I have an immense respect for my dear colleagues who are doing client-site project work in such beautiful countries as Japan and Korea. And this is not only because the daily working time in those countries exceeds my daily wake time!
However, tonight, I don't want to talk about the cultural differences between Asia and the rest of us, but rather about what lies closer: the cultural differences between France and Italy, for example.
Surely, after playing five years for Juventus Turin, Zinedine Zidane must be used to italian curse's. But when one is under real tension, it's one's own culture that really counts. So perhaps the incident that is now part of a FIFA investigation has at it's root a simple cultural misunderstanding.
Materazzi: "It was one of those insults you're told dozens of times and that you often let fall on a pitch."
On the other side, the insult was so terrible, that you could not even repeat it.
Zidane's agent: "[Zinedine] told me Materazzi said something very serious to him but he wouldn't tell me what."
What's the difference between a commonplace insult and a taboo? It's nothing - but cultural.