Conaerds

Speaking about modern Ukrainian customs and traditions it is necessary to stress that the Ukrainians are proud of their colorful folk culture. They love good food and drink and have a zest for life.

Most Ukrainian middle-class and lower class urban families live in flat in multi-storied buildings; only rather rich people can afford to build cottages either inside or outside the city.

Ukrainians have a deep love of the land. Many families have small country houses, called “dacha”. They are able to grow just about anything in their neat gardens, orchards, and homesteads. Some people grow food only for their own personal consumption. They spend time canning vegetables and making compote from various fruits during the summer in order to make it through the long cold winters. They always have something in their houses to serve guests.

A modern average Ukrainian family has two parents and usually one or two children. At the same time there is a growing number of one-parent families usually headed by a woman rearing a child. Like in many other countries, there are quite a lot of young unmarried people living together and sharing a household. Bringing up a child in Ukraine is very costly now; that is why many couples decided to have only one child, or even no children. Children tend to live with there parents long after they finish school. Sometimes children have to rely on their parents in financial matters as the unemployment rate among the young is very high. A newly married couple often lives with either of their parents because they have no money to buy or to rent a house or a flat of their own. Often one or both grandparents live with their children and help take care of small children. Grandparents play a great role in raising children in Ukraine.

In the village families are usually larger, and the whole family works on the farm (or a patch of land they have) together. Most parents who live in the country want their children to get a higher education, so they send them to study to big cities. After 5 years of studies, the children get used to the city way of life and seldom go home.

In their struggle for survival people become less dependent on each other within families. But still parents think it is important to teach their children daily skills and basic values of life. The result of a resent nationwide survey showed that the most important values parents want to teach their children are honestly, common sense, purposefulness, responsibility, good manners and obedience to parents. Adults believe children should be brought up to expect that they will have to struggle to succeed.

Like most other people, Ukrainians like holidays and merrymaking. They usually try to cook many tasty dishes and invite a lot of friends and relatives to their places. Another thing Ukrainians love to do is talk (while strolling, in cafes and restaurants, or at home over a cup of tea or coffee or other drinks). Conversation tends to be light, relaxing, humorous, and sometimes philosophical. Many Ukrainians enjoy picnics in the wood or somewhere the water at almost any time of year. Picnics often involve shashlik or barbequed meat, homemade salads, and sometimes alcohol. Ukrainians love to sit around fires at night and snack, drink, and sing songs to a guitar.

Popular outdoor sports in Ukraine are soccer, volleyball, badminton, table tennis, and hiking (walking in the forest). Fitness clubs have appeared all over the place. Yoga and martial arts are quite popular as well. Mountain climbing and rock climbing clubs can be found. Scuba diving, yachting, and even golf have recently become available. Increasingly popular in Ukraine are all sorts of extreme sports (bungee jumping, river rafting, downhill mountain biking, spelunking, etc.), and, more generally, all forms of active recreation (hiking, biking, boating, horseback riding, skiing, etc.).

Not everyone will do the things we’ve described above. Some Ukrainians’ culture will strike you as incomprehensible and intolerable, while others’ behavior and attitudes will seem rational and compatible with your own.

 

People often ask us the same question: “What’s the best way to advertise my Home Improvement business and gather leads?” We’ve compiled a handy list of the 10 most useful tools to advertise your business and see results.

1. Build a Good Online Presence

For what may seem like an obvious necessity for most, some companies still don’t value the importance of a good website. While most companies do have an online presence, it may not be attractive or user-experience optimized. A good website should convey the businesses’ goals, experience, qualities, and services in an easy to read way. There should be a blatant call to action, and sufficient information for the viewer. If the potential client can glance at your page and get all the important information needed, you are that much closer to reeling them in.

 

2. Search Engine Optimization

Many people think that SEO is solely related to building links and advertising your website link. A large part of search engine optimization is related to the way your page is set up. Are you taking advantage of meta keywords and titles? Are you using headers properly? Does your site have a large amount of unique content optimized for targeting certain keywords? These are all important things to consider.

3. Craigslist

Craigslist is a great way to advertise your services. You can hire a designer to create a small ad for you to embed into your Craigslist post, or simply use HTML to format a nice, easy to read, eye-catching advertisement. Re-post as per Craigslist’s guidelines and keep your business’s name out there.

