How can a society function without money?

All interactions that include receiving goods and services require a means of compensation. That compensation is usually in the form of money. As a legal tender, it refers to the methods of payment sanctioned by governments across the globe.

To set a value to commodities or services, people use money. The generally accepted value of money is determined by many factors, such as supply and demand, or foreign exchange rates. There are various kinds of money and currencies. Currency refers to a unit of money used in a specific country. Although there can be multiple currencies in circulation in a country, there is usually one main currency accepted by all institutions and businesses.

Money can take numerous forms. We have paper money, coins, electronic money and even cryptocurrencies. We have come to a point where we can’t imagine our lives without money, using it to jugde the value of all things from bread & milk to a Foxy Bingo bonus code… or can we..?

Back to the basics of the bartering system

Ever since the dawn of civilisations, people have conducted all trade in the form of a bartering system. No matter what kind of services or goods you require, you have to give something in return, usually something of value to the other party. Many would claim that this is a fair and a just way of conducting business as all parties end up with much-needed resources and goods.

However, the whole process is indeed cumbersome and takes a lot of time to complete. This was the reason why people looked for alternative ways of designating a value for commodities and services, and that is how money in the form of coins was brought to life.

Cryptocurrencies at work

Creating blockchain technology is another bold attempt to reshape the system of payments and trade. Blockchain technology gave rise to cryptocurrencies which represent digital currencies that can be implemented into everyday transactions. Cryptocurrencies can prove to be a viable alternative to money since a lot of transactions today happen online, and with the advent of technology, we can almost entirely reduce the need for paper money and thus use cryptocurrencies and digital money for all our transactions. In China, e-wallets— banking applications that allow you to pay for goods just by scanning your phone, are widely used and appreciated.

Abandon it altogether

There are radical examples of people trying to live without money entirely. The most notable example is that of Heidemarie Schwermer from Germany, who made a choice 14 years ago to live without money. Her story is captured in a documentary where she describes how she trades her services, such as cleaning one’s apartment or cooking in exchange for food and housing. Her inspiring story does sound a bit suspicious, but, she has proved it feasible.

Breathtaking festivals and important holidays worth traveling for

Holiday is a day of a specific cultural and religious significance for many individuals, governments and religious groups. If you’re a party animal, there are some holidays and festivals around the world that you just need to participate in at least once.

Burning Man festival

Burning Man is deemed as a cultural movement or a community, rather than a festival, but nevertheless, it is a spectacle where thousands of people gather in the Nevada desert to express their individuality and create art. People gather in the desert to create a Black Rock City, an imaginary metropolis dedicated to self-expression and radical self-reliance.  

The purpose of this annual event is to connect individuals to their creative powers and to create a world of nature that exists beyond society. It is supposed to produce positive spiritual vibrations, and people who have attended these gatherings have claimed that it was a truly unique experience. The name of the event came from the ritual burning of a huge wooden effigy, which occurs on a Saturday evening.

The only way to acquire goods and services is to trade with other people. Traditional vehicles are banned from the event, and people use art cars for transport.

The White Nights Festival

Every year the city of St. Petersburg becomes the stomping ground for visitors around the world who come to the event to witness the city’s cultural richness under the never-setting sun. White Nights is a natural phenomenon that occurs around both poles during the summer months. Although many countries celebrate the summer solstice in their own way, the former Russian capital takes the celebration one step further.

The festival brings together culture, arts, and music, as the streets of St. Petersburg come alive with showcases by some of the world’s most talented artists. Visitors can enjoy a month-long calendar of classical music performances and concerts held at the esteemed Mariinsky Theatre.

During the event, tourists can visit some of the St. Petersburg’s most elite museums and art galleries. The culminating event is the Scarlet Sails celebration, known for the spectacular fireworks display. This part of the tradition began after WWII when schools assembled to celebrate the end of the school year.

Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the dead)

Dia de Los Muertos is a holiday that originated in central Mexico and is celebrated around the world in other cultures. Families unite believing that the souls of all family members who have died will come down from heaven to reunite with their loved ones.  Families make colorful altars, decorated with flowers, to honor their loved ones.

The festivity begins at the cemetery, where families gather to celebrate the lives of ones who are no longer with us. They play music and bring favorite dishes of the dearly departed to share the celebration with them. On this day, families try to include the dead in the recognition as they are awakened from their eternal sleep to celebrate with their loved ones.

