry and jewelry is one of the traditional industries. Its capital is Providence and some of the
major cities are Warwick, Cranston and East Providence.
Connecticut, CT, a densely populated area, is perhaps the most expensive place to live in
America. The state had access to raw materials for a strong manufacturing industry. Financial
organizations flourished. Hartford, its capital, had the first insurance companies. Connecticut has
the highest per capita income. It houses the Yale University, one of the worlds most renowned
educational institutions.
Mid Atlantic: This region comprises of 5 states. It has a diverse ethnic community. It is a center
for commerce and iron & steel industries. It also has some of the most heavily populated states:
New York, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Newark and Washington DC.
New York, NY, The Empire State, has the largest city of New York. Sometimes known by its
moniker - The Big Apple New York is Americas most populated global city. Located in the
south of the state of New York, it holds a powerful influence over the world in the financial,
commercial, cultural, entertainment & fashion industries. It is located at the mouth of the River
A vital hub of the economy, the state of New York is the center of international affairs. It has a
natural harbor and is the center of a flourishing trade and transportation business. The port has
direct access to the express rail and trucking networks. The capital of New York State is Albany
Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
39 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

The state has several state parks. The Adirondack and the Catskill Parks are the two largest parks
which are important national forest reserves.
Some of the popular sights and places in New York are the Empire State Building, the Statue of
Liberty, Central Park, Broadway, Yankee Stadium, Museum of Modern Art, Macys, and
Madison Square Garden.
New Jersey, NJ, has the highest population density in the US, with an average of 1000 plus
people per square mile. The state has a large number of software and software related companies.
Nicknamed the Garden State, New Jersey is a beautiful state. As an agricultural manufacturer, it
is one of the leading producers of cranberries and cranberry-based products. Tomatoes from this
region have a legendary flavor and are favored all over the country.
New Jersey is where the Statue of Liberty stands. Another famous venue is Ellis Island. Its
capital is Trenton and Newark is its largest city.
Pennsylvania, PA, also known as the Keystone State, has Harrisburg as its capital and some of
the important cities are Pittsburgh which is the Steel Capital, Philadelphia which is home to
the Liberty Bell and has a historical significance in the independence movement, and Erie.
Hershey, the Chocolate Capital is also in Pennsylvania.
Maryland, MD, has a rich maritime history. It is a prominent producer of seafood and has the
nations largest production of blue crabs and soft clams. Annapolis, its capital city, is the sailing
capital. Chesapeake Bay, the largest in the US, divides Maryland into two parts. Many rivers
empty into this major waterway. Silver Spring and Baltimore are two more of its important
cities. Baltimore is where the first umbrella factory came up. The slogan, Born in Baltimore,
raised everywhere is the first of its kind.
District of Columbia, DC, is the seat of the US Federal Government. Washington, DC, which
is the capital of the United States, is not part of any state. It is rich in sites of touristic interest to
people of all persuasions. The number of museums includes the National Air and Space Museum
and the Presidential libraries of the US Presidents and First Ladies. It also houses the Native
American Cultural Center. The industries of aerospace and commercial air travel also contribute
a great deal to the economy.
Washington, DC, is the legislative, administrative and judicial center of the US. With its main
industry being the government, it employs hundreds of thousands of people either directly or
indirectly working for the government. Because almost the entire city works with the federal
government, it is practically recession proof.

Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
40 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

2.1.2 Central or Mid-West Region:
This region consists of 13 states. A populous and powerful region, and home to the automobile,
steel and other heavy industries. It is also the nations Breadbasket.
Ohio, OH, has the worlds largest Amish population. The Buckeye State has an abundant water
supply and large mineral deposits. Its capital is Columbus. Its central location makes it an
important manufacturing area. The variety of goods produced here is wide. It includes aircraft
part, motor vehicles, machine tools, soap, steel and plastics. Ohio is also an important farming
Michigan, MI, derives its name from the Chippewa Indian word for great lake. The state has
four of the five great lakes in the US. These are the largest fresh water reserves in the world.
Michigan is a beautiful state and has a strong manufacturing industry. It is known as the
Automobile Capital of the Nation.
Detroit, Michigan, one of the oldest cities, is also one of the largest manufacturing cities in the
country. It is the center of the automobile manufacturing industries which has seen a decline
since the foreign cars entered the market in America.
Indiana, IN, is nicknamed the Hoosier State. It is part of the Corn Belt and has highly advanced
corn agriculture. Besides corn, it produces soyabeans and hogs.
The Indianapolis racing track is located here. The 500 auto race is an annual event and draws
millions each year. The cars that participate have special aerodynamic designs.
It is the home state of Abraham Lincoln who grew up here. The Lincoln Boyhood Memorial has
a large collection of memorabilia in the form of a library and archives with his paintings &
photographs too.
Illinois, IL, is also called the Prairie State. It is located at the base of Lake Michigan and has rich
farmlands. An agricultural state, it makes up a significant part of the Corn Belt. Its principal
industry is manufacturing.
Chicago, the largest city in Illinois, is a major commercial, financial, cultural and industrial hub
of the Midwest. It is also an important Great Lakes port. Chicago has the OHare International
Airport which is recognized as the second busiest in the US. The city has a high number of iron
& steel works, food-processing, chemical, electronic and machine plants. It is also a well-known
publishing center. Chicago is also known for its expressways, boulevards and the elevated
railways. The rail network is a well networked partly underground system. It forms a Loop in the
city area and is called the L which is a rapid transit system.
Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
41 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

The Art Institute, Field Museum of Natural History, Navy Pier, the Sears Tower and the Frank
Lloyd Wright Robie House are some of the sights to see in Chicago.
North Dakota, ND, is also called the Flickertail State. It shares a border with Canada. The state
has a rich soil and a store of natural resources which have contributed to strengthen the economy
of the state. It also has an ideal environment for conservation programs; hence, some of the most
important wildlife preserves in the US are located here, where research on reptiles and
amphibians is carried out. It is home to the Flickertail squirrels from which it gets it nickname.
Its capital city is Bismarck and Fargo, is its largest city.
South Dakota, SD, is mainly a farm state. Ninety percent of the land is farmland and ranch area.
Agriculture is the most important contributor to the states economy. Pierre is the state capital.
The states largest cities are Sioux Falls and Rapid City.
South Dakota is a leading gold producing state. Its Homestake Mine is one of the largest gold
mines in the US.
Mount Rushmore, the national memorial is in South Dakota.
Nebraska, NE, is called the Cornhusker State. A leading farming area, its chief crop is maize. Its
expansive grasslands maintain a unique balance in the ecology of the area. It attracts migratory
water birds in the spring.
Nebraska celebrates Arbor Day and on this day, an annual tree-planting is carried out all over the
Its capital, Lincoln, is its second largest city. Omaha, which is a centre for the insurance industry
is the states largest city.
Kansas, KS, is the leading state in the production of wheat. It is called the Breadbasket of
America. Kansas is also called the Sunflower state as the flower and its by-products are produced
here. Beef cattle and wheat are the chief farm products in Kansas. The state also produces
petroleum and natural gas.
Topeka is its capital. Kansas City is the states financial centre. Wichita is where light aeroplanes
are manufactured. The state produces more civilian airplanes than any other in the US. Aviation,
railway equipment and cars are also manufactured here.
Kansas is in the heart of what is also called the Cyclone Country. It also has a history of the Old
West cattle trails, cattle towns and cowboys, of which Dodge City is an important part.
Minnesota, MN, has the largest area among the Midwestern states. It is am important producer
of agricultural and manufactured goods. Its capital is St. Paul and the twin city, Minneapolis is
its largest city. These twin cities form a major metropolitan region of the Midwest.
Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
42 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

