Where Do You Find Typical Cultural Difference?

Have you read a textbook for driving? I have not until I was forced to do so by traffic violation ticket agent, taking driving test again in Tokyo. It was back in 1978. In 1985, my employer that time transferred me to New York. I needed to take driving test in New Jersey Department of Motor Vehicle in April that year. Since there were enough materials for the test such as Japanese reference books, past record of test questions and answers, I did not have to read the driving textbook of New Jersey State. There was nothing I could do one weekend, I decided to read through the driving textbook one time for making sure I could pass the writing test.

As reading, I found there are some differences in the way the driving textbook was written between New Jersey State one and Japanese one. Putting language matters aside, I found New Jersey one spent more than 3 pages explaining how accidents happen and how you can cope with them. For example, New Jersey textbook was explaining when your car gets out of control in high speed driving, you should not collide cars going to opposite direction. You should avoid head on head collision by all means. It continued that you should collide something stopping still, instead. It further suggested that you should select to collide some other cars going toward same direction as yours, if you could.

In my experience in Japan, reading driving textbook and attending traffic schools, no Japanese textbook explained how to cope with accidents, no instructor in the traffic school I attended explained about it. This caused me to think about why there are this kind of differences of approach in driving textbooks.

It is my opinion based on several conversations with my Japanese and American friends that basic understanding about traffic accidents are different between US and Japan. US or Western Culture believes that accidents will occur, no matter how drivers were cautious, conservative, and safety conscious. An accident could happen due to mechanical failure. Also it could be caused by another driver driving close to you at the time of accident. Therefore, it is logically reasonable that a driving textbook has full explanation on them as much as helpful.

On the other hand, Japanese approach to car accidents is a little bit different. They believe that car accidents are bad things that should not occur. Or car accidents are the things drivers should avoid by all means. They would admit that accidents do happen. But they believe that preventive maintenance is more important than explaining how to deal with accidents. So their driving textbook is talking about how to check their car before long distance driving, make sure that you do not drive into harsh weather, sleep well in previous nights, wear comfortable clothes and shoes, etc, etc…

For relatively long time, I was thinking that New Jersey driving textbook approach is better than Japanese one. Accidents happen. It is good to learn how to cope with accidents. But, quite recently, I started to think that Japanese approach might not be so bad. They are trying to teach us that we should determine not to cause an accident or should be well prepared so that we should not have any anxiety for an accident, so that we would be able to drive with full confidence.

I do not intend to give you my judgment to decide which is better. It may be the best if we can do both. We can be preventive maintenance conscious, at the same time conscious about coping with an accident. There are some small things that tell us cultural background and difference.

A Dance Based School Trip to Learn the Capoeira

When you think of a school trip focused around dance and learning more about the different styles, you may not immediately think of taking students to a lake in Italy. But with its close proximity to some of the major Italian cities and a stunning setting, Lake Garda is an ideal place to learn about dance – Capoeira, specifically.

Situated in the northern part of the country between Milan and Venice, Lake Garda is the largest lake in Italy. Fringed by numerous towns and villages, it is a vibrant and creative region. Students on a dance focused school trip to Lake Garda can learn about the wonderful Capoeira form of dance – its history, its moves and its intricate relationship with martial arts.


Originating in Brazil, probably in the 16th century, Capoeira is a form of artistic expression combining music with dance in a way that evolved from the movements of traditional Brazilian natives and African slaves. Over the years, Capoeira was used not only as a dance, but as a martial arts style of movement. It was adopted by a variety of bodyguards and fighters as it gained recognition across the country. Since the 1970s, while hip-hop was forming in New York City, Capoeira was moving away from Brazil and across the world, and it has since gained massive momentum.

The moves

The moves of Capoeira can be broken down in to three main ones: the ginga, the attacks and the defence. The ginga is the motion of rocking back and forth. In doing this, it keeps the Capoeirista in motion so that they do not get stuck in a still state and become an easy target for their opponent. Students must also learn about attacks and how and when to use them. Most of the moves involved in an attack are completed using the legs and the knees, with the long round-kicks playing a big role in most of the direct hits and takedowns. In defence, the Capoeirista is not focused on blocking the attack so much as moving to avoid the attack, and this is where the basic movement of the ginga comes into play. The avoidances are called esquivas, and are made by moving, bending, and leaning on the floor, and a Capoeirista should only block the hit if avoiding it is impossible.

An experience abroad on a school trip

While the basic moves of Capoeira can, of course, be learned in a studio setting in the UK, travelling on a school trip to a foreign country to learn more about this, and other, dances can be an invaluable experience for young, up-and-coming performers. In a different context, and with varying cultural differences, any form of dance can take on new meaning for performers. As well as assisting in their creative evolution, students can explore a new culture, meet new people and extend their education beyond a mere classroom situation.

How To Find Best Travel Deals

The Caribbean islands have fantastic beaches and Barbados is not excluded. Anyone can plan for a vacation there as it offers something for every person. You can choose from a range of simple accommodation to a splendid luxury according to your budget.

Barbados is attracting lots of tourists these days and it is of course one of the well developed island. The striking landscape and the greenery are mesmerizing and the place is still a typical wonder. It is an ideal place for fun as well as relaxation. Bridgetown is the only city there and it is the capital of Barbados. The city has a natural harbor and bustles with local tradition and culture.

There are numerous activities like water games, water rides, golf and many more. The people are also very convivial which makes this place a favorite spot for everyone. Lots of travel and accommodation deals are listed in the Internet from which you can surf and decide. When you plan a vacation with your family there are a number of activities you can enjoy and hence choose a deal that covers a variety of activities. You will at times get these packages along with accommodation for free and therefore check before paying your money.

The place is also well suited for newly married couples and there are lots of romantic deals available. There are a number of spots, resorts and hotels that offer deals and are perfect for a get away. At times you might also get a cab for free when you book accommodation. The important part where you can save a lot of money in travel is hauling. A number of airlines offer tickets on a deal and websites like priceline.com offer package deals that include transport and accommodation.

Remember to check each entity in the package separately because many a times the deal is simply an eye wash. Do not book any deal in haste. Go through a number of websites before paying and choose a good deal which saves your hard earned money.