7 most technologically advanced countries in the world

Some countries are reshaping the world as we know it with technology. That can be seen in the way the online world becomes an important part of our everyday lives – from online casinos with best slot sites no deposit to AI assistants that can solve simple problems in a second. The residents of these countries have an opportunity to witness the latest technological breakthroughs which are immediately applied with the purpose of improving the living conditions and society in general. Let’s take a look at what the most technologically advanced countries have that makes them so unique. Read on!

Japan

Apart from various entertainment-related technological progress, the Japanese actually have some of the best scientists in the world. If we set aside robotics, optics, engineering, and electronics, Nuclear Reactors are probably their greatest achievement. They are working hard to completely rely on these reactors as a country and become less dependent on other expendable sources of energy.

The United States of America

The US is the leader in many fields, but their thing is the IT. Apart from Facebook, Google, and other popular online platforms, the guys at the Silicon Valley are doing fantastic work by creating new and powerful hardware and software that help not only individuals but also big companies and organizations, including the military and NASA.

South Korea

When we say South Korea, two things spring to mind – phones and cars. No matter how strong these industries are, South Koreans have the most significant success in robotics. In fact, it would come as no surprise if South Korea becomes one of those societies that we get to see in futuristic movies. They compete with Japan in many scientific discoveries, and the winner has not been declared yet.

Israel

Israel had to learn how to defend from the surrounding countries. That’s why one of the most dominant and advanced industries concerning technology is defence. They are known for an extraordinary UAV, which is an abbreviation for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle that also has real-time surveillance as its inevitable part. With products such as this one, Israel is sure about their defence and security.

Germany

Germany is the leader of the EU in many fields, but most of the times we think about their fantastic automotive industry. The best cars are from Deutschland, and everybody agrees on that. Only Japan might be competitive enough when it comes to car quality.

However, the Germans are also very successful in nanotechnology, which is the fact that not many people know. They are doing great work with space travel as well.

Russia

Although space program was at its best back in the times of the USSR, modern-day Russia is more oriented towards the military technology. Their developments in this industry are unprecedented, and the latest ICMB (intercontinental ballistic missiles) missiles are currently the best defence system that our world has to offer. Their minimum range is 5,500 km.

China

Although China is a new player regarding technology, they are advancing rapidly and are likely to become the leader soon. China is doing great work with engineering, mainly focusing on infrastructure. High-speed trains and supercomputers are just some of the areas they are currently exploring. Also, they are very interested in genetics and devote a lot of time and money in researching this field.

Conclusion

Let’s talk about the future for a moment. We are not sure which country will win the technology race, but it is certain that the progress is imminent. There are advantages and disadvantages of the development.

The advantages include better life, longer life-span, eradication of poverty and hunger.

However, all of the countries listed above are using their knowledge to develop destructive things such as nuclear weapons which may destroy humanity as we know it. It’s up to us to make a change for the better!

 

The nations with compulsory military service

Compulsory military service, or sometimes referred to as conscription or draft, is an obligation for members of a country to spend some time in military training and prepare themselves for possible military actions. This form of enlisting people for the army has been around for a long time and has proved to be highly valuable in times of need. Today, some nations implement these laws and require men over the age of 18 to spend time in military training and enlist in the army. In some countries, like Israel, women are not exempt from military service and can assume all combat positions.

The reasons for maintaining conscription are many. First of all, all nations consider safety as one of the critical elements in society and will hope to ensure all citizens are safe at all times. These nations have regular drafts and have official numbers of people serving in the army. Another reason for conscription is that these nations feel that having a military education is good and serves a great purpose of ensuring discipline and an active lifestyle.

North Korea

North Korea is one of the countries in the world that has compulsory military service for both men and women. The duration of service for men is ten years, which make it the longest one in the world. The number of military personnel exceeds 6 million, with almost a million of them in active service and the rest belonging to the reserve forces. The turmoils after the Korean War continue to unnerve people and the threat from new conflicts is quite unsettling.

Norway

One of the countries that are considered to belong to a group of more peace-loving nations is Norway. However, it has seen its share of conflicts in the past and still has conscription for men over the age of 19. The curiosity about its military is that women are now expected to enroll as a new set of laws was introduced, saying that women should also participate in military service as a part of gender equality measures.

Morocco

The Kingdom of Morocco is considering reinstatement of compulsory military service that will target young men, aged anywhere between 19 and 25. The reason for it is that all young men of that age, who are not attending schools or are otherwise unemployed, should go through military training to strengthen their bodies, learn discipline and social interactions, thus making themselves a significant part of the country’s life.

