Watch at Your Own Risk

We know logging on to SCOLA can evoke many feelings for our subscribers: curiosity, inspiration, enthusiasm, fulfillment and excitement just to name a few….One feeling our services do not often stir up is fear. Soon though, that will be changing…Soon your fingertips will quiver in fear as you type in your username and password, your hands will shake as you move your mouse down to the World TV Online and Savoir-Vivre icons, and your whole body will shudder as you uncover what SCOLA has waiting for you.

Starting in May you may not want to log on to SCOLA alone. SCOLA will soon reveal paranormal events, mysterious urban legends and spooky myths that will make you want to sleep with a light on.

                Savoir-Vivre is unlike any other service SCOLA offers. It is a global adventure in culture that allows our subscribers to travel the world, discover its people, and explore new lifestyles all from the comfort of their own home.

riskAt first glance Savoir-Vivre may seem similar to other services like On the Street Videos and World TV Online. However, Savoir-Vivre focuses more on the cultural aspect of other countries whereas services such as On the Street Videos focuses on technical and instructional videos and our providers native languages.

With Savoir-Vivre you won’t just read or hear about new countries and cultures, you will experience them!  This includes experiencing the aforementioned spooky urban legends and mysterious myths from places around the world. Hear firsthand accounts of Bali magic and supernatural stories from Indonesia, myths and legends from the Philippines and so much more!

Then, only the brave will move on to our new Hindi program from India on World TV Online. This show is only for our most daring subscribers, and even they will have to start sleeping with the lights on!

Fear Files plays on Channel Four every weekend at 8:05 p.m. on World TV Online. Fear Files uncovers the truth behind mystifying and unexplainable events that have occurred in various places throughout India. These horror stories are recreated after real incidents that you have to see to believe. The show focuses on supernatural elements, scary, puzzling mysteries and expert interviews in the paranormal field. Grab a friend because you do not want to watch this one alone!

Are you brave enough to experience spooky urban legends and mysterious myths from around the world with Savoir-Vivre and tune in to India’s paranormal activity with Fear Files? Contact us today for your free trial!

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Housing Arrangements in China

Last week we shared with you Dating and Marriage Traditions in China, so it only makes sense that this week we talk to you about what happens after marriage. What are the housing arrangements of the married couple? Who do they live with? Our provider from China shares the following:

            For the CPP-CN-Beijing Parliament Buildinghinese people, family is very sacred, so the Chinese always have their family at the forefront of their mind wherever they go or wherever they are. In the past, Chinese people enjoyed living as one big family, where sometimes even as many as four generations lived together in the same home. Similar to a small community, there were distinct classes in these extended families. The eldest always enjoyed the highest status.

         Just like any other community, these living conditions could not properly function without any discipline. People in China often say “A family has its own rules just as a state has its own laws.” Under these past, traditional housing arrangements some of these laws included the husband being permitted to beat their wives, the father being permitted to beat their sons, and parents were in charge of the daily life of their children, including their marriages. Also, in these small communities each clan had its own ancestral shrine, where their ancestors were offered sacrifices and worshiped. Every member of the family was obligated to honor their ancestors.

            These days, things are quite different. The extended family housing arrangements have been replaced and small/core family housing arrangements have become more mainstream. Correspondingly, the lifestyle of the people has changed greatly, but their sentimental attachment to their family and the importance they place on family has remained unchanged.

Want to know more about housing arrangements in China and other countries? Check out Savoir-Vivre, coming soon to www.scola.org!

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Dating and Marriage Traditions in China

Last week you learned tips and taboos when traveling to China. This week, we are going to teach more about the Chinese culture, specifically dating and marriage.

Traditionally in China, marriages were arranged by the parents and youth would not see their husband or wife until the day of their wedding ceremony. However, at the beginning of the 20th century things changed greatly. These days Chinese couple photo for jokeyoung men and women have the freedom of finding their own significant others. Many choose to date colleagues and former classmates.

Chinese people are very warmhearted and are eager to match single friends and family. It is a longstanding belief that this is good fortune for the match maker. So if you are in China and someone asks about your marital status, don’t be offended. It is a good chance they are trying to help you find a match.

In China, there are many ways to begin a date. If you arrange the date yourself, you do not need to acquire consent from the parents. If it is arranged by the parents or family friends, prepare to be very tired after the date, as the parents will ask a lot of questions. Typical first dates include going to cafeterias or a tea house. If the two people enjoy each other, they may go on other dates to restaurants and cinemas.