4. Adwords

Google provides a great PPC (pay-per-click) advertising system which will target related websites that use Google Adsense to display your ads. You can target your chosen demographic, choose how much you’d like to pay for every click, and modify the appearance of your ad. They offer text ads, image ads, and rich media ads (flash, animation).

5. Social Media

These days social media is becoming the leading the way for advertising and creating a “friendly” relationship with your clients and fans. Create a Fan page on Facebook, establish a Twitter account, or create a blog. these are all great methods to attract your customers.

6. Blog Commenting

Find blogs related to your industry. Search them out, and post meaningful, relevant comments in the comments section. Be sure to add a link to your website, with a keyword that you’d like to target in the search engines. Slow and steady is the key to seeing results; keep at it on a daily/weekly basis and in due time you’ll see results.

7. Local Advertising

If your business is based locally, an ad in a local magazine or newspaper is a great option. Some companies provide direct mail advertising, which allows you to localize your advertisement in a demographic of your choice.

8. Content is King

Creating and publishing unique content will provide your website visitors with an interesting read, a potential link-back, and will improve your chances at getting picked up by the search engines. Google is beginning to heavily penalize websites with unoriginal content, and content of poor quality. Don’t get cut by the search engines. Keep your content interesting, unique, and greatness will follow.

9. Word of Mouth

Sometimes in these technological days we forget the importance of word of mouth! Don’t ever underestimate the power of a good recommendation. Treat your customers with respect and handle their job with excellence and you just might get the good word passed on.

10. Physical Ads

Physical advertisements such as billboards, bus benches, and other sign-age are often expensive, but they are generally high-profile and attention-getting. If you have the marketing funds available, give it a shot and see how it works. Create a marketing campaign and if the results are lower than you expected or needed, try another route.

While there are many methods that businesses use to market themselves, these are the top 10 ways to achieve positive results in this ever-advancing technological age. Try these steps for yourself and watch your business rise to success!

Using an assistant agreement is vital when hiring a real estate assistant. It should describe the working relationship between you and the assistant. The first thing you should consider is whether he or she is an employee or working as an independent contractor. If you choose to have an employee you have to deduct taxes, social security and unemployment insurance from their pay. This involves a lot of record keeping on your part plus the added expenses you incur by having an employee…

So after consideration most agents that hire assistants choose the independent contractor status. You do not have to do any of the withholding. You just have to provide a 1099 form. There is no salary only a commission or fee as payment or services rendered payment. This fee will also be deductible on your taxes as an expense.. It would be wise to check with your accountant to see how to handle the payment schedule.

You should hire an assistant that has an active real estate license because if they don’t have one it will limit them to doing only what an unlicensed person can do. This will make a very big difference because there are many tasks that need a licensed agent to perform. Some of the requirements you should consider when interviewing an assistant would be having computer skills in programs such as Microsoft word, excel or comparable programs. If they don’t have a laptop computer you may have to provide one. Although it’s an expense the investment will prove well worth it.

Let’s talk about what else an agreement should do.

  • Define the work hours
  • Define commission or payment services
  • Explain what duties you expect from an assistant
  • Assist with showings
  • Assist with market value reports
  • Go on market value report appointments with you
  • Set Appointments
  • Do open houses
  • Record keeping
  • Mailings
  • Hand out flyers
  • Place signs for open houses
  • Make phone calls on your behalf
  • Prospecting for new business
  • Review the daily updates on the MLS
  • Preview new listings
  • Meet all of your clients and customers
  • A team player attitude

You must determine a payment schedule of how much, when and how often the assistant should expect payment. Your business growth should have a direct effect on commission increases for the assistant. A confidentially clause is important to have in your agreement. The assistant must know that what goes on between both of you stays confidential. Having this all on paper will set the guidelines. Your assistant will know their job description and their duties.. A real estate assistant agreement should protect both parties.

If you are looking to sell real estate in Jamaica, you can do so by attending the Real Estate Salesman’s Course #100H that is offered at the University of Technology, Jamaica. After passing the course, you are required to go through a few background checks to ensure you don’t have any skeletons in your closet. The final step is an interview with the Jamaica Real Estate Board to get final approval for you to become a Sales Agent.

