Understanding Strengths And Weaknesses Of International Business In Home Country

International business grew substantially in the second half of the twentieth century, and this growth is likely to continue. The international environment is complex and it is very important for firms to understand this environment and make effective choices in this complex environment (Buckley, 2005). International business is different from domestic business because the environment changes when a firm crosses international borders.
Typically, a firm understands its domestic environment quite well, but is less familiar with the environment in other countries and must invest more time and resources into understanding the new environment (Dunning, 1998). When a business tries to expand internationally, one has to seriously consider different aspects of the economy of such country. First consideration is the level of economic development. Secondly, the business must clearly understand the type of market a country has, for example free-market, centrally planned or mixed.
Clearly the level of economic activity combined with education, infrastructure, and so on, as well as the degree of government control of the economy, affect virtually all facets of doing business, and a firm needs to understand this environment if it is to operate successfully internationally (Pauly, L. & Reich, S. , 1997). Another consideration is the political environment existing in the country. The political environment refers to the type of government, the government relationship with business, and the political risk in a country.

Doing business internationally thus, implies dealing with different types of governments, relationships, and levels of risk (Murtha T. P. and Lenway S. A. , 1994). The characteristics of a firm’s home country have been shown to be key determinants of the firm’s competitive capabilities in international markets (Porter, 1990). Home country or location advantage is strongest for firms that perform value-added operations in their home country and export goods to foreign markets. Examples of this in media industries include the producers of recorded music and most television programming.
A large domestic market and other technical and economic advantages allow the creation of a variety of content that can be successfully and profitably exported to smaller international markets. The impact of location advantage weakens, however, as firms shift increasing amounts of their value-added process to foreign subsidiaries (Cantwell, 1990) or if foreign competitors gain access to their home market. As location advantages decline, ownership advantages—based on home-country resources—may continue to influence the firm’s competitiveness in international markets (Daniels, J. D. , and L. H, 1997).
As location advantage declines, Foreign Direct Investment theory (FDI) suggests that firms may be able to maintain competitive ownership advantage by leveraging abundant resources and favorable institutional structures in their home country that may not be available to competitors in other countries (Dunning, 1996). Business may be viewed positively as the engine of growth, it may be viewed negatively as the exploiter of the workers, or somewhere in between as providing both benefits and drawbacks.
Specific government-business relationships can also vary from positive to negative depending on the type of business operations involved and the relationship between the people of the host country and the people of the home country. To be effective in a foreign location an international firm relies on the goodwill of the foreign government and needs to have a good understanding of all of these aspects of the political environment. A particular concern of international firms is the degree of political risk in a foreign location.
Political risk refers to the likelihood of government activity that has unwanted consequences for the firm. These consequences can be dramatic as in forced divestment, where a government requires the firm give up its assets, or more moderate, as in unwelcome regulations or interference in operations. In any case the risk occurs because of uncertainty about the likelihood of government activity occurring. Generally, risk is associated with instability and a country is thus seen as more risky if the government is likely to change unexpectedly, if there is social unrest, if there are riots, revolutions, war, terrorism, and so on.
Firms naturally prefer countries that are stable and that present little political risk, but the returns need to be weighed against the risks, and firms often do business in countries where the risk is relatively high. In these situations, firms seek to manage the perceived risk through insurance, ownership and management choices, supply and market control, financing arrangements, and so on. In addition, the degree of political risk is not solely a function of the country, but depends on the company and its activities as well—a risky country for one company may be relatively safe for another (Chamberlain S. L. and Tennyson S. 1998).
The cultural environment is one of the critical components of the international business environment and one of the most difficult to understand. National culture is described as the body of general beliefs and values that are shared by a nation. Beliefs and values are generally seen as formed by factors such as history, language, religion, geographic location, government, and education; thus firms begin a cultural analysis by seeking to understand these factors.
Firms want to understand what beliefs and values they may find in countries where they do business, and a number of models of cultural values have been proposed by scholars. The most well-known is that developed by Hofstede in1980. This model proposes four dimensions of cultural values including individualism, uncertainty avoidance, power distance and masculinity. The competitive environment can also change from country to country. This is partly because of the economic, political, and cultural environments; these environmental factors help determine the type and degree of competition that exists in a given country.
Competition can come from a variety of sources. It can be public or private sector, come from large or small organizations, be domestic or global, and stem from traditional or new competitors. For the domestic firm the most likely sources of competition may be well understood. The same is not the case when one moves to compete in a new environment. For example, in the 1990s in the United States most business was privately owned and competition was among private sector companies, while in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) businesses were owned by the state. Thus, a U. S. company in the PRC could find itself competing with organizations owned by state entities such as the PRC army.
This could change the nature of competition dramatically. In the theories linking the competitiveness of firms with the characteristics of their home environment no distinction is made between different types of such characteristics. Rather, all of them are assumed to provide similar bases for the creation of competitive advantage. Likewise, domestic firms are assumed to have favorable access to all of them vis-a-vis foreign firms investing in the country.
However, there are a number of reasons to expect that home country characteristics would differ in terms of their importance as the bases for competitive advantage and that there will also be considerable variation in terms of the liability of foreign firms in accessing them, with some displaying more similarity between foreign and domestic firms than others. For example, foreign firms often stand in a considerable disadvantage in acquiring local information and knowledge.
