The influence behind your choice of free time activities

Having any free time in today’s world is considered a valuable commodity we should not take for granted. With the hectic lifestyle people lead nowadays, it is vital to utilise your free time in such a way that you enjoy it the most. If you haven’t picked up any hobbies yet, you might find yourself in a real puzzle, since there are a lot of things to choose from, but, how exactly do we make that choice and do society and our environment have anything to do with it?

Society exerts pressure through social networks—the feeling of missing out

If you have chosen to appear on social networks, you have been bombarded by various images and posts where people gladly share what they are doing, eating, etc. All of this can be a little bit overwhelming, and on some occasions, you may even feel like you are missing out on something and that may cause great misfortune.

Let’s take an example of people going out to nightclubs and posting their videos and photos for everyone to see. If you happened to stay in on that Saturday night and saw all those posts, you might have felt like you were missing out on great fun and thus induced yourself with a feeling of enormous pressure. Then, you also might have decided to go out more, even if you don’t necessarily like it, to shake off that negative feeling. This sort of society’s influence could prove detrimental and inevitably affects the choice of how you spend your free time.

Follow in your parents’ footsteps

If you look around you, you will see a routine and the usual choice of hobbies and pastime activities. It is also highly common that children proceed with the same hobbies as a continuation of their parents’ actions and thus turn something into a tradition. Also, a lot of hobbies have grown to become regular jobs, and by doing so, the people have the chance to do something they like and make money in the process.

Also, parents naturally have a saying in what sort of activities their children perform. If a child shows a proclivity towards some sport or a form of art, such as painting or sculpting, by steering them towards that is what will govern their future choices of pastime activities. In this way, parents pave the way of their children’s future hobbies, and that tends to continue throughout their adult life as well.

Your own expectations matter the most

We have so far shown that society can have substantial clout when it comes to our everyday decisions. Whether we want to admit it or not, we do care about the opinions of others and society’s approval is essential. With that in mind, we tend to shape our behaviour and activities in a way that they fit the norms and prerequisites of society.

Such a feeling also applies to our free time and hobbies. However, the bottom line should be that your free time is yours to command and you should do whatever makes you happy, regardless of what others have to say. Our free time is our to do what we please and not what others command. Stay true to yourself.

5 Interesting and unique customs from specific cultures

Our world is filled with various nations and even more cultures. Every culture has something unique that you will find in no other place in the world. Our team of experts decided to share some interesting customs they came upon in cultures all over the world. Let’s take a look!

Arrive late to show respect – Chile

Latin America’s residents are known for being somewhat late. Although this may seem as disrespectful by some western countries, most of the South Americans see it as completely natural.

Chile is the best example of how arriving late is actually a sign of respect. If someone invites you over for dinner at 9:00 and you show up on time, this is a clear sign that you don’t respect the host and that you only want to eat as soon as possible. Being late 15 minutes, or even half an hour, is a great thing to do.

Don’t place a full glass after a chin-chin – Russia

Russians have a lot of customs when it comes to drinking. One of them is to avoid putting a full glass down once you salute with your friends. That is only allowed when you go bottoms up!

Also, never toast with an empty glass. It is not only a sign of disrespect, but you will also have to drink an entire bottle afterwards. Anyone who is not a native Russian would probably hit the floor after a couple of shots. Drink carefully!

Place the full glass after cheering – Argentina

The customs in Argentina are opposite when you drink with your friends. Once you cheer, you absolutely MUST put the glass down and then drink it bottoms up. If you don’t place the glass down on the table, you might get cursed never to get laid in your life.

What an exciting event would be to see a Russian and an Argentinian drinking together!

Don’t leave before your boss – Japan

Japanese are not really that much into drinking customs. They are known for some of the habits (which are now customs) that are always work-related. One of them is simply a code that proposes nobody should leave their work before the boss. Legally, they are allowed to do that, but many workers see it as a sign of disrespect. This results in many of them staying for more than 18 hours daily.   

Kiss three times on the cheek – Serbia

Kissing is very important when greeting someone you know, and Europeans know that very well. They might appear awkward to the Chinese and Japanese who are not used to physical contact when greeting, but it’s completely normal in Europe – especially in the Balkans.

