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Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

freezing Heerlen

Posted by danzinde on January 7, 2009

What a wonderful winter experience in Heerlen, also my first experience to see snow fall in the Netherlands. The Dutchies always complain about weather, atleast now it seems all serene and silence. -12 C today, should be surely added to winter history record of Heerlen. A view of Terworm Castle in the vicinity of OU.

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Happy Season Greetings!

Posted by danzinde on December 17, 2008

to all my dear readers… I am off  to Berlin if you are around, shoot me an email… wish you all Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2009 🙂

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Bella Italia

Posted by danzinde on August 5, 2008

…two days off from work and a lifelong lasting experience to cherish… It was truly an awesome trip to the northern Alps (Verbano-Cusio-Ossola province) in Italy. Blogging is the least i could express the beauty i have seen in the mountains, valleys, lakes and most important the Italian hospitality. Me and Tim started our train journey from Aachen (Germany) to Domodossola (Italy), we were so excited that the journey of 8 hours to destination with 3 DB changes and the maximum speed of 303 km/hr in ICE, passed just in the discussion of our expectations. At domodossola we received a warm welcome from the dear friend Agnese and her cute sis Ariana (Ari), giving us the little gift packs of welcome. The rest of impression was too good to express as we already started talking with the mix and re-mix of German, Dutch, Hindi, English and Italian. We all bumped into the car (although I had some prejudices against the italian driving, as i believed that rest of the europe people drive on right or left side of road, italians go in the middle :), still i was not too afraid given my experience of Indian driving ;). Driving through the beautiful valleys of Antigorio we reached Cravegnia, where we took Mariana (Mari) another best friend of Agnese and drove directly to Formazza waterfall. Although it started to rain, the view gave us silent awwwwwwww. At Formazza we had real Italian Cappuccino, a sip of it would already made you feel it is no ordinary. Later, we arrived Croveo a small little village in the valley where Agnese lives with her Grandma. Then the family experiences started, we dropped in our bags, and headed towards another village to Agnese parents uphill (they call it summer house, since it is not possible to live there in winter, cold and several meters high snow being the reasons). We were treated with Lazania for dinner, another taste which is speically associated with Italian recipe… too good. The next morning we left for Alpe Devero, one of the valleys in the vicinity. We took ice-cream, and followed the trail as lead by Ari, our cute little guide ;). The walk was under the bright sun which regulated itself at 26 C… rest was the journey one would imagine with the mouth open and motionless tounge just enjoying the view :).

Well said: pictures speak louder than words…

Bella Italia

Thanks to our dear Agnese and even more to bella Ari and Mari, you all simply rock 🙂 Grazie!!

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A minute to think : Perspective

Posted by danzinde on April 16, 2008

Think where we stand and what we can do to bring about the changes! A minute of thought and some actions can make the world a better place to live.

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Cultural Dimensions of the World

Posted by danzinde on April 9, 2008

Lately, I came across an interesting perspective of looking at cultural dimensions of the world according to Dutch Prof. Geert Hofstede; an Emeritus Professor at Maastricht University.

He classifies mainly five views or dimensions in which he views a society or a nation (see reference)

Power Distance Index (PDI) that is the extent to which the less powerful members of organizations and institutions (like the family) accept and expect that power is distributed unequally. This represents inequality (more versus less), but defined from below, not from above. It suggests that a society’s level of inequality is endorsed by the followers as much as by the leaders. Power and inequality, of course, are extremely fundamental facts of any society and anybody with some international experience will be aware that ‘all societies are unequal, but some are more unequal than others’.

Individualism (IDV) on the one side versus its opposite, collectivism, that is the degree to which individuals are inte-grated into groups. On the individualist side we find societies in which the ties between individuals are loose: everyone is expected to look after him/herself and his/her immediate family. On the collectivist side, we find societies in which people from birth onwards are integrated into strong, cohesive in-groups, often extended families (with uncles, aunts and grandparents) which continue protecting them in exchange for unquestioning loyalty. The word ‘collectivism’ in this sense has no political meaning: it refers to the group, not to the state. Again, the issue addressed by this dimension is an extremely fundamental one, regarding all societies in the world.