The nature of competition can also change from place to place as the following illustrate: competition may be encouraged and accepted or discouraged in favor of cooperation; relations between buyers and sellers may be friendly or hostile; barriers to entry and exit may be low or high; regulations may permit or prohibit certain activities. To be effective internationally, firms need to understand these competitive issues and assess their impact. An important aspect of the competitive environment is the level, and acceptance, of technological innovation in different countries.
The last decades of the twentieth century saw major advances in technology, and this is continuing in the twenty-first century. Technology often is seen as giving firms a competitive advantage; hence, firms compete for access to the newest in technology, and international firms transfer technology to be globally competitive. It is easier than ever for even small businesses to have a global presence thanks to the internet, which greatly expands their exposure, their market, and their potential customer base.
For economic, political, and cultural reasons, some countries are more accepting of technological innovations, others less accepting. In contrast, foreign firms are perhaps standing on a more equal basis with domestic firms regarding accessing general services provided on the market. Governments often create such variation across country conditions artificially, by denying access of foreign firms to certain resources but treating them equally to domestic firms, with reference to others. Resources may also differ in terms of the ability of MNEs to compensate for their liability in accessing them by internal transfer.
As part of an international network, foreign affiliates can access some resources elsewhere and can supplement some local resources by those available in other geographic areas (Nohria and Ghoshal, 1997). However, this ability is likely to apply to some resources more than to others. For example, if foreign firms have less favorable access to the local labor market, and hence are unable to attract the best available employees, they might be able to compensate for this, in part by employing expatriates.
Likewise, foreign firms are often disadvantageous in their ability to raise capital locally, arising from lack of information of the market on the participant and vice versa. They may, and often do, compensate for this liability by raising capital elsewhere. However, they may not be able to apply similar compensation mechanisms to other resources, for example local customers. Nachum (1999) identifies four possible outcomes in the struggle for competitive advantage. If firms are dominant enough in their domestic market to erect effective barriers to entry by foreign firms, both location and ownership advantages are sustained.
If they are unsuccessful in preventing other firms from gaining home country entry, their advantage may decline but they may maintain their ownership advantage through foreign investment. In this instance, they will face a significantly more competitive marketplace because they no longer have sole access to home-country resources. If firms fail to buttress their ownership advantage through foreign investment and remain focused on their domestic market, they may lose competitive strength and enter decline.
Finally, if foreign firms succeed in accessing the resources of the advantaged country through foreign investment, they may succeed in undermining the competitive power of domestic firms. Sources of home country advantage are varied and differ from industry to industry. Financial resources such as capital markets, institutional investment capability, and a strong domestic economy frequently provide competitive advantage. Sound governmental, technical and legal infrastructures and human resources, such as a skilled and available workforce, may play important roles.
Cost advantages due to technology or the easy availability of raw materials are factors in many industries. One potential home country advantage that has been studied by marketers but has drawn relatively little attention from economists is the impact of national image on consumer behavior in international markets. Casual observations of the national patterns in industries may be interpreted as an indication of a variation across location characteristics in facilitating the creation of competitive advantages.
For example, about 90% of the world’s 100 leading management consulting MNEs emerge from a single country – the US. In contrast, in engineering consulting the world’s 100 leading firms originate from 6 countries and the dominant one accounts for only 30% of the total (Nachum 1999). This variation might be attributed to differences across location attributes in terms of their accessibility to foreign firms and the ability of the latter to compensate for their liability by relying on the MNE internal network.
The recognition that the home country environment is critical in shaping the competitive advantages of firms has underlain a number of theoretical conceptualizations of the sources of the competitive advantages of MNEs. Researchers in organization theory, adopting an institutional approach, have argued that firms develop their capabilities in relation to their particular environment, and hence possess resources that match the distinctive institutional characteristics of their home country.
Porter (1990) conceptualized the home environment as the critical environment that shapes the nature and type of competitive advantages of national firms. He used this conceptualization to explain why the leading global players often emerge from one or very few home countries. FDI theory implies that firms originating from location-advantageous countries would develop strong competitive advantages based on the resources abundant in their home countries (Dunning 1993), and will become dominant global players in the industries in which their home country is comparatively advantageous.
The literature is replete with attempts to illustrate empirically the association between the competitive advantages of firms and the institutional characteristics of their home countries and to show that firms originating from the same nationality share similar sets of competitive advantages (Fiegenbaum A. and Thomas H. , 1990). These studies show that the practices of firms are, in some sense, selected by the immediate environment in which they operate, and that the home environment is the most important one.
A fundamental assumption underlying this link between the competitive advantages of firms and their home country environment is that national firms enjoy favorable access to the resources of their home countries, which is denied from foreign firms investing there. It is also one conceptualization of the favorable access that national firms have to the resources of their home country, resulting from reasonable and unreasonable preferences of local customers and suppliers and from discriminatory policies of national governments.
Attempts to examine the extent to which firms can tap into location advantages of foreign countries via investing there (Thomas and Waring 1999) have generally concluded that such ability is limited. Domestic firms were found in these studies to enjoy an advantage stemming from their familiarity with the local environment and the system in which they have been operating since their establishment.
It is argued that if an advantage can be accessed via investment in a foreign country, it would not provide an exclusive advantage because the possibility of accessing it would be equally available to all firms (Kauser, S. and V. Shaw, 2004). Moreover that it is the governance system that creates the country-specific advantages those national firms enjoy, and hence merely operating in a host country is not enough to access these advantages. Implicit here is the notion that the same set of country conditions has different value for national firms and for foreign firms investing in a country.