Currently online dating is popular in China. There are also many dating programs on TV.

Are dating and marriage traditions in China similar to those in your country? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Want to know more about dating and marriage traditions from around the world? Check out Savoir-Vivre, coming soon to www.scola.org!

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Visiting China: Tips and Taboos You Need to Know

The seasons are changing and many of you may be thinking ahead to your summer travel plans. If your plans include traveling abroad keep reading! Many foreign countries have taboos and laws that are essential for travelers to know before you arrive. The following list was shared with us by a SCOLA provider in China. He says many travelers from abroad may become confused and frightened by Chinese customs. This handy reference tool makes it easy for newcomers to Beijing to fit right in.

Greetings

1. When addressing someone, it is customary to add terms of honor before their family name based on their age: lao (honorable old one), xiao (honorable young one) or occasionally da (honorable middle-aged one).

2. Most greetings begin with a brief handshake. When greeting the elderly or senior officials, your handshake should be gentle and include a slight nod. As an expression of warmth, it can be acceptable to cover the handshake with your left hand. As a sign of respect, Chinese usually slightly lower their eyes when meeting someone.

3. Embracing and kissing are not parts of a Chinese greeting or saying good-bye. Public displays of affection, or acting in too carefree a manner are not advisable in public.

Conversation

4. Be cautious in political discussions.

Gifts

5. Normally, Chinese will not accept a gift, invitation or favor until the second or third time it is presented. In their culture, this shows modesty and humility. If a person accepts too quickly it can make them look aggressive or greedy. The same goes for opening a gift in front of the giver.

6. When wrapping a present, be aware that Chinese give much importance to color. Red represents luck, and pink and yellow represent happiness and prosperity. Do not wrap gifts in white, grey or black, as those are funeral colors. When you are ready to present a gift, hand it off with both of your hands.

7. Acceptable gifts may include lighters, stamps, t-shirts and exotic coins, and the following gifts should be avoided: white or yellow flowers (especially chrysanthemums), which are used for funerals, pears, the word for Pear in Chinese sounds the same as separate and is considered bad luck, red ink on cards or letters symbolizes the end of a relationship, and clocks of any kind. because the word clock in Chinese sounds like the expression “the end of life”.

Food and Dining

8. Tipping is not normally practiced in China and almost no one asks for them. Only in some luxurious hotels are tips expected.

9. While eating, place chopsticks next to your dish instead of upright in your rice bowl. In China, when someone dies, their shrine may include two incense sticks stuck upright in a bowl of sand or rice. If you stick your chopsticks upright in your dish at the dinner table, it looks like the shrine and is comparable to wishing death upon person at the table!

10. When drinking tea, do not face the spout of the teapot towards anyone. It is impolite.

11. Don’t tap on your bowl with your chopsticks. People in restaurants where the food is taking too long and beggars tap on their bowls. It is insulting to the cook.

12. People in China dine out at least once a week with friends or family members as a way to strengthen relationships. The dinner will last long and include alcohol drinks.

Are you planning on traveling to China soon? Were these tips helpful to you? Let us know in the comments below!

 

Be sure to check back next week to learn more about Chinese Dating and Marriage Customs!

Want to learn more tips and taboos for international travel? Check out Savoir-Vivre…coming soon!

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2014 SCOLA Users Meeting

SCOLA would like to invite you to our 2014 Users Meeting on May 15th and 16th in Omaha, Nebraska and McClelland, Iowa. Conference attendees will have the opportunity to enjoy presentations by language teaching professionals, networking, dining and entertainment, and a Congressional Presentation. Guests will also have the opportunity to learn about trends and resources for foreign language education and SCOLA resources.

Check-in for the SCOLA Users Meeting will begin Thursday, May 15th at 10 a.m. in the lobby of the Doubletree Hotel in Omaha, Nebraska. Lunch will be served at 11 a.m. followed by an afternoon of presentations. Thursday evening will be a night of dinner and entertainment at the Scoular Ballroom in Omaha. The event will continue Friday morning with a trip to the campus in McClelland, Iowa. The meeting will conclude on Friday afternoon at the Doubletree Hotel with lunch and a Congressional Speaker.

Transportation to all events and meals are included with your $100 registration fee. Guests can register for the 2014 Users Meeting in advance at www.scola.org and are offered discounted accommodations at the Doubletree Hotel in Downtown Omaha.

For additional conference information, please check our website at www.scola.org. Also, please feel free to e-mail us at conf@scola.org or call 712-566-2202.

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