Southern Minnesota has some very productive farmlands and is the countrys leading producer
of maize, pigs, soybeans and wheat. Milk is another important farm product from here.
70% of the countrys iron ore is mined here. The northern thick forests produce valuable timber.
Iowa, IA, is another important farming state. 90% of its area is made up of farmlands. Its chief
crops are maize and soybeans. It also has large meatpacking plants. Many of its cities process
pork products, of which the breakfast sausage is prime.
Its capital, Des Moines, is its largest city and a major insurance center. Manufacturing is a major
occupation and most products are farm-related. Des Moines, Davenport, Dubuque and Waterloo
are some of the major producers of farm machinery.
Missouri, MO, has two of the great rivers- the Mississippi and the Missouri, which have made
the state the heart of the water, land and air transportation systems.
Jefferson City is its capital and Kansas City is its largest city. St. Louis and Kansas City are some
of the nations chief air and rail terminals. Saint Louis is the second largest city and a leading
industrial and transportation center of the US.
Missouri was the home of the Pony Express which was a revolutionary concept of sending mail
in those days. Mail could be delivered to California in just 8 days which was considered quite a
Wisconsin, WI, is called the Badger state and also known as the Dairy land of the US. Its capital
is Madison and Milwaukee is its largest city. The weather of the state is conducive to the growth
of livestock. The state produces 40% of the nations cheese. Malted milk is a traditional product
that has been around for years.
Wisconsin has a natural beauty that draws several tourists each year. It also has several natural
history museums and a rain forest museum. It houses the first hydro-electric plant of the US.
It is also the state where the concept of kindergarten school was developed and the first
kindergarten school opened.
2.1.3 Southern Region:
This region comprises 12 states. It is bordered by broad beaches along the Atlantic Ocean and
the Gulf of Mexico. The coastal cities attract a lot of tourists especially in the winter when the
temperatures here are relatively milder than the rest of the country.
Texas, TX, also called the Lone Star State is the second largest state of the US, after Alaska. Its
capital is Austin and Houston its largest city.
Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
43 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

Houston is located in the south-east near the Gulf of Mexico. The harbor in Houston is known
for the international tonnage handled there. It is also a major financial, business, science &
technology center. The city has an outstanding oil and natural-gas and is considered the energy
capital of the world. The Texas Medical Centre is one of the worlds largest medical facilities.
Houston also has a large aerospace industry and houses the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
which is the nations headquarters for manned spaceflight.
Dallas, the cultural center of Texas, is its second largest state.
Oklahoma, OK, is also called the Sooner State. Its capital is Oklahoma City and some of the
major cities are Tulsa and Lawton.
The major products are natural gas, oil and agriculture. However, the economy of the state relies
on aviation, telecommunication, biotechnology and energy.
Oklahoma lies in the region of the Great Plains. This region is prone to some severe weather.
Arkansas, AK, is a land of mountains, valleys, forests, and plains. It is a favorite with tourists.
Over 50% of the state is forested and produces some of the finest soft and hard wood. The
abundance of wood is the reason the state is the center of furniture production.
Arkansas is also called the land of opportunity. It is rich in natural resources, mines, farms and
factories. It is the leading producer of bromine. The only diamond mine in operation in the US is
in the region. The Ouachita area has beautiful hot springs and sandy soil.
It also grows more rice than any other state in the US, besides being a top ranker in the
production of cotton and soybeans.
Little Rock is the capital and largest city.
Louisiana, LA, is also known as the Pelican State and home to the Creoles and Cajuns who are
the descendants of the original French and Spanish settlers.
The mining industry in Louisiana produces large amounts of petroleum and natural gas.
Its capital is Baton Rouge and New Orleans is its largest city.
New Orleans is an important US port. The city has a significant French influence which is
evident in the architecture. It is also known for its festive carnival season and the Mardi Gras
celebrations that are held prior to the season of Lent.
Mississippi, MS, derives its name form an Indian word which means, Father of waters. It is
also called the Magnolia State.
Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
44 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

Since the Mississippi River flows through the state several marshy channels empty into shallow
lakes and swamps. These are termed Bayous. These conditions perfectly suit Shrimp farming and
this industry thrives in the state. An annual Shrimp festival is hosted in Biloxi.
Its major industries are agriculture, fisheries and manufacturing. Soybeans are produced here.
The vegetable oil that is extracted is used along with protein meal for livestock.
Alabama, AL, is also known as the Heart of Dixie. Its capital is Montgomery and Birmingham
is its largest city, which has been the center of iron and steel making since the 1800s.
Montgomery was the capital of the Confederate States when the American Civil War began in
1861. It is thus known as the Cradle of the Confederacy.
Cotton is an important crop in the state. Alabama is called a black belt area which is a rolling
prairie wedged between the northern and southern sections of the East Gulf Coastal Plain and a
cotton-growing area.
Tennessee, TN, is also called the Volunteer State. It is famous for the American Saddlebred
bloodline horses.
Nashville, which is its capital city, is the Country Music capital of the world. Elvis Presley was
born here and his estate is in southern Memphis.
Georgia, GA, also called the Peach State, was named after King George II of England. The state
is rich in history. Because of its size and several industries, it is considered the heart of the south
or the Empire State of the South. The Masters Golf tournament is a famous annual event that is
held in Georgia.
The best peanuts, often called goobers, are grown here and the state has several peanut butter
factories. Therefore, Georgia is also called the Goober State. It is a leading producer of pecans,
tobacco and peaches.
Its capital, Atlanta, is also its largest city. One of the nations leading finance, trade, and
transportation centers, it is the headquarters for some of the major companies such as Coca-Cola,
Georgia-Pacific, United Parcel Service and Delta Air Lines.
Florida, FL, or the Sunshine State, derives its name from Spanish meaning, Feast of flowers.
Its location, weather, geography, habitat, people and industry make it a fascinating tourist
attraction. Being the southern-most state of the US, it has a warm sunny climate due to which
people love to holiday or even retire here.
Florida has some very popular seaside resorts viz. Daytona Beach, Clearwater, Fort Lauderdale,
Key West, Miami Beach, Palm Beach, Panama City and Sanibel Island. It has several places of
interest such as: Disney World, the EPCOT center, NASA Kennedy Space Centre, the Busch
Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
45 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