Diabetes in Developing Countries

Diabetes in developing countries Deaths from diabetes, which has two primary forms including type1 and type2 diabetes, have become a significant problem in the world. Nowadays, diabetes is still a disease not having precise method to cure. As a result of surplus blood sugar, it has a negative effect on the human body and leads to several complications, such as vision problems, kidney damage, nerve damage and heart and circulation problems (Pollock, 2006). Consequently, the increased risk of these diseases makes it become one of the major causes of deaths.
For example, according to the WHO (2011), more than 346 million people were diagnosed with it worldwide and between 50% and 80% of them died from CVD. With the development of health care, the mortality in developed countries was decrease, while the situation in developing countries is so serious that 80% of diabetes deaths exist in low and middle income countries (WHO, 2011). For instance, such countries in The Middle East, Pacific Islands and Southeast Asia had 115million diabetic patients in 2000 and the WHO (2011) predicts that the number will double between 2005 and 2030.
To mitigate the effects of diabetes, the causes of it need to be detected. Type 1 diabetes, which is known by lacking insulin production, results from several causes and possible factors. First, genes attribute mainly to it. More than 18 genetic locations related to it have been discovered by researchers and they have found that people with an especially HLA complex which means human leukocyte antigen, are more likely to develop it. A good illustration of it is other autoimmune disorders may caused by such complexes, such as rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, or juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (Smith, 2010).