Serbians have a “holy trinity” belief which means that all of their customs include doing something three times repeatedly.

When you meet someone you are close to in Serbia, you should kiss them three times on the cheek (it is more of a cheek-to-cheek kiss). This type of greeting is also considered formal, and you can see people kissing during various celebrations such as a graduation, for example.

Conclusion

These were just some of the many interesting customs you can find around the world. Make sure to read this website for more similar articles, as we are going to cover other cultures and some unique customs.

The impact video games have on youngsters

Computer games have reached astonishing levels in the last two decades. They are a source of great fun for both children and adults alike. However, we must consider the implications and what sort of impact video games have on children and young adults. It’s not all fun and games. Read on to find what both you and your kid should be aware of and take care of.

Losing touch with the reality

The video games today are so elaborately designed that it almost feels like a different dimension of the world. We even have video games that are powered by virtual reality and that combine motion in real life with the movement within the game. The most popular type of games played in that way is the RPG game.

The RPG games are role-playing games that allow you to assume a role of a character or a hero and direct his life through decisions you make in the game. The interaction with other players is made available via the internet so that you can communicate with people from all over the world in real time.

All of this sounds pretty amazing, but the inevitable consequences could be severe. There were cases reported that claimed young people had suffered from complete alienation and could no longer resume real life interaction due to the extensive exposure to video games. All they could think about was playing games and that led to a negative impact on the overall physical and mental health.

Graphic violence

The exceedingly growing number of games host some sort of violence. Whether or not the game is based on the theme of war, violence has become ubiquitous in gaming. When you add the realistic graphics to it, what you can get is a ticking bomb. Children are immersed in those kinds of games so badly, that, at some point, they could have a hard time distinguishing what is real and what is not. That sort of exposure to violence can easily spill into the real world, and the children could think that it is the right kind of behaviour, according to it being sanctioned in the game.

The inability to communicate in real life

A lot of everyday communication is done online today. This way of communicating is also present in games as well. Chat rooms are places where players agree on what should be done in the game or can serve the purpose of general communication.

With spending too much time chatting online, one can disregard real-life interaction, and with more time spent in the virtual world, the less likely is one to establish proper relationships and connections in the outside world. This has far-reaching consequences on the lives of people, and its detrimental impact is not something to be taken lightly.

Not all is black and white

On the other hand, not all that comes from video games is bad. There are a lot of educational games your child can play that can help him or her to develop their language and even learn a foreign language. There are also games that require a specific cognitive effort to complete the tasks, and that can boost your child’s cognitive ability. You can also solve puzzles together and spend quality time with your child while playing games.

All in all, it’s all up to you what you are going to “feed” your kid with. You are either going to allow him play PC games all day long and waste his precious time, or you are going to help him develop skills by indulging in educational content on the web.

 

The importance of cultures and why we should study them

While cultural studies are somewhat complex and can hardly be explained in a few paragraphs, we will give our best to tell you why it’s essential. Learning about other cultures can be both beneficial and fun, no matter how much time you spend on it. Our world is full of diversity, and although our own cultures impact us the most, there is a whole spectre of cultures out there that are worth exploring.

Cultural Studies Open Your Mind

Spending too much time with a limited amount of interests can make you close-minded. This can create a dose of animosity towards other people and their cultures. By giving yourself a chance to learn about other societies and their behavior, you are more likely to accept their way of living rather than judging it. If more people were to participate in cultural studies, it would lead to the rising of global awareness, which will create only positive results.

Studying Cultures Can be Fun

Not a lot of people associate studying with fun, but cultural studies can, in fact, be very amusing. Learning about other cultures may provide you with a lot of interesting facts. You might learn stuff you never knew existed. In effect, this can create additional curiosity and the desire to learn more about each subject. Even if you don’t find cultural studies that interesting, you will still get a chance to learn something new.

Learning by Travelling

Studying about cultures does not necessarily involve book reading. Maybe the best way to learn about other cultures is to be right on the spot. You may read about different customs and traditions in great detail, but until you are there to witness them, you won’t be able to experience them properly.

Traveling can help you to understand other cultures better and appreciate them. Speaking to a person from a foreign country about their customs and traditions is probably the best way to learn about this. More so, you can share a thing or two about your culture during the conversation as well.