How Culture Affects Business

The expression “money talks” suggests that the monetary aspect is the single most important aspect of doing good business. To be honest, this is true, since money can break the language barrier between two businessmen from different parts of the world. It’s a language of its own as it’s more about numbers than anything else. However, there are numerous other factors you should consider when meeting a potential business client. Culture and business are connected in more than a few ways, and here we will take a look at how exactly businesses get affected by culture.

Communication

When we say communication, we don’t necessarily mean talking. Some findings suggest that facial expressions and body language are far more important than speaking during a business meeting. While revealing the emotions on your face will probably be easily understood regardless of the culture, some aspects of your expressions might not. Eye-contact is considered positive during a business encounter in the USA, but some other cultures might find it uncomfortable. Touching while greeting is fairly common in Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, and some parts of Africa. However, some Asian countries avoid any physical contact during the introduction. Talking casually about religion or politics might be a little touchy, so it’s best to avoid it. Different cultures have different senses of humor, so don’t expect everybody to laugh at a particular joke. Try to learn at least a few words from a language of your foreign associates, like “hello,” “thank you,” or “you’re welcome.” Make sure to know the traditions and holidays of the countries you are doing business with.

Clothing

When it comes to clothes, you should probably keep it simple. The suits are accepted almost everywhere, so you can’t go wrong with that. Some countries expect you to dress up, and this can mean that wearing a tie is mandatory. Other cultures are more flexible when it comes to clothing. Many companies in America have a weekday when they can go to work in their casual clothes. Try to avoid dressing like a business person from a country you’re visiting, since it may come off as offensive. Represent your own culture, and you will be respected.

Lunches and Dinners

Business meetings do not necessarily take place in an office. It is quite common for you and your associates to go to lunch or dinner. This is where a lot of cultures differ, whether in terms of how and what they eat, or in which order. If you are sitting at a table in a foreign country, you should observe how the locals eat their food, but be subtle and don’t stare. In some cultures, paying for the bill as a host is considered respectful, while others might be offended by such a gesture. For example, Germans like to split the bill and pay for what they each ordered. In North America, it’s practically a rule not to let a client anywhere near the receipt. Always try the local cuisine, and even if you don’t like it, you should at least have a bite.

When it comes to drinking, you should be careful as to where you are. Some Muslim countries forbid alcoholic beverages. If you are in Japan and Korea, you should fill everyone’s glasses, but let another person fill your own. Avoid controversial subjects and try not to be loud or to get drunk.

How is body perceived in different cultures

Body image is not only the way we see our bodies in the mirror, but it is also a mental image of ourselves, stating clearly how we feel about our bodies. The psychological feature of it is maybe even more important as it is structured around how comfortable we are in our own skin and, together with the actual physical appearance, shapes us as human beings to a great degree.

The key factors that shape the standards of how we perceive our bodies are fashion designers, mass media, and also culturally-shaped concepts of how one’s body needs to be like.

These concepts have influenced both women and men alike, but have also differed greatly across countries and continents. However, with the help of movies and celebrities that have always been taken as an example of perfection, specific ideals have been formed, and not many can live up to them.

We shall now try to draw some parallels between how is body image judged and viewed in different cultural settings.

Body image in Asian cultures

The majority of men and women in China and Japan consider thinness and lean, lanky bodies as a model of how the ideal body needs to be like. They take the matters quite seriously and are willing to go the distance to achieve that ideal. What goes in their favour is their Asian cuisine, filled with healthy nutrients and low fat. Also, the skin tone should be as pale as possible as that has always been considered as a sign of aristocracy in their cultures.

Body image in the American culture

As controversial and evasive as the question of the ideal body is in America, some standards have been directly set thanks to the mass media originating from America. Most Americans will take a fit and muscular body as the norm, concerning what a perfect body needs to be like. It is a proper paradox given the fact that the statistical data show around 35% of Americans is overweight, and 33% are obese. Even though there are distinctions in respect to how African-Americans and Caucasians see ‘perfect’ body, statistic data clearly show that the ideal of fit, healthy, and thin body is the goal for all.

Body image in European cultures

Most Europeans would agree with the notion of having a thin and fit body is the perfect shape, for both men and women. In comparison to other continents and cultures, they seem to be able to live up to those expectations thanks to the active lifestyle and a lot of exercises. Europeans would always prefer to ride a bicycle or walk, and that is bound to yield results.

Fun and unique ideas for kids you can use for Culture Day activities

Culture day is a day when students, parents, and teachers try to create, celebrate, and participate in artistic and cultural events in their communities. The goal of the Culture Day is to raise students’ accessibility, awareness, and partnership so they could develop into well-rounded individuals one day, and learn about the diverse world in which they live.