The second factor is a viral infection which may affects the disease by attacking immune system. For instance, Kamiah (2010) states that a series of diseases from gastrointestinal problems to myocarditis can created by the coxsackie B virus. In addition, there are some special conditions which may attribute to it. For example, certain drugs including corticosteroids, beta blockers, and phenytoin, rare genetic disorders such as Klinefelter syndrome and Wolfram syndrome, and hormonal disorders such as acromegaly and hyperthyroidism all raise the possibility of it (Simon, 2009).
It has been one of the most increased diseases worldwide, however, type 2 diabetes is more common. Unlike type 1 diabetes, causes of type 2 diabetes, which results from the ineffective use of insulin (WHO,2011), usually are multifactorial. First, being overweight or obese is a primary reason for it. The increased risk of it may bring several complications including heart disease, stroke and some cancers. A good illustration of this is 82% of people with it are caused by overweight or obese and such complications (Vann,2009).
The second is genetic factors which have been found more than 10 genic material associated with it. For example, there are more possibilities for people to get it if they have close relatives having it, such as parents and siblings. Thirdly, ethnic origin also plays a part in it. For instance, NHS (2010) points out that people with it from South Asian, African, and Middle Eastern are six times likely than people in the UK. In addition, incorrect living styles such as poor eating habits, too much TV time and physical inactivity also have a negative effect on it.
It is often not a single factor but two or more causes above combined to lead to it. According to the CDC (2010), such combinations give rise to approximately 95% of it in the U. S. As can be seen from data, diabetes in developing countries has become a huge problem and the mortality from it has a continued increase worldwide. Not only government, but people should change their attitudes and aware the importance in order to prevent it.


Contrast Essay about Two Countries

Every country has its own characteristics and a person is recognized by his country. In this modern era, every country is trying to make progress and wants to be best among all other countries. All countries are different in world. There is no country that is exactly the same as others. Every country has its own culture, rules and regulations. Canada and Pakistan are two different countries and both countries have many differences regarding festivals, food and places. Festivals of Canada and Pakistan are mostly different from each other. Unlike Canada, there are mostly religious festivals in Pakistan.
In Canada, people celebrate the Valentine’s Day that represent the love and devotions for each other. In Pakistan, people used to celebrate the festival called Shabraat. It is an Islamic festival in which people pray to God whole night and they request to God to forgive us for the mistakes that they did in past. On the other hand people of Canada celebrate a festival named Hallowen. In this festival people share happiness in the form of candies and sweets and this festival is specially for children. In Pakistan people celebrate a festival Ramzan.
In this festival, people fasts during the day in the true sense of the word, that is, he had merely denies himself food and water and strict control over his tongue, eyes, ears, thoughts and deeds and does everything possible to seek the pleasure of God. Food is also a major difference in Pakistan and Canada. People of Canada eat almost everything but in Pakistan there is a concept of Halal and Haram. Everything on this earth is permissible, unless evidence is provided for its prohibition. The evidence could be direct text from the Quran,about specific creatures.

Prohibited animal would be identified by the characteristics of an animal features described in the prohibition. For example, all fanged animals are prohibited. In Canada, people drink alcoholic things and they are free to purchase these things from anywhere. In Pakistan, People are not allowed to drink alcoholic things and no one can sell these items as it is punishable by Islamic laws. For this reason, most observant Muslims avoid alcohol in any form, even small amounts that are sometimes used in cooking.
Canada and Pakistan have many sight seeing places hat attract the tourists but both countries have different places regarding to their characteristics. In Canada, there is Niagra Falls that attracts the people of whole world. It is the collective name for three waterfalls that straddle the international border between the Canadian province of Ontario and the U. S. state of New York. Pakistan is a country in which you would find a variety of historical places that signify the unique traditions and culture of the country. These places are of extraordinary significance for people interested in history, at the same time they may act as an attraction for tourists.
Most significant historical places in the country include Harappa, Mohenjo- Daro and Taxila. Harappa is situated approximately 200 km from Lahore in the Montgomery District of Punjab. It is the place of the historic Indus Valley Civilization settlement which is as old as 5000 years and is a civilization which the modern day people almost forgot about. After go through to the major differences of both countries, it can be observed that Canada and Pakistan are totally different from each other and these differences make both countries great and unique.