Masculinity (MAS) versus its opposite, femininity, refers to the distribution of roles between the genders which is another fundamental issue for any society to which a range of solutions are found. The IBM studies revealed that (a) women’s values differ less among societies than men’s values; (b) men’s values from one country to another contain a dimension from very assertive and competitive and maximally different from women’s values on the one side, to modest and caring and similar to women’s values on the other. The assertive pole has been called ‘masculine’ and the modest, caring pole ‘feminine’. The women in feminine countries have the same modest, caring values as the men; in the masculine countries they are somewhat assertive and competitive, but not as much as the men, so that these countries show a gap between men’s values and women’s values.

Uncertainty Avoidance Index (UAI) deals with a society’s tolerance for uncertainty and ambiguity; it ultimately refers to man’s search for Truth. It indicates to what extent a culture programs its members to feel either uncomfortable or comfortable in unstructured situations. Unstructured situations are novel, unknown, surprising, different from usual. Uncertainty avoiding cultures try to minimize the possibility of such situations by strict laws and rules, safety and security measures, and on the philosophical and religious level by a belief in absolute Truth; ‘there can only be one Truth and we have it’. People in uncertainty avoiding countries are also more emotional, and motivated by inner nervous energy. The opposite type, uncertainty accepting cultures, are more tolerant of opinions different from what they are used to; they try to have as few rules as possible, and on the philosophical and religious level they are relativist and allow many currents to flow side by side. People within these cultures are more phlegmatic and contemplative, and not expected by their environment to express emotions.

Long-Term Orientation (LTO) versus short-term orientation: this fifth dimension was found in a study among students in 23 countries around the world, using a questionnaire designed by Chinese scholars It can be said to deal with Virtue regardless of Truth. Values associated with Long Term Orientation are thrift and perseverance; values associated with Short Term Orientation are respect for tradition, fulfilling social obligations, and protecting one’s ‘face’. Both the positively and the negatively rated values of this dimension are found in the teachings of Confucius, the most influential Chinese philosopher who lived around 500 B.C.; however, the dimension also applies to countries without a Confucian heritage.

some interesting country specific graph according to Hofstede, relevant to me are:




Notice the MAS (Masculinity) differences in these 3 countries: Holland has less Masculinity, I am not sure if this immediately implies high Feminity, but for sure it means a large space for womenhood, family values, her rights and respect, which we definetely need to make the world more beautiful 🙂 and dont forget Netherlands is a country of flowers 😉 , the best way to express our emotions to our dear women 🙂

In my own view, it is interesting to classify a nation on an average tendency of people but my experience of living abroad (Germany and Holland) as well as traveling makes me know a person more at individual level or based on personal characteristics, for i believe in one of the anonymous sayings:”every person is a window to a world in itself“. For example a stereotyped German image could be different than a person of Germany might reflect in his/her personal characteristics, at the same time personal characteristics are different contrasting the image of Nation as a whole, for example if we see the world with the eyes of Geert Wilders, the Dutch would sound way too different and intolerant contrasting the dutch society as a whole; the Netherlands is fairly an open country as known world wide, people are multilingual in general, and so far even i feel according to my personal experience, that i agree to the world view of this country. Furthermore working in an international settings, I feel an ambassador of my own cultural background (India), the difference leads to people’s curiosity in me and i am quite often a person of reference when we stumble upon a discussion on cultural differences and contrasting Indian perspective on western values in Ape Cage. The people’s diversity in culture is one of the most interesting aspect of humanity. Positive traits would mean to respect, value and love others at the same time keeping your own personal identity (i meant here personal characteristics not a cultural or nationalistic stereotypes).

I am reading a bookcalled “A whole new mind” by Daniel Pink, where he contrasts metaphorically the people who are left-brainers (hemisphere) and who are right-brainers (hemisphere). Briefly:

The era of “left brain” dominance, and the Information Age that it engendered, are giving way to a new world in which “right brain” qualities -inventiveness, empathy, meaning-predominate. That’s the argument at the center of this provocative and original book, which uses the two sides of our brains as a metaphor for understanding the contours of our times.

A trigger for the time being, but my views on it would be my another post 😉

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Say NO to Illegal US detentions!