Gardens, Sea World, and Universal Studios. Its capital is Tallahassee and Jacksonville is its
largest city.
Citrus fruit processing is a major industry. Farmers in Florida grow about 70% of the oranges
and grapefruit in the US. The second leading crop is that of tomatoes. It also produces a
significant amount of sugar cane.
Floridas economy is also boosted by the manufacture of computers and other electronic
equipment. It also produces aerospace and military communication systems. Wholesale trade of
petroleum products is also part of its leading economic activity.
Its location also aids the commercial fishing industry. Shrimp, lobsters and scallops abound here.
Miami International Airport is counted among the busiest in the US.
South Carolina, SC, is also called the Palmetto state. Palmetto trees grow widely in the state. Its
capital and largest city is Columbia.
Charleston, its second largest city, and has the Fort Sumter National Monument.
South Carolina is an important manufacturing and farming state. It has sprawling plantations and
beautiful gardens. It is a major producer of textiles, tobacco and peaches.
North Carolina, NC, is nicknamed the Tar Heel State. It has the worlds most treacherous
coastline. Many ships have been wrecked at Cape Hatteras and therefore, it is called the
Graveyard of the Atlantic.
Raleigh is the state capital. It has a large industrial complex called the Research Triangle Park
which is an important research for electronics, medical & other industries.
Tobacco is the main farm product and tobacco products are its leading manufactured goods.
Some other industries are furniture brick, textile products, metalworking, chemicals, paper, corn,
cotton, hay and peanuts.
Virginia, VA, is a state that is rich in heritage and has extraordinary natural beauty. It is also
known as the Old Dominion.
It is sometimes known as the Mother of Presidents, because eight of Americas presidents were
born here.
Virginia attracts tourists for its famous old churches, colonial homes, battlefields and other
historic sites.
The region has valuable coalfields, but it is the service industries like education, government,
healthcare, and trade that employ the majority of Virginias people.
Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
46 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

Its capital is Richmond, and Norfolk and Newport News are two of the busiest seaports in the
West Virginia, WA, has a rugged terrain that covers a large portion of the region. It is also
known as the Mountain State. Its capital is Charleston.
Industries such as those of glass and steel have declined and led to widespread unemployment.
However, coal mining is still an important economic activity. Like in Virginia, most people are
employed in the service industries of finance, trade and government.
Kentucky, KY, is called the Bluegrass State. Its capital city is Frankfort.
It is a leading producer of burley tobacco, coal, and bourbon whiskey. It also has most of the US
gold reserves stored in underground vaults at Fort Knox. The major industries are of industrial
machinery, tourism, horse breeding, and cars. The Kentucky Derby in Louisville attracts national
attention every year in May.
Lexington and Louisville are the chief centers of manufacturing. The leading products are motor
vehicle equipment, chemicals and machinery. Race horses and tobacco are sold wholesale in
Lexington, whereas Louisville is a major trading port on the Ohio River.
2.1.4 South West Region:
This region has several wide open spaces where cattle graze on huge ranches, and large expanses
of cotton fields. However, it owes most of its wealth to petroleum.
New Mexico, NM, is called the Land of Enchantment as it has very scenic beauty and a rich
history. The Spanish influences are prominent in the names of places, the food and the holiday
customs. The state is an attraction for tourists for its cultural heritage as well.
Its capital is Santa Fe. Albuquerque, its largest city, is the chief center of the industry, trade, and
transportation of the state.
Ranching is its most important agricultural activity. The leading farm products are beef, cattle,
hay and milk. It also produces chilli peppers, maize, cotton, sorghum grain and wheat.
Arizona, AZ, is a state of many contrasts and cultures. The landscape of the place is a blend of
different terrains. The state has a desert, and also a mountainous region.
Phoenix, the capital, houses half the population of the state. It is a major resort center and is
known for the manufacture of computers and electronic equipment, chemicals, fertilizers,
military weapons, and processed foods.
The Colorado Plateau covers a large portion of the state. It consists of a series of plateaus which
are broken by mountains and canyons. The Grand Canyon is the deepest and most spectacular of
Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
47 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

them all. It has multiple layers of sandstone, limestone, and shale; its formations offer a unique
Nevada, NV, is also called the Silver State. It gets less rainfall than any other state in the US.
Several tourist attractions draw crowds to the state. It houses the University of Nevada at Reno.
It has luxurious gambling casinos in Lake Tahoe, Las Vegas and Reno that attract visitors from
all over the world. The tourist industry provides the states single largest source of income.
Hence, hotels, restaurants and ski resorts thrive.
The Nevada Test which is a nuclear weapons testing facility and the Nellis Air Force Base are
government concerns where many people are employed.
Nevada is also a leading gold-mining state. Copper, silver, mercury, iron and lithium are also
found here.
Utah, UT, also known as the Beehive State, is an important mining center. It lies in the Rocky
Mountain region. Mormons make up a very large percentage of the population here.
The state is a place of contrasts with green forests, blue lakes, red rock deserts, deep river gorges
and snow-capped mountains. The water from the Salt Lake is saltier than the than the ocean
water. Tons of salt are taken from the lake every year. The Rocky Mountain peaks and the vast
deserts along with the scenic canyons offer a varied landscape which is a great attraction for
The Dinosaur National Monument in Utah has fossils of dinosaurs and sea creatures that existed
long before the dinosaurs.
Rocket propulsion missiles and spacecraft are produced in the state.
Its capital and largest city is Salt Lake City which is a center of banking and industry.
2.1.5 Western Region:
This region borders the Pacific Ocean and is known for its dense forests, rugged mountains and
dramatic shore line. Its mild climate and scenic beauty are enjoyed by both its residents and
Colorado, CO got its name from the Colorado River. It flows through the canyons of red stone
& sand, giving it a reddish hue. The Rocky Mountains have ski resorts which are a great tourist
attraction, especially in summer.
Colorado has famous resorts at Aspen, Arapahoe Basin, Steamboat Springs, Vail and Winter
During the summer, besides skiing, town fairs, festivals, races and rodeos draw large crowds.
Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
48 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

The US Air Force has several facilities near Colorado Springs.
Scientific instruments, food products and aerospace equipment is manufactured in the state.
Cattle-ranching is an important farm activity. Some of the states chief mineral products are oil,
coal, and natural gas.
Denver is the capital of the state and its largest city. The city has the Denver Mint where coins
are minted.
Wyoming, WY, also known as the Equality State, houses the oldest national park Yellowstone
National Park. It has a geyser, the Old Faithful that erupts every 30 to 90 minutes. Yellowstone is
famous for its deep canyons, thundering waterfalls, sparkling lakes and large evergreen forests. It
is also the largest wildlife preserve in the US. Bears, bison, and elk roam the park freely. Birds
like the bald eagle, trumpeter swans and white pelicans nest there. Another national park is the
Grand Teton. The state is in the Rocky Mountain region. Its capital and largest city is Cheyenne.
Mining is important to the economy of Wyoming. Petroleum, coal and natural gas are the leading
mineral products in the state.
Montana, MT, the Treasure State, has majestic mountains, lakes, rivers, and wildlife. In the
Rocky Mountain region, the western part of the state is a land of tall, rugged mountains. The
gold and silver found there give the state its moniker.
It is the fourth largest state, but one of the least populated. It is ideal for outdoor and adventure
activities like fishing and camping. The national park system preserves the environment and the
unspoiled beauty of the place.
Agriculture, oil and coal production are some of the important economic activities of the state.
Beef, cattle, wheat and hay are the leading farm products.
Glacier National Park lies in the Northwest of Montana and has over 50 glaciers within its
California, CA, is on the West Coast of America. The state has a diverse culture, geography,
history and people.
Its capital is Sacramento and Los Angeles is its largest city.
Los Angeles is also a major shipping hub. It has several manufacturing industries and is the
center in the fields of entertainment & communication. Because of its climate, it drew people and
many industries from other parts of the nation. It is known for its citrus fruits, the man-made
harbor & Hollywood. The industries of textiles and apparel manufacturing, furniture, toys, and
jewelry have had tremendous growth in L.A. Health services, international trade & investment,
and the aerospace industries are other important industries that have a base in L.A.
Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
49 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