Salesman’s Course #100H

This course is four weeks full time at the Faculty of the Built Environment, University of Technology, Jamaica. It offers material that is necessary for you to become an efficient agent in the local market, because what you don’t know can hurt you. You will be trained to handle transactions for Jamaica Properties such as Sales, Rentals and Leases.

Background Checks

The nature of the industry involves huge monetary transactions and in such a field you might find persons of a dishonest nature. In order to protect persons and their assets from thing like fraud, a background check is done on each applicant for a license approval, one of these checks is a police report.

The Interview With The Board

After gathering all the documents from your background check, you should submit these documents and attend an interview with an officer from the real estate board that puts the final stamp of approval on you application to become a sales agent in Jamaica.

Start Selling

After you have passed the exams and checks to practice in Jamaica legally, in most cases you must be employed to a licensed Dealer in Jamaica. There are some exceptions where persons can sell properties without being licensed but you should check the Jamaica real estate Act for the conditions.

 

As an “Abundant Life Coach” I get asked about the meaning of “financial abundance” very often. What this means to you can be the difference between living the lifestyle of your dreams, or settling for something less than your dreams. I want you to live the life of your dreams!

Here, then, are 5 Essential Factors of Financial Abundance:

“The Abundant Mindset”

Thousands upon thousands of books, articles, media, programs, and so much more have been produced that discuss the awesome power of our minds, and the influence of our thinking upon our lives. It is difficult to say enough or emphasize enough that truth. As I see it, we are exactly as we think.

In my work, I recommend the adoption of an “Abundant” mindset. This means so much more than finance or money, however, for the purposes of this article, I will discuss abundance only as it applies to the world of money and finance.

A financial abundance mindset means enjoying an abundant amount of money, and yet not allowing greed. Greed does not work (sorry, Gordon Gekko). Of course “financial abundance” will be a relative concept; it will probably mean something different to each person. Greed, however, is fairly obvious; it is almost like knowing (within your mid or heart) the difference between right and wrong.

Further, a financial abundance mindset means having the monetary means or resources to enjoy an abundant lifestyle, yet balancing your financial wealth with philanthropy and generous giving (see point 4). When one’s personal motives are clearly defined and one’s goals are aligned with those motives, then financial abundance becomes clear.

“Specialized Knowledge”

The largest difference between the rich and poor (or the “haves” and “have-nots”) is knowledge. Or, more specifically, the largest difference is a specialized knowledge; meaning that they have the “right” knowledge and also know how to use that knowledge to their advantage. In other words, specialized knowledge is the information or data itself, coupled with the wisdom to know how to use the information or data.

For many, specialized knowledge is an academic education such as medical or law school, while for others this might mean computer programming, aviation repair, or something. Further, many of those with a financial education know how to leverage their own money to make more money. Obviously the point is that specialized knowledge translates to earning ability.

“The Power of Compounding Interest and Investing”

For many people, diligent savings and investment of a consistent percentage of income over considerable lengths of time has lead to financial abundance. I would certainly add that economic factors always play a significant role with regard to risk in investments. Even so, living well within one’s means while investing and saving can very often lead to financial abundance.

“Generous Giving”

Generosity does not necessarily mean giving away or donating money. Mr. Zig Ziglar has said: “If you can dream it, then you can achieve it. You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.”

This is so very true. It must be an unwritten law of nature that over time, our generosity is paid back several times over. Of course there are exceptions to every rule, and yet employing an attitude of generosity is always a safe bet for a great return. And, if nothing else, it is an illustration of excellence of character.

“What You Love Over Time”

We should seek ways to turn what we love to do into a good living. I am a firm believer that when we do what we love doing, money very often comes as a byproduct, because our focus is not so much on making money as it is on enjoyment and lifestyle. Over time, money tends to take care of itself in large part when we are doing what we enjoy, especially when it helps others.

In conclusion, the very first point – having an abundant mindset – sums up all of the points I have made in this article. When we do what we love to do; when we are generous and seek to help others; when we live within our means and save money; when we always seek a more specialized knowledge…we then have an abundant mindset, and are bound to realize financial abundance.

The advancement in technology has certainly had a major effect on the lives of many. This world is becoming a global village and distances no longer a problem. Communications and mass information is just a few clicks away; thanks to the computer related technology, more specifically the utility of internet, which is a part of the information technology.

