My Holiday Calendar

We are on the east coast of Tasmania in Australia, hiking to a wonderful beach of Wineglass Bay. It’s Sunday and there are more people out and about than expected. The reason surprises us. It’s a long weekend. An official holiday on Monday, February 12th.

What is being celebrated?

“It’s a kind of show, but we don’t know the details,” we hear.

In Germany, it was „Rosenmontag“ . Is Carnival or „Fastnacht“ really officially celebrated here?

In Hobart, the capital of Tasmania, we find out. The Royal Hobart Regatta, a cherished aquatic event, has been celebrated since 1838. This iconic three-day carnival takes place on the Derwent River in Hobart. It is a public holiday, but only in Hobart and the southern part of Tasmania.

Memories come to my mind.

In my role as a global manufacturing leader in a large chemical company, I had been trying to create a holiday calendar. Simply because I wanted to be respectful of the cultural circumstances of my employees. I did not want to set expectations to attend a meeting during a given holiday.

Not an easy task when countries such as China, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Canada, the USA, Mexico, Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium, England or Spain and Germany were listed on my chemical plant map at the same time. Again and again I was surprised.

For example, in Tarragona, one of my plant locations, on April 23rd, Sant Jordi is a popular celebration that combines culture, romance and literature, dedicated to the patron saint of Catalans. However, this day was not marked in my Spanish holiday calendar.

So there is no way around learning these realities step by step from conversations and visits. And that is all the more beautiful because at the same time the associated customs are learned.

And so we celebrated the Regatta Day in Tasmania in Hobart, carnival in a completely different way than the “Fasnet dahoim” in Oberndorf am Neckar.

➡️ And what about you? I am very keen about your experience with holidays across different cultures, if you would like to share it.

If you are interested, feel free to follow me at LinkedIn, #Prepare4Landing, or contact me diectly. I’m Bernd Scharbert and my task as a mentor and facilitator for leaders is to ensure that virtual intercultural teams will grow and develop their performance to the next level.

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