California has many large research firms operating from the San Jose and Los Angeles areas.
Hollywood is the worlds capital of the film industry and Disneyland, in Anaheim is one of the
worlds largest amusement parks.
Airplanes, computers, missiles, scientific instruments & television equipment are some of the
goods manufactured in California. Los Angeles is the largest manufacturing centre and its chief
industry is the aerospace industry. Besides the film industry in Hollywood, L.A. is also known
for its music-recording industry. It has more than 50 record companies.
L.A. attracts a lot of tourists, as does San Francisco.
The Golden Gate Bridge and the 13 km-long San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge are two of
Californias spectacular bridges.
San Jose is famous for its computer equipment. It is also home to the Silicon Valley.
Situated on the southwest of the state of California, San Diego is Californias second largest city.
Known for its excellent natural harbor, San Diego is the hub of the US Naval operations. It is
also a busy commercial port. The city with its fabulous climate draws a lot of tourists. Other
industries that figure in the economy of the city are aerospace and missiles, medical & scientific
research, agriculture, oceanography, and electronics.
Idaho, ID, is also called the Gem State as its natural resources are its richest assets. The forest
cover in Idaho is very vast; hence, the state is one of the least populated. The terrain is not just
scenic, it is exciting. It is perfect for adventure sports with its snow-capped mountain ranges,
swirling white rapids, peaceful lakes and steep canyons.
Its capital and largest city is Boise. It is the center of finance and trade.
Potatoes are the states leading crop. Idaho potatoes have a worldwide reputation. Other crops
grown here are hay and wheat. Processed foods and wood products are manufactured here. Beef
is the most valuable farm produce.
Silver, phosphate rock and molybdenum are the important minerals that are found in the state.
Oregon, OR, is a heavily forested state. It has the highest timber production in the country.
Forest preservation is an important part of life in Oregon. It is also called the Beaver State
because it used to supply fur in the 1800s.Salmon fishing is done extensively using modern
Most of the cities of Oregon lie in the rich valley of Willamette. These include Portland, which is
the largest city; Eugene, the second largest; and Salem, which is the third largest in the state and
its capital.
Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
50 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

Washington, WA, is the only state named after a president. The state is an outdoor lovers
paradise. It is also called the Evergreen state.
Seattle, the largest city in Washington, is an important venture of manufacturing and trade.
Olympia is the state capital.
The state is closer to Asian ports, so foreign trade is important here.
Washington is an important center for the aircraft and space industries. It also has a ship building
center. Timber is the most valuable agricultural product. Food processing and the making of
wood and paper products are other central manufacturing activities. Washington is also famous
for salmon and other sea food.
Alaska, AK, is the largest state of the United States. Though large in area, it has a rather sparse
population. The state is also called The Land of the Midnight Sun and some even consider it The
Last Frontier. There are many beautiful rainforests, volcanoes, lakes, mountains, and fishing
grounds. Many salmon factories operate along the coast.
Its capital is Juneau and Anchorage is its largest city.
Alaskan craft workers make parkas, mukluks (soft seal skin boots) and carve items out of ivory,
jade, soapstone and wood.
Alaska is rich in oil. The oil pipeline travels across for many miles and is an engineering
Hawaii, HI, is called the Aloha state. The state is formed by the lava from the several volcanoes
that are rooted in the sea and form the 132 Hawaiian Islands. Its capital is Honolulu, and it is also
the largest city of Hawaii.
Hawaii is a beautiful and picturesque place with a very pleasant climate. The deep blue seas,
brilliant colors, palm trees and magnificent waterfalls are what contribute to the scenic beauty.
In some places, tall cliffs rise straight up from the waters edge and rough, but shiny black lava
rocks jut out of the water in such places. In most of the main islands, the beaches have white
sand. Black sand of powdered lava is what covers other beaches.
Tourism and military activities sustain the economy of the state. Hawaiis hotels and private
health care facilities constitute the service industry.

Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
51 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

3.0 History of the United States:
The American continent was accidentally discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1492. Its
name, however, did not reflect that fact. Instead, it was named after another explorer & navigator
called Amerigo Vespucci. Vespucci wrote about his discovery. He realized that the land that he
had reached was not Asia, but what he called the New World.
The Time Machine
o The first settlers into America in the 1600s were .
o In which year the first black Africans were brought to the
country as slaves?
o Why did the colonies boycott the English tea and bought from Holland instead?
o Who drafted the declaration of independence?
o The Declaration defined the peoples rights of life, liberty and
o The US acquired approx. 828 thousand square miles of the French Territory of
Louisiana for . Francs
o The 11 Southern States had withdrawn from the Union of the United States of
America, over .
o When was the great depression?
o After the war, both the USA and the .. emerged as strong powers and were
recognized as the superpowers of the world.
o The Cold War ended after the collapse of the Soviet Union in ..
o Barack Hussein Obama was elected as the American President and the first
Black American to be elected to the post in January ...

3.1 Early Settlers
Europeans began the emigration into America in the early 1600s. They occupied the northern
part of the country. Most people who ventured to travel to this distant place did so to either
escape the political oppression they faced in their own home states, or to find economic or
religious freedom. Their journey via the sea was fraught with difficulty, disease and death. In
America, they landed in an area of thick forests. It was the native Indians who helped them
survive by showing them what they could plant and how, and where they could hunt. They also
helped them build their homes and provided them with the basic materials to make their
furniture, their ships, and also other articles that would be useful for export.
The early settlers soon began to have conflicts with other settlers, as they contended for power
and positions. Though the original settlers were mostly English, soon the Dutch, Swedes,
Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
52 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

Germans and French also found their way to the New World. The British formed thirteen
colonies in the US which are now 18 current states. These lined the East Coast. The European
colonizers brought with them governmental, military, naval, and business expertise. The largest
number of colonies in America was Spanish.
In 1619, the first black Africans were brought to the country as slaves. With the increasing
requirement for plantation labor in the south of the country, slavery grew to be an institution and
the black Africans were thus condemned to a life of servitude.
3.2 The Boston Tea Party (1773)
The British taxed the American colonies to recover the costs of the French and Indian War in
1763. The relations between the colonies and Britain were already strained and then the Crown
decided to introduce the Tea Act to levy a tax on tea. The colonies boycotted the English tea and
bought from Holland instead.
The East India Company sent tea-laden ships which were not permitted to dock in Philadelphia
and New York. In Charleston, the tea cargo was put into a warehouse where it lay for three years
till it was eventually sold to help finance the revolution. However, in Boston, there was a
different reaction. A meeting was held where at least 7000 locals met. They refused to allow the
ships to leave without paying the duty that was levied on the cargo tea. Later that night, a large
group of men, of which some disguised as Indians, gathered. They then marched in pairs into the
three ships and threw the entire cargo overboard into the sea.
This event was a direct trigger for the American Revolution.
3.3 The Declaration of Independence (1776)
Initially, the English government did not exert any political control. Almost all the colonies were
companies of shareholders or charters issued by the Crown.
Thomas Jefferson, when he drafted the Declaration of Independence, was greatly influenced by
Thomas Paines vision of a government that would have elected representatives who would have
supreme power.
In 1776, there was a move to make the colonies free and independent states.
The Declaration defined the peoples rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It
established a change in the way government was viewed as a creation to serve the people and
act on their consent. The Declaration created the democratic government. It consisted of two
parts: a) the Preamble which depicted the peoples rights and b) a part that declares the
independence from Britain.
Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
53 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

