In recognition of Culture Diversity Day on May 21, a United Nations designated holiday, Veritas is celebrating our first Culture Week from May 19-25. Throughout the week, we will focus on celebrating the spirit and values our unique cultural differences bring to Veritas and what makes it a great place to work. Through this celebration, we hope to give our employees the opportunity to:
One of the ways we are celebrating our differences is hearing from several employees around the world on what their favorite cultural traditions is. Please see the traditions below and join me in celebrating!
Employee name: Tina Tong, Technical Support Engineer
Location: Beijing, China
Culture I identify with: Chinese
Cultural highlight/tradition: Peking Opera
Growing up in ancient Hutong, I used to accompany my grandparents, the Manchu nobility, to watch Peking Opera when I was a teenager. The art form impressed me a lot for its beautiful melody as well as the fabulous clothes of the performers. An integral part of traditional Chinese culture, the Peking Opera, has shown enormous appeals to the public. No wonder the Opera is known as the quintessence of China! I strongly encourage tourists across the world to visit my hometown-Beijing and experience the charm of this ancient art form by putting on gorgeous clothes of Peking Opera.
Employee name: Arturo Rodea Inclan, Partners and Alliances Director
Culture I identify with: Mexican culture
Cultural highlight/tradition: Dia De Muertos (Day of the Dead)
Dia De Muertos is a holiday traditionally celebrated on November 1 and 2, though other days, such as October 31 depending on the locality. It largely originated in Mexico, where it is mostly observed, but also in other places, especially by people of Mexican heritage elsewhere. The multi-day holiday involves family and friends gathering to pay respects and to remember friends and family members who have died. These celebrations can take a humorous tone, as celebrants remember funny events and anecdotes about the departed.
Traditions connected with the holiday include honoring the deceased using calaveras and aztec marigold flowers known as "cempazúchitl", building home altars called OFRENDAS with the favorite foods and beverages of the departed. The celebration is not solely focused on the dead, as it is also common to give gifts to friends such as candy sugar skulls, to share traditional "pan de muerto" with family and friends.
In 2008, the tradition was inscribed in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. Every year my family and I create of home altars to remember the dead, traditional dishes for the Day of the Dead commemorating our deceased relatives and share "Pan de Muerto" for dinner (is a type of sweet bread traditionally baked). Hope you enjoy this Mexican tradition!
Employee name: Bhanu Mahanti, Director Customer Care
Culture I identify with: Indian Hindu festivals
Cultural highlight/tradition: Diwali
Diwali is a religious festival of the Hindus that signifies the triumph of good over evil. It is also associated with the goddess of prosperity and is celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, and many Buddhists. It's celebrated with the lighting of traditional lamps inside and outside the house and setting off fireworks. People dress up in their finest traditional clothes from the region they belong to and exchange sweets and other special treats with their friends and family members. Over the years, Diwali has taken on a more cultural hue, with celebrations extending to all people in the neighborhood irrespective of their faith. And that has extended to the office environment as well. Employees come to the office in their traditional wear a day before Diwali, and most companies in India, including Veritas, distribute sweets to the employees. The atmosphere is festive, and loads of pictures and selfies are taken to be displayed on Facebook and Instagram. I particularly like this festival as we dress up in our regional clothes and distribute our regional sweets. That's really exciting as India is a vast, very diverse country, and this gives us an opportunity to experience each other's culture.
Employee name: Scott Cochrane, ANZ Distribution Sales Manager
Culture I identify with: Australian
Cultural highlight/tradition: Australia Christmas
One of the great things about Australia is celebrating Christmas in summer! Seafood is a must for Christmas celebrations – enjoyed both cold and of course, you need to put a shrimp on the barbie! (Although we call them prawns down under!). The sun setting after 8 pm means a long day of celebrating, mostly outside if it's not too hot! And you always need to enjoy beautiful food with beautiful wine! Most major Australian cities are within 2 hours drive of famous wine regions – the Barossa Valley (Adelaide), the Hunter Valley (Sydney), the Yarra Valley (Melbourne), and Margaret River (Perth).
Employee name: Clare Phillips, Senior Manager Total Rewards
Location: Arlington, Reading, UK
Culture I identify with: Cornwall
Cultural highlight/tradition: May Day
Whenever possible 1st May will find me in Padstow in Cornwall, where my mother grew up. While always a place for holidaymakers, the town has changed from a close-knit working fishing port to a high-end tourist destination with a significant proportion of second homeowners, celebrity chef dining experiences and art galleries, but on May Day Padstonians from all over the world return to celebrate the coming of summer. It's a tradition I've passed on to my children who, even in their 20's, still get out their blue or red scarves – loyalties are divided - follow the 'Oss and eat a pasty on the beach, although they draw the line at taking part in the first dip of the year in the sea…no wetsuits allowed!
