Culture of Luxembourg - history, people, traditions, women, beliefs, food, customs, family, social
The trilingual system in Luxembourg along with the presence of some The relation of culture and language is the way they share human. Language is the most important element of cultural identity for the native-born. Those residents speak, read, and write in French, German, and Luxembourgish. Luxembourgish (national language), German (administrative language), . Punctuality is crucial in Luxembourg for building a positive business relationship.
Older homes in smaller towns and villages, and newer ones in the suburbs, are free-standing, but relatively close together. Outside these houses are well-kept gardens, as well as space to park cars. The Echternach marketplace in Luxembourg. Food and Economy Food in Daily Life. Luxembourg cuisine is said to combine the finesse of French cooking with the heartiness of German food. More recently, it has been inspired by the cuisine of Italian and Portuguese immigrants.
Traditional Luxembourgers consume a small French-style breakfast and large meals at midday and in the evening. Food Customs at Ceremonial Occasions. Special dishes are consumed on national and religious holidays, as well as on Sunday afternoons.
After consuming these large meals, Luxembourgers are fond of taking walks in the country, along well-marked trails. Well-regarded dry white wine is produced from Reisling grapes grown on the east-facing slopes of the Moselle River, across from Germany. Luxembourg also produces eaux-de-vieor plum brandies, made from mirabelle yellow plums and quetsch purple plums. Luxembourgers have a saying, "Just as Egypt is a gift of the Nile, Luxembourg is a gift of iron.
Steel production dominated the economy for nearly a century and transformed a very poor, mostly agricultural society into one of the world's wealthiest industrialized countries. At its peak, the steel industry employed one-fourth of the workforce and generated two-thirds of exports, but when world demand for steel plummeted in the s, three-fourths of the steelworkers were laid off.
The iron ore fields were closed inand the surviving steel industry makes specialized products with imported ore.
The loss of the steel industry did not plunge Luxembourg into economic disaster. In the s and s, the country became one of Europe's most important financial services centers.
Luxembourg had two hundred thirty-three banks in the s—compared with only seventeen in — as well as seven thousand holding companies and 1, investment fund operations. Financial institutions were attracted by the low tax rates and strict privacy laws.
Luxembourg also houses a number of European organizations, including the general secretariat of the European Parliament, the European Union's statistical and publications offices and court of justice, the European Investment Bank, and the European Court of Auditors.
Land Tenure and Property. Luxembourgers place a high value on owning property and the protection of private property rights.
With the large decline in the steel industry and the growth in financial and European institutions since the s, most citizens are now employed in services. In68 percent of the workforce was in services, 29 percent in manufacturing, and 3 percent in agriculture.
Somewhat offsetting the loss of steel jobs, several transnational corporations have built factories. The manufacture of chemicals, rubber, and plastic products has increased. Because of its large number of financial services, Luxembourg has a strongly positive international trade balance. Other European Union countries—primarily the three neighboring countries of Belgium, France, and Germany—account for 61 percent of exports and 74 percent of imports.
One-half of the workers are foreign, about equally divided among immigrants living in the country and commuters from Belgium, France, and Germany. Immigrants hold a large percentage of jobs in construction and minimally skilled services, whereas commuters work in financial services and international institutions.
Social Stratification Classes and Castes. The most fundamental social division is between native Luxembourgers and foreign-born residents. Portuguese immigrants are likely to hold lower-status jobs such as street cleaning, bus driving, and restaurant waiting.
Symbols of Social Stratification. The major symbol of social class difference is the language spoken and understood at home. Native Luxembourgers address each other and their families in Luxembourgish but switch to French, German, or English to talk with foreigners. Luxembourg is a representative democracy within a constitutional hereditary monarchy. The grand duke or duchess, the ceremonial head of state, appoints the prime minister, who is responsible to a sixty-member Chamber of Deputies that is popularly elected every five years.
Leadership and Political Officials. The government is nearly always a coalition of the conservative PCS and one of the two more progressive parties. The most influential informal decision-making bodies are three councils: Former ministers and business, labor, and other civic leaders are appointed to these councils, which are consulted before legislation is enacted affecting their areas of national life. Social Problems and Control. The legal system is strongly influenced by French practice.
Judges are appointed for life by the grand duke. The crime rate is extremely low, and civil disorders are unknown. Social Welfare and Change Programs About one-third of GDP is spent on social welfare programs; this is one of the world's most generous systems. About half that spending is on pensions, one-fourth on health insurance, and one-fourth on disability payments.
With only five thousand unemployed people, spending for unemployment compensation is low. In principle, women have full political and economic equality. The percentage of women active in the labor force has increased rapidly, but the country has a lower female labor force participation rate than do other Two men harvest potatoes on a farm.
Luxembourgers place a high value on owning property and protecting property rights. Few women are compelled by economic necessity to seek employment, and housework is counted as employment in determining social security and other benefits. Because of the very low birthrate, women citizens are torn between child rearing and working outside the home.