During the last half of the 18
century, America saw a political upheaval known as the American
Revolution. The 13 colonies of America rejected the Parliament of Great Britain, severed ties
with the British monarchy and became the United States of America.
The Constitution of the United States which was ratified in 1788 settled a lot of essential issues
of national governance. 10 constitutional amendments were included in the Bill of Rights in
1791. America adopted the political ideology of republicanism.
3.4 The Louisiana Purchase (1803)
The US acquired approx. 828 thousand square miles of the French Territory of Louisiana for 78
million francs or $15 million by which an 18-million franc debt was cancelled. 14 US states (or
approx. 23% of the current territory of the US) were part of this purchase.
Louisiana was originally a Spanish Colony from 1762. It was returned to French control in 1800
under the Treaty of San Ildefonso. James Munroe & Robert Livingston negotiated the purchase
only for the port of New Orleans and the areas around it.
3.5 The Civil War (1861 1865)
The immediate cause of the war was Abraham Lincolns election to Presidency. The 11 Southern
States had withdrawn from the Union of the United States of America, declared their
independence and formed the Confederate States. They fought the Union over Lincolns
insistence on the abolition of slavery in the South on a conviction that the north would destroy
their economy.
The Confederacy was not an equal rival to the Union who had three times the population and
industrial resources that were far superior. Though there were many military successes, at the
end, the South eventually had to surrender. When it was considered futile to resist any further,
the commander of the Army of Virginia, the last of the Confederate, Robert Lee, surrendered to
the Union. All the other states of the Confederacy had surrendered earlier.
The Unions victory meant more than just the defeat of slavery. It confirmed that the Federal
Government was the dominant power over the states.
3.6 The Great Depression (1929)
In 1929, the market crash or the Wall Street Crash was the start of a decade of low profits,
unemployment, deflation and poverty. Economic growth was badly affected and the future
seemed very uncertain. The downward spiral of lowered production and reduced spending had a
direct impact on the falling confidence of the Americans.
Another impact was on the political front. Herbert Hoover was unable to prevent the depression
and hence lost the presidential elections. Franklin Roosevelt brought in a recovery plan called the
Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
54 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

New Deal which aided the agricultural industry and supported the labour unions. His plan of
reforms helped him win the elections over Hoover. Unions were encouraged to raise wages
which would enhance the purchasing power of the people. A competitive environment would be
created in all the industries which would help the economy to recover and the unemployment
rate to be lowered.
Though Roosevelts reforms initially brought down the rate of unemployment, it was like a false
security. 1937 saw another dip in the economy. Production, profits and employment again
showed signs of a sharp decline.
However, with the beginning of the World War II, the US economy soared as there was a spurt
in the production of materials for the war. Britain had sought Americas assistance in this regard
and made the payments in gold. With the influx of gold, the monetary base was raised and the
economy received a big boost.
3.7 Cold War (1945 1991)
The last Act of the World War II was Americas dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima &
Nagasaki to put an end to the Japanese resistance. The US was not affected by the World War as
much as other parts of the world as it gained economic prosperity due to the military and
industrial exports.
After the war, both the USA and the USSR emerged as strong powers and were recognized as the
superpowers of the world. However, the two countries maintained a cold war for almost a decade
because they could not agree over the post-war configuration of the world. The USSR created the
Eastern Bloc with the eastern European countries and some annexed Soviet Socialist Republics
to expand communism. The US, on the other hand, and a few other Western countries
maintained an alliance with NATO and were determined to restrain them.
The Cold War finally thawed when a detente or an easing of strained political relations occurred
between the USSR and the US. The Cold War ended after the collapse of the Soviet Union in
3.8 The Gulf Wars
The Iraqi troops invaded Kuwait in 1990. This was condemned internationally. Several nations
joined the Coalition of the Gulf War to expel the Iraqi troops. The Coalition operation, which
was named Operation Desert Storm, was victorious in liberating Kuwait.
The invasion of Iraq in 2003 was an American initiative along with the UK, Australia, Denmark
& Poland. George W. Bush claimed that the invasion was to disarm Iraq of weapons of mass
destruction, to end Saddam Husseins support for terrorism, and free the Iraqi people. Iraq
had been given an opportunity to disarm itself of any chemical, nuclear or biological weapons
Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
55 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

that may have been a threat to world peace. Since Saddam Hussein declined the offer, refusing to
surrender and leave Iraq, the US commenced the bombing of Iraq.
Barack Hussein Obama was elected as the 44
American President and the first Black American
to be elected to the post in January 2009. He is seen as a refreshing change to the Bush
Administration and has his work cut out for him.
4.0 Sports
Americans lay a lot of importance on sports. It is an important part of their culture. The sports
that are unique to the US are American Football, Baseball, Basketball and Ice-Hockey. The US
participates in almost all world sporting events.
Sports are an important part of an Americans life from a very young age. Having ones child
participate in some sport or other in school, take part in competitions and attend regular practice
sessions is highly encouraged. This interest in sports and participating in either team or
individual events does not stop at either school or college levels. If one is good, sports can
become a career prospect.
Sports are either watched or engaged in by everyone. It is a major preoccupation for many. Since
health is an issue that is of interest to a large percentage of the population attempt to keep up
with at least one sport. Attending league matches or sporting competitions at stadiums is
considered a privilege and many aspire for it. Several sports could be termed national pastimes.
Other sports that evoke a lot of interest are tennis, gymnastics, extreme sports, motor sports, the
Olympics, track and field events, boxing, wrestling, equestrian, and aquatic sports.
The Americans are very fond of outdoor activity, especially at the times of the year that the
weather permits it. A few of the outdoor activities that many Americans love are: hunting &
fishing, cycling road, mountain and track events, skiing & snowboarding, hiking, kayaking and
mountain climbing. Most people who like being active will indulge in some such outdoor
activity as a hobby. Weekends, for many, revolve around these sports.
5.0 National Holidays
Every state has its own holidays that are under their respective jurisdictions.
However, there are ten annual Federal holidays that are generally conventionally adhered to:
National Holidays
The ten federal holidays are:
New Years Day January 1

Martin Luther King Day Third Monday in January
Presidents Day Third Monday in February
Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
56 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

Memorial Day Last Monday in May
Independence Day July 4

Labor Day First Monday in September
Columbus Day Second Monday in October
Veterans Day November 11