Hundreds of volunteer groups at the national and provincial level support thousands of artists, cultural workers, organizations and groups in hosting free participatory public activities, which take place in cities and towns across hundreds of countries in the world.  

Thousands of activities are registered each year at the official website of Culture Days as they try to catalyze and inspire great public participation in the arts and cultural life of our communities. These activities are centered around different cultural practices, and they help youth appreciate their peers and broaden their horizons. Here are some ideas how to celebrate Culture Day with your kids:

Druid toilet paper roll craft

A druid was a religious leader in the Celtic areas, from about 1500 BC to somewhere around 50 AD. Druids were doctors, judges, and lawmakers in real life. Here are the materials you need for a simple three-dimensional druid:

  •         Toilet paper roll or cardboard tube
  •         Something to color with
  •         Scissors
  •         Glue
  •         Paper
  •         Printer

Instructions:

  •         First print out the craft template of choice (since druids were both male and female), then cut out the template pieces.
  •         Glue the large rectangular piece on so you can cover the tube, but pay attention that

the slightly larger part is at the top (a dress or a robe).

  •         Glue the head and arms of the toilet paper roll.  
  •         Fold the tabs on the feet and glue them inside to create a perfect 3D effect.
  •         Fold the cloak in half and glue the two pieces and color it on both sides.

Make a Chinese New Year Crown or Hat

Make a simple construction paper “hat” the kids will have tons of fun creating, decorating, and they will certainly enjoy wearing it. You can decorate it with paper flowers, but you can also use stickers, markers, or gel pens instead. For material you need:

  •         Red construction paper
  •         2 gold pipe cleaners
  •         Pencil
  •         Scissors
  •         Tape
  •         Printer
  •         Paper
  •         Gold tissue paper
  •         Gold thread

The instructions:

  •         Print a template and color it if necessary.
  •         Cut out the template pieces
  •         Tape the pieces end to end to make a long bit
  •         Wrap around child’s head and trim of the excess
  •         Wrap the pipe cleaner around a pencil so you can make a “spring” with it
  •         Repeat with the other pipe cleaner
  •         Tape both pipe cleaners for the long piece of construction paper so they stay in front of the head
  •         Tape the paper ends together and put it on

 

The benefits of taking paternity leave

Apart from being a tremendous joy in life, having a baby is a great responsibility. Throughout history, it has become evident that the most considerable part in child rearing almost exclusively pertains to mothers. In the world today, when it is expected of a woman to be both successful as a mother and as a businesswoman, this load can sometimes prove too much, and all the help they can get from early on is invaluable.

Here is where fathers play a significant role. Recent studies have shown that children develop faster when both parents are actively involved in their child’s development, and the bond that the child establishes with its parent is thus stronger and everlasting.

To achieve that, men should make themselves more available and need to rearrange their working hours and commitments. We shall now discuss the benefits of such an approach.

Men can be the help women need around babies

Many women would argue that men don’t know their way around babies. They are clumsy and don’t have the delicate touch. Changing diapers can also be quite a challenge, but that doesn’t have to be the case. If men took paternity leaves, they would have more time to practice and cope with these natural occurrences during baby’s first days.

Also, they can dedicate their time to attend schools of paternity and learn new and interesting strategies that would boost child’s development significantly. Being an integral part of a child’s upbringing gives out the message to all mothers out there that they are not alone and that men are willing to share in all duties and responsibilities.

Many countries have recognised this, and apart from maternity leaves, now offer fathers with a chance of taking up to two weeks of paid leave after the baby arrives. Such has been the practice in the UK for several years. No countries have done more for paternity than the Scandinavian nations, such as Sweden, Norway, and Denmark.

For example, in Sweden, fathers can take up to 496 days of paid leave during the first years of a child’s life. The Swedes consider it necessary and productive, and they are willing to pay up to 80% of their wages which they are entitled to in their social plans.

No need for external help

By taking paternity leave, men can dedicate more time to their children and decrease the want of external help in the form of asking the grandparents to babysit. Although their help and advice are valuable, nothing is more rewarding than to say you have managed to do it all by yourself, no matter the obstacles you have come across on your way.

 

6 countries that have different gambling styles and habits

Gambling is one of the most popular pastimes in the world. Its essence is in the fact that one can have a material reward apart from the spiritual one. Every culture created its gambling games, but only a couple of them lived long enough to expand all over the globe. We will cover a couple of cultures that already have extensive gambling system and big venues. Let’s take a look.