The Proposed UAE Bankruptcy Law Is Yet Another Boost For Entrepreneurs In The Country

No entrepreneur starts a business believing they are going to go bankrupt.
But while solid business strategy and a can see you through just about any challenge, the reality is that bankruptcy is always a possibility. This is why there is so much significance to the approval of the latest by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
The goal is to create bankruptcy laws that are amongst the best in the world, and that ultimately give rise to a greater entrepreneurial ecosystem.

So let’s look at the situation before this law, and what we can look forward to after its implementation in early 2017.
UAE bankruptcy law: The situation before
Previously, business owners and managers could be criminally penalised for business failure. This included possible jail terms. It resulted in many people actually fleeing the UAE and leaving debts and unpaid loans in their wake.
There were in fact many articles of law that dealt with issues of insolvency in the UAE but they were better suited to smaller companies. And other than liquidation, there were few other options for businesses facing bankruptcy. This in turn led to poor outcomes– for the business owner, the creditor, and the economy in general.
The new law: What it means for entrepreneurs
The new law changes the situation. And as we have come to expect of they have not eased gently into reform but leapt into a modern, comprehensive bankruptcy policy that rivals any international system– the “carrot” being that business will be the ultimate winner.
Drafted by the Ministry of Finance and drawn from best practices in France, Germany, the Netherlands and Japan, it has dominated the business headlines in the Gulf and around the world.
The aim is to help both creditors and debtors when it comes to insolvency situations and to create more flexibility and options if the worst should happen. It will give businesses facing hard times a better chance to restart or restructure both their operations and their debts.
For those facing bankruptcy (and depending on certain criteria), it opens up the possibility of financial reorganization, a preemptive settlement, or raising of new funds.
The law will apply to commercial companies (rather than individuals) and while it is certainly there to help companies going through financial difficulties, there are strict penalties in place for those who abuse the law.
It is widely believed that this change will make business in the UAE an even more attractive proposition for investors eyeing the region as a base. It is also hoped it will bolster the confidence of businesses already trading in the country. This was certainly the opinion of the UAE Banks Federation industry body that lobbied the government to make it happen.
It goes without saying that careful reading of the legislation will be vital for (once the full law is officially published in the coming weeks), regarding its applicability in the particular business zone in which they are based. As always, it is safer to seek professional advice from those with expertise in the UAE business landscape.
But on a countrywide scale, this law will make a big difference. It will mean potential for a new lease of life for some businesses going through their most difficult period, and the positive knock-on effect will be a boost for the economy as the new legal framework makes it easier for startups to choose to work from the UAE.