Thanksgiving Day Fourth Thursday in November
Christmas Day December 25

With the exception of New Years Day, Independence Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving and
Christmas, all others are observed on a Monday.
New Years Day is the first day of the Gregorian calendar year. Traditionally it also marks the
end of the holiday season that begins before Christmas.
Martin Luther King Day is the birthday of the Civil Rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr. It
falls on the 15
of January, but in many states it is combined with other holidays.
Presidents Day is the birthday of Washington. It falls on the 22
of January. It now honors all
the American presidents.
Memorial Day on this day the war victims of the Civil War are honored.
Labor Day on this day the workers and the labor movement are commemorated.
Columbus Day as the name suggests, the day is in honor of Columbus who discovered
America. It falls on the 12
of October. It is also celebrated as the Native American Day or
American Indian Heritage Day in certain parts of the US.
Veterans Day this day is dedicated to the remembrance of all the veterans of the armed forces
who laid down their lives for their country. At 11:00a.m on November 11
, a moments silence
is observed for this purpose.
Christmas the 25
of December is celebrated as the nativity of Jesus Christ. It is considered
more a secular holiday than a religious one.
America has other holidays and festivals that are not Federal holidays but are celebrated by the
people. Some of these are:
Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
57 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

February or March: Mardi Gras (Shrove Tuesday) & Ash Wednesday - Festivities prior to and
closing on the beginning of Lent.
February 1
Sunday: Super Bowl Sunday - The National Football League championship is held
on this day.
February 2
: Groundhog Day celebration of the onset of the season of spring.
February 14
: Valentines Day Celebration of love and romance.
March 17
: St. Patricks Day Feast of the saint and Parades.
April 1
: April Fools Day Day of fun & tricks played on friends & family.
March or April: Good Friday Commemoration of the Crucifixion of Christ.
Spring Sunday: Easter Commemoration of the Resurrection of Christ.
April 22
: Earth Day Day to promote environmentalism.
May 5
: Cinqo de Mayo Celebration of Mexican Culture: anniversary of the victory of the
Mexican Army over the French.
May 2
Sunday: Mothers Day Day to honor mothers & motherhood.
June 14
: Flag Day Commemoration of the adoption of the US Flag.
June 3
Sunday: Fathers Day Day to honor fathers & fatherhood.
August 26
: Womens Equality Day - Celebrates the fight for equality for women.
September 11
: Patriot Day Remembrance of the casualties on Sept. 11, 2001.
September 17
: Citizenship Day - Commemorates the adoption of the Constitution of the US.
Sept or Oct: Rosh Hashanah Hebrew New Year, beginning of Jewish High Holidays.
Sept or Oct: Yom Kippur End of Jewish High Holidays.
October 12
: Columbus Day Commemoration of Columbus exploration to North America.
October 13
: Halloween Celebration of All Hallows eve, prior to the days commemorated to
the saints & all the departed souls.
November-Tuesday after first Monday: Election Day Observed in the years that it is applicable
by the Federal & State governments.
Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
58 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

November 4
Thursday: Thanksgiving Day Celebration of thanksgiving and commemoration
of the survival of the American Pioneers.
November- Friday after Thanksgiving Day: Black Friday Start of the Christmas shopping
season when sales begin in stores.
December: Hanukkah Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Second Temple
in Jerusalem.
December: Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Mourning of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor
on Dec 7
, 1941.
December 21
: Winter Solstice Shortest day of the year.
December 24
: Christmas Eve Day before Christmas.
December 25
: Christmas Day Celebration of the birth of Christ.
December 26
Jan 1
: Kwanzaa African American holiday celebration.
December 31
: New Years Eve Celebration of the Last day of the Gregorian Year.
6.0 Political System
The political system of the US is defined by two basic documents the Declaration of
Independence and the Constitution. These two documents are the foundation of the Federal
Government by establishing the US as an independent political body and laying down the
structure of the government.
US Politics
America has a Presidential form of Government. The President has multiple
roles as: the head of state, head of government, military commander-in-
chief, and chief diplomat. He has constitutional powers to direct national
affairs and the functions of the federal government. He also has the power
to execute orders that affect the internal policies of the government. He can
make treaties for which he is advised by the Senate. He also nominates and receives
The President is elected by the Electoral College for a fixed term of four years. He has to win at
least 270 votes of the total of 538. The Electoral College represents each state depending on the
number of members in the Senate. He is allowed to serve for a maximum of two terms.
The Vice President has the same term (of four years) of the President and is elected on the same
ticket. In the event that the President is unable to carry out his duties due to incapacity or death,
the Vice President assumes office.
Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
59 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

The two major political parties are the Democratic and the Republican Parties. They choose their
candidate for the Presidency at a national convention through a vote of delegates.
The government consists of three branches: the executive, legislative and judicial. The legislative
or the assembly makes the laws, the executive or the governing body translates these laws into
action, and the judiciary interprets the laws and acts as a legal check on the other two.
6.1 The Executive
The executive offices include the White House office, Office of Management and Budget and the
National Security Council. The executive branch which is under the purview of the President,
who along with the Vice-President, Secretaries of State and Governors, is responsible for the
running of the entire machinery of the government. The Departments of State, Treasury, Justice
and Defense, and the FBI, Police departments, Mayors and Sheriffs come under this branch of
governance and are administrated by the main powers that are located in the White House.
The branch is responsible for carrying out and executing the laws among the people and in public
places. Though they work directly under the President, the whole branch is under the supervision
of the Senate.

6.2 The Legislative
This is a more superior branch than the executive, where the laws are made for the entire
country. The members of this branch are elected by the people, but the election for each of the
two houses of Congress is independent. They are represented in the Congress by the Senate (the
upper house) which has 100 members: 2 from each of the 50 states. The Vice President is the ex-
officio president of the Senate and can only vote to break a tie. The lower house of the Congress
is the House of Representatives; it has 435 members elected from districts of equal population.
6.3 The Judicial
This branch interprets the law inside the court houses; the Supreme Court is the highest court in
the states. The federal judges (that are 9 in number) are named by the President himself but the
other judges are elected by the people. However, the government is prevented from making
political appointments by tradition and public opinion. The judges ensure that laws are adhered
to. Their role is also to officially declare the decision of the jury. This jury of 12 people -
sometimes 6 - is selected and sworn in to render a verdict in a case according to the evidence
produced in court. They are normal people from the populace where the court convenes and who
are cultured, well-educated, and have clear records. They give the final verdict - of whether the
defendant is guilty or not which is why all the lawyers or attorneys fight to win the jurys
opinion. The prosecutor, who prosecutes in the case against the defendant, represents the
executive branch in the court and has to implement the law depending on the outcome. The
Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
60 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

rights of a citizen are enforceable by law. The constitution is the superior law and all laws
made by the government must conform to it.
6.4 Elections
The basic theory of elections is that people rule themselves by voting legislative representatives
who become the law-making body of the state. These representatives are members of a political
party that may win the majority of the seats and have the authorization to introduce the policies
they alleged to uphold during the elections.
The US follows the direct election process. The electorate as a whole votes directly for their
representative in the legislature to the House of Representatives. The sovereignty that rests with
the people is passed directly to the legislature. It is a plurality system in which the winning
candidate acquires his seat on a single ballot. The system encourages strong links between the
candidate who is chosen as the representative and his constituents.
However, the President and Vice President are elected by means of an indirect election process.
Voters actually elect electors who form an Electoral College which will then go on to elect the
chief executive of state.
The US has had 43 presidents before the current one. The 44
president is the first Black
American to ever be voted in: Barack Hussein Obama.
Presidents of the US are inaugurated on the 20
of Jan in the year after the election. The
ceremony takes place in the Capitol. The Chief Justice directs the president, when he is sworn in,
to take an oath of office:
I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States
and will the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
So help me God.

