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It’s time to get into the holiday spirit! And when we say “holiday”, we are by no means only talking about Christmas! Did you know that between November 1 and January 15, approximately 29 holidays are celebrated by 7 major religions around the world? From Hanuakkah to Omisoka to Christmas and its associated feast days, there are celebrations across the globe! But what does this have to do with learning, online courses, social media marketing, and OmniBiz Services? Listen up, because the ladies of OmniBiz Services have some pretty strong cultural traditions of their own, and we want to help you connect the dots between cultural traditions around the world and how these traditions influence learning. Each week from now until New Years, we will explore a region of the world and learn about their winter holidays. We will also explore their learning traditions and how education is achieved. 

Jolly Old St. Nicholas 

This week, Christians and especially Catholics like Nicole and Anita, celebrate the Feast of St. Nicholas on December 6th. People in many European countries observe this holiday by setting shoes outside their doors on the evening of December 5th. They do this in hopes that St. Nicholas will fill them with candy. According to legend, St. Nicolas was born in the 3rd century in Greece. His parents died when he was young, and he used his entire inheritance to help the needy, the sick, and the suffering. Nicholas became known as a protector of children and the poor. His burial place was always a place of pilgrimage for Christians.

By the 19th century, his legend had grown and spread through songs and stories to become the Santa Claus we now know. Today, December 25th is the day when Santa Claus comes to deliver presents to good boys and girls. However, many people still celebrate his original feast day of December 6. Because St. Nicholas is one of the more famous patron saints of Italy, we have chosen to focus on how cultural traditions influence learning in Italy and other Mediterranean countries. 

Online Learning in Italy

Italy is very similar to the United States when it comes to education. School is compulsory for children between the ages of 6 and 16. Higher education consists of a mix of public and private colleges and universities, including the University of Bologna, which is likely the oldest in the world. There are several universities in Italy that are fully online, such as the International Telemetric University. These universities offer international degrees that are recognized throughout Europe. Due to the popularity of Italian fashion houses, there are also a number of e-courses available to the general public in the fields of fashion, shoe design, and handbag design, such as this one. It appears that while e-courses for entrepreneurship and business are common here in the US, e-courses in fashion, leather technology, and language are far more prevalent in Italy. 


Next week, we will be getting contributions from Sandra! Sandra lives in India. She has some insight for us on the holiday of Diwali, and how learning occurs in India.