Innovation on Earth

Global Citizenship Resources for Innovation Academy and Beyond

Scavenger Hunt: Can we SEE Culture?

When we meet a new person, we can take guesses about their culture, but we can’t really tell too much until we get to know them. Even when we know someone for a while, we might not understand aspects of their culture.

As we discussed in class, that’s because culture is like an iceberg. Most aspects of culture are not visible below the water.iceberg

When I travel, I love to learn about the local culture, but it can be difficult to get past surface-level observations and really get to know people. Do you think people can see culture? Fill out this worksheet as you complete the blog scavenger hunt below. Click on the observations to help solve the puzzle of other people’s cutures.


  1. Observation A: Overall, the students are very _________ in the classroom. I could tell this because they dress in button down shirts and nice slacks and skirts.
  2. Observation B:  While in Ukraine, I ate a varenyky dessert – dumplings filled with __________! They were not too sweet, but you can dip them in honey
  3. Observation C: People don’t emphasize _________ space very much in Ukraine. They often stand very close to the person in front of them when waiting in line.
  4. Which of these observations is the easiest for a tourist to see? ____


  1. Observation A: Divorce is not very ________ here, and it is looked down upon.
  2. Observation B: Even though many people are non-religious today, _________ still has a big influence on people’s values.
  3. Observation C: I checked out a show of Chinese _______.  While a lot of these tricks look very modern, they are based on Chinese arts that are hundreds of years old
  4. Which of these observations is the easiest for a tourist to see? ____


  1. Observation A: Kecek is a form of dance and music where the musicians create all the sounds with their ___________.
  2. Observation B: Locals probably build temples at their rice fields to wish for a good ____________.
  3. Observation C: People in Bali are very _____________, and one taxi driver on the street told us that the Balinese people use Kuningan Day to practice dharma, or being compassionate to others.
  4. Which of these observations is the easiest for a tourist to see? ____

Working in the Fields


  1. Observation A: In Iceland, people believe that _________ watch over people, and nobody can build in the capital city unless these guys give approval! They even build tiny houses for them to live in.
  2. Observation B: Iceland is a really safe country. Very few people have ________ and the crime rate is really low.
  3. Observation C: Iceland celebrates a holiday called _____________ Day, with a festival of live music and kids’ activities.
  4. Which of these observations is the easiest for a tourist to see? ____


  1. Observation A: It is typical to take off your __________ before entering a Japanese house, and they had an entryway just for that.
  2. Observation B: Both children and adults in Japan like things that are “kawaii” which means ___________.
  3. Observation C: Buddhist monks do not eat ___________ for religious reasons.
  4. Which of these observations is the easiest for a tourist to see? ____



  1. Observation A: It is traditional to _________ with shopkeepers to get the best price.
  2. Observation B: For Muslim men, wearing a __________ is traditional, but not allowed in public schools and government buildings.
  3. Observation C: It is considered polite to offer guests ________ when they visit your house in Turkey.
  4. Which of these observations is the easiest for a tourist to see? ____

Want to keep learning about culture? For extra credit, choose a blog entry (any one that you haven’t checked out yet for UkraineChinaIndonesiaIcelandJapan, or Turkey). In the comments of this scavenger hunt, write your own trivia question about culture in this country.

Did you complete the scavenger hunt? Do you think it is easy to observe someone else’s culture? For people completing this scavenger hunt at home, email for the answers (if you can’t figure them out yourself).

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