Employee name: Anila Adhikari, Senior Software Engineer
Location: San Francisco, California
Culture I identify with: Nepal
Cultural highlight/tradition: Nepal Weddings
One of the best memories of being born and growing up in Nepal is experiencing a variety of cultures. One of the cultures that fascinate me to this day is the weddings in Nepal. The celebrations could last over four days with singing and dancing, eating lavish Nepali cuisine, applying henna tattoos, and performing rituals. The brides usually opt for bright red and gold colors in their wedding outfits. My favorite part of attending the wedding ceremonies is picking outfits and pieces of jewelry to wear. It is one of the few occasions where I get to wear my cultural outfit.
Employee name: Petter Sveum, Chief Architect, International
Culture I identify with: Norway, Viking, American, Global
Cultural highlight/tradition: Norwegian seasons
I see myself very much as a global citizen traveling extensively for work, family, and fun. More than anything this has made me an explorer, which ties nicely to my nautical and Viking heritage. Meeting new people with diverse cultural backgrounds throughout these many journeys. But when I go home, I go home to Norway, and the key to living in Norway is that you must love the seasons. Anything from dark dreary, and rainy days in the fall, to cold, snowy days in the winter with the aurora borealis, to bright shiny spring days, to long lazy summer days with the midnight sun. I draw my energy from the changing seasons and from skiing in the mountains in wintertime and sailing on the fjords in the summer and working with the rest of the world in between.
Employee name: Karen Li, Senior Tech Support Engineer
Culture I identify with: China
Cultural highlight/tradition: Green Plum Fruit Wine in Summer
In eastern coastal regions of China, The Dragon boat Festival features “青梅酒” (green plum fruit wine). The wild green plums produced in Dali of Yunnan province, situated in the southwest part of China, are too sour to eat directly. The sourness, on the other hand, is the quality that makes it the best choice for producing the wine. The green plum fruit wine is reasonably soft attributing to the unique aroma from the wild green plum. During the Dragon Boat Festival, it is a tradition in southern China, where my hometown is, to make the wine with the family as a way of embracing the summer.
For years, people have established a rigorous procedure to make the green plum fruit wine covering fruits picking, selection, cleaning, and drying off with sunlight. On top of all, mix the fruits with “白酒” (Chinese liquor and rock sugar, in proper proportions before sealing them up in a labelled jar. Time will tell!
In winter, the wine will be available. Hotpot, roast meat, dumplings and certainly a kettle of new-made treat will enrich your winter life. But for me, nothing is more enjoyable than drinking it with spicy crayfish in the next summer.
Employee name: Arthur Dell, Sr Director- Technology Sales International Emerging
Location: Dubai, UAE
Culture I identify with: South Africa, Global Citizen
Cultural highlight/tradition: South African Christmas
Being South African means Christmas with watermelon, barbeque, and seaside vacations. Learning to drive on public roads at the age of 12, and constant access to all manner of wildlife, snakes, spiders, lions, leopards, and even elephants made for a very colorful childhood. There is nothing more spectacular than a late afternoon thunderstorm and then watching the African sunset break through the clouds.
My country has a very sporty culture, and this has stayed with me as a constant part of my life, I enjoy most kinds of sport and I’m fascinated by human potential.
I left South Africa many years ago and now have the privilege of working and living in Dubai. One of the most culturally diverse cities on earth, I have learned that everyone believes that their country and culture are the best, and guess what? When you speak to them and visit their countries, it turns out that they are all right!
Employee Name: Haley Piper
Location: Dallas, Texas USA
Culture I identify with: American
Culture highlight/tradition: American Thanksgiving
Every year my family and I fry a turkey on Thanksgiving! My brother-in-law has become the turkey master and preps all day for it. It is an event I really look forward to all year! Thanksgiving is the best time, filled with family, all the best foods, and football!
We want to thank all our employees for sharing their cultural highlights and traditions with us! Celebrating Culture Week helps us better understand how unique characteristics and experiences enrich us as an organization. Interested in joining Veritas? Learn more about why Veritas is a unique place to work - https://www.veritas.com/company/careers/why-join-us
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