Posted by danzinde on March 26, 2008

A friend of mine invites me to sign the petition against illegal US detentions of terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay.  Myself giving high value to human rights I definetly did so. Here is your chance too. Lets [Tear it Down]

Amenesty international is leading a project to counter terror with justice . If you still ask Why should we care?

some facts to be known:

  • Because lasting security and real justice for the victims of terrorism cannot be achieved without real justice and respect for human rights.
  • Because those illegally detained in US custody at Guantánamo and elsewhere must be released unless they are to be charged with recognized crimes.
  • Because those held at Guantánamo and elsewhere, including in secret detention centres, are human beings who haven’t seen their homes or families for years and have faced torture and other ill-treatment.
  • Because indefinite and secret detentions are a blight on human rights and are against international law.
  • Because each day that illegal detention at Guantánamo and elsewhere continues is a day too long.

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Happybirthday my Blog

Posted by danzinde on March 12, 2008

my “bloggie” is now 2 years old. naming just to cutify my “blog” :o). I guardianed and nourished it carefully for a while and now i am slowly realizing that my own blog is becoming a way to reflect myself (my interests, my knowledge, my work, my impressions, my social connections and to some extent my personal competence). After making the claim as a [hardblogging scientist], i took efforts to sincerely reflect my web presence and give insight of my work experiences. Over the time i feel my blog has emerged (1) the way it looks to you and myself; a centralized view of my different associations (2) the way it is internally structured for my own view; a mental map. For example, there are many blog drafts unpublished, there are many bookmarks, pictures, knowledge and experience which are unshared, but still useful for me, this way i preserve the right to present myself. I perceive now that after email, blog has eventually become a “contextualised mirror of my mind“, which means it reflects how things in (real-world) have associated in my mind over the time of 2 years in a given context(work, travel, associations and impresssions) and ofcourse my social connections. What is interesting to know now is, does my blog help me to “learn” and make me self-organised?. Atleast, i am making effort to enrich it extensively with features and consequently it would become a “home” for me where i would keep all “bits” of my digital presence which flows in the “veins” of web. I envision a day would eventually come when i would ask my “bloggie” to serve me with my(“learning goal”, “journey itinerary, “traces of globetrotting”, “interests”, “associations”, “materialistic necessity”, “spiritual quest”, and what not…). All at one place, anytime and always immortal. Do you agree to me ?

Posted in Personal, philosophy, Science & Technology, Semantic Ideas | 1 Comment »

First experience with snow and mountains

Posted by danzinde on February 21, 2008

I am self surprised to claim my first close experience with mountains (Alps). I was over ambitious to go for snowboarding :-), never realized even sledging can be hard maneuvering ;-). I had some lebensgefährlich erfahrungen aber na ja war sehr kooool ;).


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back from Zürich

Posted by danzinde on September 26, 2007

…had a short but very exhilarating time in the Swiss city Zürich. One good reason was obvious sun and warm weather. I assumed going from Germany would make my experience a bit more easier in terms of language, indeed it was, nevertheless swis-german has a typical accent. Since language is my curiosity so was my active observations there, it was bit surprising to hear “dreee saaachsich” when i had to pay for a special swiss chocolate 3.60 €. My response was slow but my comprehension was better :o). Just a short tip for those who want to plan ahead: Zürich is expensive if you are used to Euros you would find Swiss Francs (CHF) would seduce you, because you believe for each 10 CHF note you pay approx. 6 Euros. (saving tip: avoid women to be with you 😉

Lake side view at Bürkliplatz is 10 min. walking distance from Hauptbahnhof (Main Train Station) which is even better if you make a boat trip, if you need a bird eye of the city take a train to Uetliberg, S-Bahn goes twice an hour from Hauptbahnhof.

Using “Zürich card” worth 17 CHF (11 €) would be worth buying, valid for 24 hours and allows access to all transports (bus,train,tram and boat) in Zürich plus several Museums. Google would tell you more what it includes n’ where to get it.

Do not forget visiting Chocolate shop at Bahnhofstrasse, being a chocoholic myself 😉 it is my personal recommendation. You will find much more choice than the grand old Toblerone

Some impressions here:

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