The USA

The Puritans who came to the New World did not approve of gambling, but something changed along the way, and the US became crazy about gambling, especially for card games such as poker. However, they also enjoy other casino games as well – roulette, craps, and slots, especially if they can find a bonus code such as the Genting casino promo online.

However, not many states in this country approve of gambling. Some southern ones actually have strict laws that forbid any type of gambling activities.

The UK

Although there are casinos in the UK, they are absolutely in love with sports betting which is also the case with a lot of other countries in the EU. But this type of activity is not the only one that people take pride in. The United Kingdom is the only country which is obsessed over playing various lotteries and bingo games. Finally, they are avid fans of betting on horse races which take place almost every day at dozens of horse tracks across the UK.

Japan

Japan does not allow for casino games (although a bill was passed recently that allows the building of three Integrated Resorts). However, they have a unique gambling game called pachinko parlours which looks a lot like a pinball. The game was created back in the 1920s, and there are millions of Japanese players nowadays.

Spain

The residents of Spain are crazy about El Gordo, which is a lottery that has become a part of their tradition and culture. It was founded 203 years ago, and it is still prevalent. The lottery happens just once a year, and millions of Spaniards hope to win a prize that is approximately four million euros worth.

China

Although the Chinese people have a long history of gambling, their government frowns upon it. However, one place made a difference in the past fifteen years – Macau. Macau is a city that currently has 24 casinos and the highest revenue from gambling in the world. The Chinese love to go there and play various traditional casino games.

Norway

All of the Scandinavian countries are doing fantastic work in promoting gambling. They have state-controlled video terminals, and it is practically impossible to get addicted, but a lot of people play casino games on a daily basis. Norway, in particular, is an epicentre of poker stars as there are many poker players from this country that earned millions from online and live poker tournaments.

Conclusion

There are just some of the cultures that enjoy gambling. To answer the topic question – yes, gambling differs a lot, but there is are a couple of casino games that are present in almost all countries in the world.

Fun holidays and festivals around the globe

A wide variety of multinational holidays and festivals are celebrated around the world every year, whether within specific regions, cultures, or ethnic groups. There are some unique and fabulous celebrations which are famous for gathering a large group of people around the world.

Regardless of the cultural and religious differences, there is one thing that every person on the planet has in common- the desire to celebrate. Whether you’re celebrating winning some crash thanks to a piece you’ve read on learning Craps or how to bet on your favorite team, holidays, celebrations and festivals have always been an important part of the human tradition and it usually represents a way to commemorate the spiritual world while bonding with your family and friends.

The Rio de Janeiro Carnival-Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

The Rio de Janeiro carnival is considered as one of biggest carnivals in the world with more than two million people roaming the streets daily during the event. This celebration of enormous proportions takes place 7 weeks before Easter and officially lasts for four days, but the street parade usually stretches on the streets for more than two weeks. The festival attracts millions of people around the world who come to witness the passionate determination of samba schools under the sunny capital of Brazil.  

The famous carnival has its roots in the ancient Roman Empire, where it was a pagan celebration, performed as a form of a tribute to the gods. After a while, the festival was transformed into “Carne Vale”, which means purification of the body and detachment of all bodily pleasures. Nowadays, it is a gigantic party where ordinary people go out on the street and dance while covering their faces with masks.  

Throughout the years, the carnival has dissolved all social differences, so, today everyone, regardless of the financial stature and religion, come to the carnival to participate in the exploding rhythms of samba dance and enjoy various parades.

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is a world-famous holiday celebrated by more than 20% of the world population. It is the most important day in China where this holiday is also called the Spring Festival or Chunjie, and it represents the end of the coldest days. People welcome the spring as it represents a fresh start and a new beginning. The holiday is also called the Lunar New Year because it goes according to the lunar calendar, and is also celebrated in North and South Korea, and Vietnam.

The Chinese New Year is a spiritual way to pay tribute to gods and pray for a good planting and harvest season. One particularly interesting fact is that this is the time where most fireworks are set off in the world, and its purpose is to scare off the mythical monster Nian and bad luck.

The Chinese New Year is the holiday that causes the most massive human migration in the world as millions of Chinese people come home for the family reunion, which is the most essential part of the holiday.

Boryeong Mud Festival-South Korea

Mud festival is one of the most entertaining festivals in the world as thousands of people gather in the Korean peninsula to celebrate ice fishing, bullfighting, body painting, and a wide variety of fun-packed activities.  Boryeong Mud Festival is particularly unique because it is packed with amusing mud-themed activities. There are numerous recreational activities perfect for families as you can enjoy making mud figures or getting a mud massage.