The main impetus for the growth in female labor force participation is a desire for more independence and equality and less social isolation. The Relative Status of Women and Men. Older women wield considerable informal authority, in part because they constitute a high percentage of the population: About 12 percent of native-born Luxembourgers are women over age Older women have a large percentage of the national wealth and provide their middle-aged children with considerable financial support, such as assistance in buying a house.
In the afternoon, the streets are filled with older women heading for the bakeries to consume coffee and pastry with friends. Marriage, Family, and Kinship Marriage. Marriage rates have dropped sharply in recent years.
Culture and social etiquette in Luxembourg - Expat Guide to Luxembourg | Expatica
One-third of couples who live together are unmarried, one-seventh of the children are born to unmarried mothers, and one-third of marriages end in divorce. All these practices were rare a generation ago. Although the older generation controls much of the family wealth, three-generation households have become much less common than they were in the past. Older women who cannot live independently are more likely to move into expensive, comfortable retirement homes than to move in with one of their children.
Inheritance laws do not induce early divesting of an estate to heirs, and so older people hold on to their wealth until they die. Because Luxembourg has had a very low birthrate for a long time, an inheritance is typically divided among a small number of children, but with high life expectancy, most middle-aged and even retired people have living parents. Among the native-born, the birth of a baby is a relatively rare event at about three thousand per year, several hundred less than the number of deaths.
An extensive publicly supported network of day care centers is available for the 50 percent of Harvesters pick wine grapes in a vineyard in Wellenstein.
Nearly half the babies are born to foreigners, and they are entitled to the same maternity and day care as the native-born population. Child Rearing and Education.
People are taught to be prudent, careful, responsible, and practical. Creativity and expressiveness are not emphasized. An infant is not a constant center of attention, and parents are not obsessed with twenty-four-hour catering to a child's whims. Regular mealtimes and other activities are not disrupted by the arrival of a child.
There is no university. Because French is the principal language of instruction in secondary school, Luxembourgers are more likely to attend a university in France or Belgium than in Germany. Etiquette Luxembourgers regard their cultural values as deriving primarily from their French rather than their German neighbors. However, they do not admire the spontaneity of Latin culture.
Punctuality is expected at meetings, social activities, and cultural events. About 97 percent of the people are Roman Catholics. Native-born Luxembourgers are overwhelmingly Roman Catholic, as are most immigrants from Italy and Portugal. Medicine and Health Care Like other European countries, Luxembourg has a free and universal national health insurance system. Luxembourg celebrates National Day on 23 June as the sovereign's official birthday. The night before 22 June is festive, with torchlight parades, fireworks, music, and parties.
National Day is more ceremonial, including military parades, cannonades, and a "Te Deum" sung in the national cathedral. They are a private people who do not put their possessions or emotions on display, particularly in the business environment. The Luxembourger prefers subtlety to directness. They do not ask personal questions and will refuse to answer should you intrude on their privacy.
It is very important when developing your relationships with the Luxembourger,that you remember to keep personal life separate from business. Luxembourgers usually maintain a clear separation between their personal and business lives.
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Showing interest in the country and the people can be important in building business relationships. Luxembourgers are generally polite but reserved, so loudness, assertiveness, and over familiarity are all considered inappropriate at the beginning of a business relationship.
Luxembourgers are careful, prudent and take time to develop a relationship before they trust people. They approach the task of getting to know you in a deliberate and measured manner, which cannot be rushed. If you appear impatient, they will not do business with you. Although third-party introductions are not necessary, they are recommended, as they demonstrate an expression of trust in business. They will, however, go on to develop personal relationships with the people with whom they conduct business, once trust has been established.
Building a relationship requires the demonstration of a sincere interest in the country and the people.
Thus, it is imperative to understand the history, culture and identity of Luxembourg.
France and Luxembourg
Unlike France, men never kiss men, and public displays of affection are not common, particularly in the business environment. Public gestures of affection tend to be reserved for close family and friends. Loud, aggressive, and arrogant behaviour is regarded as highly unacceptable and rude, by the Luxembourger. Common courtesy such as handshakes and politeness go a long way to creating a good impression on your counterpart. Luxembourgers prefer direct eye contact and in a business context, a person who avoids eye contact may raise suspicions.
Therefore, you should maintain eye contact with a Luxembourger, when he or she is talking to you. Expressive use of the hands is minimal in most conversations. Personal titles Luxembourgers tend to like titles, especially in corporate hierarchy; so, surnames with honorific titles are used in most social situations. Academic titles and degrees are not considered important and are avoided as a rule, since mention of them is considered a sign of poor breeding.
The most common language to address a Luxembourg counterpart in is French. In accordance with European business protocols, use last names and appropriate titles until specifically invited by your host or colleagues to use their first names.
In Luxembourg, use of first names is generally reserved for close friends and family, or until a trusting relationship has been established.
It is normal to address people as Monsieur, Madame or Mademoiselle without adding the surname. Be very formal in the way you address people. Do you want to learn more about business culture in Luxembourg?