6.5 The US Flag
The American flag is nicknamed the Stars and Stripes. The flag has 13
red and white stripes which represent the first Thirteen Colonies which
became independent of Britain through the Declaration of Independence
on the 4
of July in 1776. On the upper left corner of the flag is a blue
square that has 50 stars which represent the 50 federal states.
The National Anthem of the United States of America is called The Star-
Spangled Banner.
7.0 Transportation
The authorities in the US are committed to providing safe and secure transportation to its people.
The key factors are affordability, availability, convenience, reliability and accessibility.
Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
61 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

The various forms of transportation in the US include air, train, rail, and water networks. Most
people use their cars for short distances but prefer to opt for air travel for longer distances. The
country has a very well connected Interstate Highway System which is funded and maintained by
the federal government. An intercity bus service called the Greyhound Line is the most
economical way to travel in the US.
Air transportation in the US has very advanced infrastructure. Air transportation is a preferred
means of travel for long distances. Business travellers and those on vacation are the people who
might opt to fly rather than drive. The airlines in the US are privately owned. There are more
than 200 domestic passenger and cargo carriers and several international airlines. Since there are
so many carriers traversing the same intercity routes, the tickets are priced competitively. Hence,
during recessions, airlines face bankruptcies. The low profit margins cannot sustain them when
the customer numbers are low and fuel prices are increased.
Until the mid-20
century, rail transportation was the dominant mode of travel. Once the
Interstate highway was completed and jet planes introduced, passenger travel by rail was greatly
reduced. This was when Amtrak was created to enable the intercity rail service. It links major
cities, but the number of trains that run on the routes are fewer than the frequent service for the
regional corridors.

8.0 Business Etiquette
8.1 Clothing
Formal business gear, i.e. a dark business suit, white formal shirt and a sober tie, is acceptable
across the country. For women, a skirt or pant suit in sober colours manages to portray the same
Some offices do not stick to a very formal dress code. It is important to check what the company
rules classify as formal or professional appearance.
Casual clothing is acceptable in non-formal situations. Some days may be delineated as casual or
dress down days, e.g. Fridays. On such days, jeans or khaki trousers may be worn with a shirt as
casual attire. Women may wear comfortable slacks.
However, casual attire must be spelt out by organizations if any uniformity is to be maintained.
Whether the clothing is formal or casual, it must be clean and give a neat appearance. Nothing
distracting should be worn by way of colours or accessories.
8.2 Punctuality
Punctuality is considered an essential part of business etiquette. Any meetings that are scheduled
in advance must be attended well in time. If there is any reason that one is unable to attend or
make it in time, one must inform the people involved as soon as they get to know about the
Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
62 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

Arrive on time, not before or after. It is considered disrespectful to be even a few minutes late. It
is taken as a lack of respect for the person or his/her time. Hence, all deadlines should be strictly
adhered to in American business culture.
8.3 Behaviour
Business conversation may take place over a meal. In fact, many business meetings are arranged
over breakfast, lunch or dinner. Otherwise, an invitation to a meal may just be a bonding
technique to build rapport.
Giving gifts is not encouraged. It may appear to be a bribe. However, an invitation to a meal may
be accepted. A modest gift of a bunch of flowers, for example, may be accepted. A thank-you
note would probably be the most appropriate.
It is mandatory to follow a line or queue. One has to wait ones turn. Going out of turn is
considered rude and ungainly behaviour.
Smoking is not allowed in many places. If you have to smoke, ask about the designated smoking
zones, if any. If there are none, refrain from smoking.
Chewing your food with your mouth open or using a toothpick in public is considered rude and
unacceptable behaviour.
While shaking hands, offer a firm hand, and do not grip the persons hand tight. Do not shake it
for more than 5 seconds. Look into the persons eyes, maintaining eye contact during the
Maintaining eye contact during any interaction builds confidence in the person you are talking
to, shows interest and sincerity.
Do not offer a hug unless you are close friends with a person. It may be considered forward
behaviour or crossing the line. The more formal the behaviour, the more acceptable take your
cue from the person you are greeting.
Every individual is held professionally accountable for their own work and behaviour. Self-
reliance is valued and encouraged. Ask for help if needed, but do not expect to always be told
what to do. Taking the initiative to find out what ones role entails is appreciated.
Americans do tend to make clear distinctions between their colleagues from the office and
personal friends. Do respect their privacy and space.

Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
63 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

Chapter Four
Corporate Culture

Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
64 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

Objective: Raise awareness of the importance of Corporate Culture.
The culture of any organization, even your University is key to the way its people operate.
Having a professional culture in the workplace will help employees to effectively communicate
and work with each other. In this chapter of the culture module we'll introduce you to the
corporate culture etiquette in the workplace.
Your Attitude matters
Adopt a positive attitude.
Be professionally competent.
Overcome self-centeredness.
Be discreet.
Be considerate and sensitive.
Be punctual.
Learn forms of courtesy and respect.

The golden rules
There is a polite way to do anything
Dont make promises you cant keep.
Be considerate of others time.
Make saying please and thank you a routine.
Be patient.
Clean up after yourself- every time

Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
65 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

With colleagues:

Shoulder your fair share of work.
Show appreciation to colleagues for helping you.
Seek permission before using others possessions.
Avoid criticizing your colleagues.
Give people their space both physical and mental

With subordinates:
Treat everyone with courtesy
Give appropriate feedback and praise
Avoid being over intimate
Be objective
Give clear and accurate instruction

Donts at the workplace:

Dont get involved in any talk which might have sexual or caste
Dont be an attention seeker
Dont try to gain favor with your boss or immediate supervisors.
Dont assume something is an acceptable practice

Importance of being Punctual

Punctuality enhances productivity reflects reliability,
accountability and courtesy
Keep to your schedules
Respect the other persons time
Call and inform when you are late
Being too early is as irritating as being late

Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
66 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

Cubicle Etiquette

Respect other peoples privacy
Dont enter another persons cubicle without permission
Dont peek into other cubicles as you walk past
Never read someones computer screen
Keep your hands off peoples desks
Set the ringer volume at a low level and answer your
phone after 2 or 3 rings
Limit the use of speaker phone
When you leave your cubicle, turn the ringer off, and
forward messages to voice mail
Watch your volume. Remember, others can hear what you
are saying.

Tips to remember when meeting people

It is practical and polite to make an appointment before meeting people in their office.
As a rule, the person granting the appointment will set the date and time.
Arrive at least five minutes early.
Do a 30 second detail check in a restroom before the meeting.

Shaking hands
A firm handshake is the appropriate business greeting in most
countries today.
Introduce yourself and address the other person by name as you
shake hands.

Presenting the business card

The most polite way to exchange a card is to offer your own
card first
Present your card with both hands
Accept a business card with both hands
Acknowledge it with a thank you

Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
67 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

Business Introductions

Smile it improves your face value
Make eye contact
A firm handshake
Do say How do you do?

And your response.

In response to informal introductions, simply say hello
Say, How do you do in response to formal introductions
Always use the other persons name when responding to introductions
Always stand for introductions

While in the elevator

Do not enter elevator before the previous passengers have stepped out.
Hold the door for others running to catch the carriage.
Do not ask someone else to press the button to your floor as if he is the lift in charge
Do not carry on personal conversations, be they person-to-person or via cellular phone.