The importance of protection when business falters
Generally speaking, bankruptcy laws are there as a last protection for businesses that cannot find a way to pay debts. It is the debtor that usually chooses to initiate this legal path, when they find no other option. In most developed countries, regulatory systems to manage insolvency and bankruptcy are seen as a necessity, a way of making critical decisions in bad times for the best outcomes.
So why is the new bankruptcy law so important specifically in the UAE?
The UAE is widely appreciated as a tax free, super-charged business hub but it has had strict laws around honoring the payment of business debts. Businesses were prone to shut down or liquidate at the first signs of failing, possibly before all the options for keeping going had been properly exhausted.
Without a framework to manage such problems, many were shutting the business down, laying off staff and basically choosing the option of “cut and run.”
So bankruptcy laws in this difficult period, through a state-managed system to ensure on the one hand creditors like staff or banks have payments honored, but also to scrutinize the business to see how it can better function or manage the sale of assets.
The new law in the UAE seeks to protect the rights of both the creditors and the debtors in these situations and broadens the scope of how the situation can be managed amicably, without anyone worried about jail time or sudden destitution.
Overseeing the bankruptcy process
To oversee this policy shift, a new regulatory body is being created called the Committee of Financial Restructuring (CFR). The CFR will manage any business restructuring needed that is beyond the scope of the courts, have the means to hire experts in the field, oversee preemptive settlements, and create a database of individuals who have bankruptcy rulings against them.
Bankruptcy is always a last resort and not a pleasant prospect but the CFR’s intervention will mean that there will always be a measured approach to these critical challenges and when it looks like everything has gone seriously wrong, there will soon be real options on the table to manage the situation.
The absence of such a law has previously been seen as the “chink” in the otherwise superb business armor of the region. The fact it is now drafted is a big deal for the future of the UAE– it could even make all the difference for those who are “tempted-but-wavering” when it comes to
The new law will really benefit all those involved in a possible insolvency or facing a harsh period of trading and cash flow. It can mean a moratorium (or delay) is possible on debt claims to give the business owner the necessary breathing space and time to restructure their company and their finances. In essence: a second chance.
Perhaps it’s a case of simply changing the way operates, such as significantly downsizing it or selling the assets from the area that is failing while boosting the area with most potential. With carefully managed time and finances, it may even mean returning to a position of having working capital.
And if the business really is dying then assets can be sold to cover debt payments incrementally over a longer period, protecting creditors’ interests.
So the CFR’s methodologies will help firms either efficiently close with the least amount of distress for all involved, or to return as functioning businesses.
A boost for the UAE economy
With the vast majority of the the new law will help ensure struggling companies have tools to help them in the worst-case scenario. It will have the added effect of encouraging banks to invest in businesses with loans and it will help alleviate concerns of investors in general. This can only be good news as the UAE continues to nurture diversification of its economy and become less reliant on oil.
The speed of change in the UAE is breathtaking, not just in the development of its cities and infrastructure but also in the that makes working towards success easier, more attractive and gives a business all the tools it could want to ‘go for it’. This latest law is just another example of how serious the country is when it comes to attracting investment and helping entrepreneurs in any way possible.
By removing a barrier of fear, the new law encourages a little risk that is often the difference for success in business and reassures directors’ that their companies have that extra layer of protection against all-out failure.
All of this adds up to the UAE’s intent to foster business and make opportunities happen through new laws to help ease the burdens on business people. It’s good for everyone.


Greece: A Country with a Rich Cultural

Greece is a country characterized by a remarkable history and a rich cultural heritage.  In ancient times, Greece played a crucial role in early civilization that proved to be monumental in shaping both European and world history.  At present, it successfully maintains its distinct culture in the dynamic modern society.
Greece is a country with the land area of 131, 957 square kilometers (“Countries” 302).    Its capital is Athens, which is also one of its major cities (“Countries” 302).  Other major cities include Thessaloniki, Piraeus, Patras, Iraklion and Larissa (U.S. Department of State).  In 2005, the Greek population was estimated at 11,104,000, ten percent of which consists of immigrants (U.S. Department of State).  Three million of the said population is situated in Greater Athens (U.S. Department of State).
In terms of religion, the majority of the Greek citizens are members of the Greek Orthodox Church (“Countries” 302).  Other religions present in Greek society include Islam, Roman Catholicism and Protestantism (“Countries” 302).  Greece is characterized by an interesting and diverse culture which is established on customs and traditions, religion, food and wine, and music.  Religion and traditions are closely linked, since the latter is usually based and anchored on the former.  Ironically, the Greeks also believe in superstitions.

