In many airlines they teach you the culture awareness. I went trough the same training as many other people.
But only when I joined Business Aviation I deeply realised how it works and how important it is.
Cultural awareness is not just about “halal” or “kosher”.
What you are required to do on a Business Jet is to get deeper into this topic, and try to understand or at least read about the traditions and habits of different cultures.
Flowers that are considered ok for one culture and means death for another one -the meaning of flowers is a huge topic.
Colours that are related to good feelings and nuances that are not appreciated.
Greetings rituals that are important because fo their traditions.
Symbols -think about Chinese star sign.
Dietary restrictions powered by religion.
Special celebrations and traditional festivity- Chinese New Year or Orthodox Christmas.
Good luck numbers and bad luck numbers.
If you offer a spoon to eat spaghetti to an Italian is considered almost an offence.
In China the number 4 is considered bad luck because the sound is similar to the world “death”, while number 8 is good luck. So for my Chinese customers I would put a flower bouquet of 8 flowers rather than another number.
The more eight are present in the cabin, the better it is.
Jewish culture has more dietary restrictions than Islamic culture.
African tribes have all their own culture, tradition, language and cuisine. There are 54 Countries in the Continent of Africa.
There’s a funny story I heard about numbers. In 2008 a famous aircraft manufacture, the Gulfstream, set a new project of a jet for a specific portion of the market.
They called it G250. After months of hard work, in 2009 they did the first flight to Tel Aviv.
Gulfstream then decided to change the name into G280 because they realised that the number 250 was related to a negative feeling in some culture.
Source: wikipedia, Gulfstream G280
This is just an example to understand how important is for this business to go deeper into the culture awareness before every single flight.