Hofstede´s model the “Cultural Onion” is a great tool to help us understand the culture of a country.
The Cultural Onion is a CORE and 3 layers.
CORE: The core stands for the values of a certain culture, which are slow to change and are heavily influenced by the history of that country or culture. Even if something seems to be outdated, it still can subconsciously play a role in a modern society.
“This is the area Intercultural Training focuses on and is the key to understand how it influences human interactions in business”
RITUALS AND TRADITIONS: The first layer around the core is described as rituals. A ritual can be for example, personal hygiene (most Asians shower in the evening, Europeans in the morning). German people like to shake hands often, the Spanish like to greet people with “buenos días / buenas tardes” while the British use “please” and “sorry” all the time.
HEROES: The second layer around the core are the “heroes“. A hero can be a fictious person, national heroes, photo-models or scientists – all people, who have been a role-model in that society.
SYMBOLS: The third layer is about the symbols. Nowadays most symbols appear as brands like BMW, Apple or Louis Vuitton, and change with the trends.