One of the Greek traditions still honored today at is the name day celebration (Greeka).  The Greeks give more importance to name days than birthdays; those who share a name with a celebrated saint also celebrate in a particular day of the year.  During a certain person’s “name day,” family and friends visit to give wishes and gifts.  At the house, the hostess provides food for the guests (Greeka).
Another Greek tradition is the Carnival or the “Apokries” (Greeka).   This feast occurs within a two week period; it starts on Sunday of Meat Fare and ends on “Clean Monday” or Kathari Deutera (Greeka). “Clean Monday” or Kathari Deutera is the first day of Lent; at this time, families usually gather for a picnic and kite flying.  The Carnival is believed to have originated from paganism, and is derived from the merrymaking associated with the god Dionysus (Greeka).  This tradition is characterized by people in costumes partying in the streets.  A Carnival parade is held in Patra, where the festivities take place from day until night (Greeka).
Easter is also significant for the Greeks.  In fact, it is considered more important than Christmas (Greeka).  Easter is a celebration that brings Greek families together.  Greek women are tasked to color the eggs red using dye; Godparents also give the children new things, such as shoes and clothes (Greeka).  Even the houses and streets are prepared for this occasion, as both are whitewashed for Easter.  In addition, the Greek family gathers for a feast of roasted lamb, wine and appetizers (Greeka).
Music also plays a crucial role in Greek culture.  Music in Greece began as early as Antiquity, as it was an essential part of Greek civilization (Greeka).  The best example would be that of Greek tragedy, in which music was one of its key elements.  The demise of Ancient Greece also resulted in the decline of Greek music.  Fortunately, Greek music reemerged in the 19th century (Greeka).
Folk songs also play a large role in Greek history.  The folk songs originated from ancient times (Greeka).  These songs are categorized into two: akritic and klephtic styles of music.  The former originated in 9th century AD. This kind of music conveyed the experiences and hardships of the “akrites,” or the Byzantine Empire guards (Greeka).  The latter was produced by “kleftes” or those who fought against the Ottoman Empire.
Even though music is an expression of the gruesome period in Greek history, it also included love songs.  This style of music was believed to have originated between the latter part of the Byzantine era and the early part of the Greek Revolution (Greeka).  Instruments that accompanied the folk songs include the bagpipe, tambourine and lute, just to name a few.  Other important elements of the Greek musical tradition are cantadha, nisiotika and rebetiko (Greeka).
Food and wine are also significant in Greek culture (Greeka).  Greece is known for their appetizers and wines.  Mezedes, or Greek appetizers, are crucial in Mediterranean culture, as it promotes friendship through the sharing of food.  Some of the recognized Greek appetizers include the Greek salad or Horiatiki Salata, Tiropitakia, Htapodi and Feta cheese.
Greece also produces wines. It is therefore no surprise that Greek alcohol such as Tsipouro and Ouzo are a main component in Greek culture.  Also, meat is almost always present in Greek main dishes, while their soups are very much preferred during the winter season.  The Greeks are also famous for the herbs and spices used in their dishes (Greeka).
The history of Greece is extensive and thorough.  Greek culture began in the classical era, and proved to be a crucial element in the development of civilization in general (Pounds 326).  The Greek island of Crete was the location for the Minoan civilization, the earliest in Europe (“Countries” 303).  Greece is also home to the city-states, whose prosperity brought the development of culture in aspects such as philosophy, literature, politics, architecture and art (“Countries” 303-304).  Greek civilization was at its peak under the control of Philip II of Macedonia and his son, Alexander the Great.  However, the Greek civilization declined when the Roman civilization emerged (“Countries” 304).
Greek history also includes several wars. Civil War erupted following the occupation of German forces from 1941 to 1944 (“Countries” 304).  Then, under the leadership of Prime Minister Eleutherios Venizelos, Greece officially became a part of World War I in 1917 (Pounds 328).
The history of Greece was also marked by the constant change in form of government.  From 1925 to 1935, Greece was a republic (Pounds 328).  Then, Greece became a constitutional monarchy (Pounds 328).  In 1967, the monarchy was deposed by a military coup (“Countries” 304).  The republic was restored in 1973, which lasted for only a year.  In 1975, democratic elections were held once again.  Six years later, Andreas Papandreou became the first socialist Prime Minister of Greece.  Then, in 1990, a Democratic Party member named Constantine Mitsotakis was elected at the same post (“Countries” 304).
With its extensive historical background, Greece remains a crucial part of world civilization.  With its customs and traditions, Greece keeps its diverse and unique culture in modern day society.  Indeed, Greece remains relevant at present through its history and culture.
Works Cited
Bateham, Graham, and Victoria Egan, eds. Illustrated Guide to Countries of the World. Australia: RD Press, 1996.
Greeka. 17 March 2008 ;;.
Pounds, Norman J.G. “Greece.” Lexicon Universal Encyclopedia. 21 vols. New York: Lexicon Publications, Inc., 1992.
U.S. Department of State.  17 March 2008 ;;.