At the cafeteria

Wait for your turn at the counter
Follow a queue even in there is no formal one in place
Do not extend your arm over the shoulder of the person standing in front of you to get the
attention of the person behind the counter
Speak in quiet tones
Do not litter
Please clear your plate after you are done and leave it at the
collection point
Do not leave crumbs and blobs of food all over the table
Clear up your mess so that the table is ready for use by the
next person
Throw all the waste into the respective waste bins.

Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
68 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program


Dress to fit your audience & yourself
Clothing should fit & be well-maintained
Dark colors compliment your shape and create the appearance
of authority
Polish your shoes people notice!
Walk tall

Dress Code
Business Professional jacket, tie, ladies suit or dress
Business Casuals open collar, slacks or skirts
Semi-Formal Suit for men, skirts, trousers for women
Formal Suit or tuxedo for men, formal dress/ gown for women

Dark colored trousers
Shoes and belt to match the trousers
Socks to match the shoes
Light colored shirts
Tie not too flashy

Use fragrances sparingly
Keep make up and jewelry simple
Avoid clothing that is too revealing or
too restrictive
Wear comfortable footwear that is not
too high
Keep nails short.

Personal hygiene

This is an important aspect. Pay attention to your body, feet, clothes, hair and breath.
Considering the climate in our country it is necessary to use deodorants to reduce body odour.
Clothes that have been used once should not be worn again without washing as they tend to
smell musty.
Be careful about bad breath.
Wear clean washed socks to prevent smelly feet.
Men should keep their hair short and preferably pinned or tied for women.

Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
69 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

Dont forget your Ps and Qs

Thank you
Pardon me
Let me help
Excuse me

Corporate Culture

Corporate culture is crucial in helping employees meet the company's vision, mission and goals.
It is the building blocks of any highly successful organization.

Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
70 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

Appendix I:


Cultural Mistake


The name in China was first rendered as Ke-ke-ken-la.
Unfortunately, the company did not discover until
after thousands of signs had been printed, the phrase means "bite
the wax tadpole" or "female horse stuffed with wax" depending
on the dialect. The company then researched 40,000 Chinese
characters and found a close phonetic equivalent, "ko-kou-ko-le,"
which can be loosely translated as "happiness in
the mouth."

Electrolux Vacuum

The Scandinavian manufacturer tried to sell its goods in America
but didn't help itself with this slogan, "Nothing sucks like an
(product name)."

Ford Fiera

Doesn't do well with Spanish-speaking Latin-Americans, since "the
car model" means "ugly old woman".

Kentucky Fried Chicken,

In Chinese, the slogan "finger-lickin' good" came out as "eat your
fingers off."

Schweppes Tonic Water

In Italy, a campaign translated the name into Toilet Water.

Hong Kong Tourist Board
The campaign was on billboards throughout Hong Kong and in
British versions of Cosmopolitan and Conde Nast Traveller.
The slogan that was running "name of country": It will take your
breath away." unfortunately coincided with the SARS epidemic
that resulted in numerous deaths. Shortness of breath is one of the
main symptoms of SARS.

Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
71 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

Appendix II:
American States & Capitals
Sl. No. State Code State Capital
1. AL Alabama Montgomery
2. AK Alaska Juneau
3. AZ Arizona Phoenix
4. AR Arkansas Little Rock
5. CA California Sacramento
6. CO Colorado Denver
7. CT Connecticut Hartford
8. DE Delaware Dover
9. FL Florida Tallahassee
10. GA Georgia Atlanta
11. HI Hawaii Honolulu
12. ID Idaho Boise
13. IL Illinois Springfield
14. IN Indiana Indianapolis
15. IA Iowa Des Moines
16. KS Kansas Topeka
17. KY Kentucky Frankfort
18. LA Louisiana Baton Rouge
19. ME Maine Augusta
20. MD Maryland Annapolis
21. MA Massachusetts Boston
Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
72 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

22. MI Michigan Lansing
23. MN Minnesota St. Paul
24. MS Mississippi Jackson
25. MO Missouri Jefferson City
26. MT Montana Helena
27. NE Nebraska Lincoln
28. NV Nevada Carson City
29. NH New Hampshire Concord
30. NJ New Jersey Trenton
31. NM New Mexico Santa Fe
32. NY New York Albany
33. NC North Carolina Raleigh
34. ND North Dakota Bismarck
35. OH Ohio Columbus
36. OK Oklahoma Oklahoma City
37. OR Oregon Salem
38. PA Pennsylvania Harrisburg
39. RI Rhode Island Providence
40. SC South Carolina Columbia
41. SD South Dakota Pierre
42. TN Tennessee Nashville
43. TX Texas Austin
44. UT Utah Salt Lake City
45. VT Vermont Montpelier
Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
73 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

46. VA Virginia Richmond
47. WA Washington Olympia
48. WV West Virginia Charleston
49. WI Wisconsin Madison
50. WY Wyoming Cheyenne
51. GU Guam Agana
52. VI Virgin Islands Charlotte Amelia
53. PR Puerto Rico San Juan

Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
74 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

Appendix III:
List of American Presidents
No. Name Term of office
1 George Washington 1789 1797
2 John Adams 1797 1801
3 Thomas Jefferson 1801 1809
4 James Madison 1809 1817
5 James Monroe 1817 1825
6 John Quincy Adams 1825 1829
7 Andrew Jackson 1829 1837
8 Martin van Buren 1837 1841
9 William Henry Harrison 1841
10 John Tyler 1841 1845
11 James Polk 1845 1849
12 Zachary Taylor 1849 1850
13 Millard Fillmore 1850 1853
14 Franklin Pierce 1853 1857
15 James Buchanan 1857 1861
16 Abraham Lincoln 1861 1865
17 Andrew Johnson 1865 1869
Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
75 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

18 Ulysses S. Grant 1869 1877
19 Rutherford B. Hayes 1877 1881
20 James Abram Garfield 1881
21 Chester Alan Arthur 1881 1885
22 Grover Cleveland 1885 1889
23 Benjamin Harrison 1889 1893
24 Grover Cleveland 1893 1897
25 William McKinley 1897 1901
26 Theodore Roosevelt 1901 1909
27 William Howard Taft 1909 1913
28 Woodrow (Thomas) Wilson 1913 1921
29 Warren Gamaliel Harding 1921 1923
30 Calvin (John) Coolidge 1923 1929
31 Herbert Clark Hoover 1929 1933
32 Franklin Delano Roosevelt 1933 1945
33 Harry S. Truman 1945 1953
34 Dwight (David) Eisenhower 1953 1961
35 John Fitzgerald Kennedy 1961 1963
36 Lyndon Baines Johnson 1963 1969
37 Richard Milhouse Nixon 1969 1974
Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
76 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program

38 Gerald Rudolph Ford 1974 1977
39 Jimmy Carter 1977 1981
40 Ronald Wilson Reagan 1981 1989
41 George Herbert Walker Bush 1989 1993
42 William (Bill) Jefferson Clinton 1993 2001
43 George Walker Bush 2001 2008
44 Barack Hussein Obama 2008 -

Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Information Technology Institute
77 Culture Participant's Guide |EDUEgypt Program