Wondering if you should bow or shake hands with your Chinese colleague? Worried that you might have offended your Moroccan hosts by declining that second cup of tea? Want to know the best time to arrive at a Brazilian party?

Log on to CultureCrossing.net; an evolving database of cross-cultural information about every country in the world. This free, user-built reference guide allows people from around the globe to access and share essential tips about how to navigate the world with savvy and sensitivity. An invaluable resource for travelers, businesses, students and anyone living and working in a multicultural community, CultureCrossing.net offers its users an opportunity to:

* Access information for more than 200 countries (with new information added daily)
* Add knowledge to the country guides
* Ask questions and chat directly with other users and experts from around the world
* Explore global resources to facilitate any cross-cultural experience

According to CultureCrossing.net founder Michael Landers, “There are many sites that tell you how to book a trip and what to pack, but very few sites offer crucial information about the intangibles like appropriate greetings, gestures, and taboo behavior- tips that will help you stay out of trouble when crossing cultures. Ours is the only site providing free access to this kind of knowledge for every country in the world.”

The resources available at CultureCrossing.net are free to use, easy to navigate and simply organized by country and divided into three distinct categories of information: the basics, business essentials, and student life. Topics covered include greetings, gestures, taboos, dress, negotiations, meeting etiquette, school rules, gift giving, communication styles, eye contact, and more. Besides being an indispensable reference guide, the site also offers a variety of additional features such as interviews with culturally conscious celebrities, a humorous blog where you can learn from others’ cross-cultural faux pas, tools to help you explore your own “cultural baggage”, and quizzes so you can test your cultural IQ.

Culture influences our behavior in countless ways - subconsciously guiding our actions, reactions and interactions. In order to successfully engage with the global community, it’s crucial to understand how culture affects the way we socialize, communicate, and do business. In our increasingly borderless world, cultural ignorance can lead to misunderstandings with far reaching implications. Whether you’re working with a multicultural team, transitioning to a life overseas, preparing to study abroad, or just planning an international trip, CultureCrossing.net will enhance your personal experiences, deepen your cross-cultural understanding, and cultivate peace in our interconnected world.

Created by cross-cultural trainer Michael Landers and multimedia producer Lisa Grossman, CultureCrossing.net is the result of their passion for exploring the world and commitment to fostering cross-cultural understanding. The founders also rely on the voluntary support of professionals, students, and community members from around the globe to vet and grow their database of cultural information.

Live for just four months, the site already boasts members from over 75 countries and has recorded over 20,000 unique visitors and 1.5 million hits in July alone. CultureCrossing.net is quickly gaining recognition as the perfect primer for all your international experiences.

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Ellen Barone has been creating words and images for travel and tourism since 1998. She co-founded and publishes the group travel blog YourLifeIsATrip.com and is currently at work on her first book "I Could Live Here".