Conclusion

Studying about cultures opens up a whole new horizon. Apart from being educational, cultural studies create the feel of appreciation towards other ethnicities. On top of that, you can learn about it just by going to different places and seeing the world for yourself.

Is ethnicity in sports and sports participation important?

Ethnicity is something that many people are proud of. When you belong to a specific group of people that has a common national and cultural tradition, that is indeed something that you should feel proud of.

On the other hand, sport has always been something that connected people. Many sports promote fight against racism, but it is something different than ethnicity in the popular sense.

For the purpose of this article, we will talk about ethnicity and race as synonyms, as they are similar (people who are of a different race are often of a different ethnicity as well).

Sports Discrimination

Coaches are often the first people to assume that some players cannot achieve success due to their ethnicity. For example, we cannot imagine someone who is an ethnic Yoruba (a people group from Ivory Coast) to be good at skiing.

This is plainly wrong, as it is obvious that the residents of Ivory Coast are not really familiar with winter and snowy weather at all. It seems somehow natural for them not to be interested in winter sports.

However, the climate does not have to be the only factor. Some cultures developed a taste for sports which come from other cultures. For example, the people from India are absolutely in love with cricket, while it may not be popular in Latin America at all.

The Power of Football

Football is one sport that brings closer all ethnicities and countries. Although it is not popular equally across the world, there is the least prejudice about ethnicity in football. When you take a look at the popular football clubs in Europe (which is the epicenter of football), you can find people from all over the world.

Yes, it is natural that some countries (mainly European and South American) are the most dominant, but it is just a matter of time when other countries accept football as much. For example, China is doing great work with promoting football, and their league has become really strong. In a couple of years, we will see a lot of Chinese players in Europe!

Conclusion

Apart from football, some other sports are making progress as well. Track & Field games are full of people that come from various ethnicities, and Athletics is another sport that transcends ethnicity.

The correct standpoint is that dividing people based on their ethnicity should not be present in any sport, and official organizations of those sports should work hard to overcome these boundaries.

Therefore, if you want to become a professional athlete, the correct attitude is to disregard all the talk about ethnicity and enjoy the games. The best team should win, and that is all that matters in sports, apart from having a good time.

Can Cultures Be Changed

We often think of cultures as fixed and invariable pieces of a nation’s identity. Even though we live in the 21st century, a lot of our customs and traditions date back to past millennia. The cultures regularly went through changes over the centuries, and they are even changing as we speak. So, yes, cultures can be changed. We will discuss what are the causes of cultural changes and their processes.

Technology

Technology, or better yet, inventions, have caused tremendous changes in how we live. The industrial revolution turned the world upside down and created a whole new way of production, thus impacting our economy, politics, environment, and more. The invention of devices like the telephone changed the way we communicate and how we do business with each other. The same can be said for transportation, as airplanes gave us an opportunity to easily travel to far away places and meet cultures that are different from our own. The advancement in medicine created greater longevity among all people and changed the way we manage our lifetime.

Non-material

While discoveries in the field of technology may have had the most significant impact on the cultural changes around the globe, the same can easily be said for non-material findings. In the past several centuries, education has become available to the vast majority of people in the world, thus creating a more knowledgeable population. The progress in social issues, like women rights and racial segregation, has also changed the way we live and treat each other. Although we discussed medicine in the technology part, the expansion of knowledge in nutrition altered the way we eat and prepare food.

Cultural Diffusion

In today’s world, almost every finding is only a few clicks away from us. We may not realize it, but the information we receive over the internet and television largely impacts our societies. People now have the opportunity to learn about other cultures more efficiently than ever before. Only a few decades ago, many cultures remained closed from us, as we lacked in sources to diffuse them. Even our own national traits couldn’t be spread around so quickly to other parts of the world. We can say with certainty that cultural diffusion today is at its peak in history.

Conclusion

Cultures are changing, and they will likely never stop changing. In fact, this will lead to many customs and traditions to die out. However, this process will create new intellectual achievements to replace them. Although many cultures still remain unique to a certain degree, culture is something that will continuously go through shifts, more for the better than for worse.

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.