Social networking websites and chat related applications are now presenting quite a number of advantages to the users. They reduce distances between the users and help them connect with relatives and friends from all over the world. The aim of any social networking site is to make the application and utility user friendly.

With the technological changes and new developments occurring every day, internet users no longer have to face the problems online that they had to face lately due to technical glitches, which resulted in frustration. Now the users no longer have to rummage through heaps of messages to access a particular conversation or read at hyperactive speeds just to keep in touch with the discussion on hand. The systems have become more streamlined and responsive and thus more convenient to the users.

This constant and rapid change in web technology has opened many windows of opportunity for both the users and the developers. The users now have more options to switch to and the developers have to work to develop newer, better, efficient and easy to use portals.

In its early days, E-commerce existed simply as a form of facilitation for commercial and financial transactions. It is one of the few things that have changed with the passage of time. This historic turning of e-commerce occurred about three decades ago.

Technologies such as electronic data exchange and electronic funds transfer have been introduced and they had a revolutionary effect because these allowed the businesses to communicate the commercial documents such as the basics of purchase orders and invoices via electronic network systems securely. The growth of telephonic banking services, credit card transactions and automated teller machines has added a new dimension to e-commerce. There are still innumerable aspects of business and other related issues that are growing as per the users need and the information technology is providing a highly efficient and secure platform to them.

Electronic payment systems have become the engine for almost all online transactions. The major electronic payment systems that govern current online transactions are credit card processing systems and electronic payment gateways. The electronic payment gateways are the companies that facilitate financial transactions online by authenticating credit cards and online bank accounts authorizing certain transactions. They basically form the virtual connectivity between merchant’s website and the credit card companies; this sure reduces the hassle of long bank queues and offer purchasing options when ever and where ever any one pleases to have these while utilizing the splendors of computer technology.

The information technology has come a long way and is ever evolving. It has truly made the world a global village.

You don’t have to be a real estate expert to have heard of release agreements. A release is one of the most common types of contracts in the world of law. They are used to allow a company to use someone’s image for commercial use. However, a real estate release agreement isn’t quite the same thing. In most cases, releases are used by prospective buyers to release the seller from the mortgage or liens they have on a property so that the property is debt free. The form is extremely short and is often only one page when presented. Let’s take a look at a typical contract requiring a seller to obtain release of mortgage on a property.

The first part of the contract clearly outlines the date that this agreement is being signed, the names of both parties involved in the transfer of the property as well as any spouses of the members involved in the agreement. The second part of the agreement outlines the terms and conditions that the property in question is under. It goes over how much debt the property has attached to it and whether the property has a mortgage debt or a lien debt associated with it. It also outlines the purchase price of the property and how that purchase price can now be used to pay off any and all debt associated with the property. This type of form is used mostly to ensure that the seller will eliminate all debt from a piece of property when the sale is complete as agreed upon in the original sale agreement. Some people consider this form to be a bit redundant, but you can never be too careful when it comes to legal wrangling and property.

The final part of the agreement only requires the signer to include their names, the amount of the total debt still present on the property and finally, the amount that is being paid off. Much of the contract will simply be pre-typed text, often a template, that outlines the seller’s responsibilities once the sale is finalized.

If the buyer and seller of the property agree beforehand, a real estate release agreement isn’t necessary. It could be part of the original sale agreement that the buyer is responsible for paying off any existing debt on the property and not the responsibility of the seller. Since every legal agreement is different and many of them have their own unique provisions, some real estate release agreements can vary considerably from the one outlined here.

In conclusion, the real estate release agreement is a safeguard instituted by the buyer to ensure that a piece of property that has debt associated with it is paid off in full with the money gained during the sale by the seller so that when the final transfer of the property is finalized, it is debt free. It is vital that this agreement be included if you are buying property that has debt attached to it.

 

There have been many changes in fitness over the past 30 years. It’s human nature to reminisce about times past. That’s great but lets not forget that things change as well. This is certainly true in the area of health and fitness. “If you do what you have always done, you will get the results you have always gotten” is true, but what if the situation changes? Then what used to work is no longer a viable and effect way to get the results that we want. In this article I will outline seven items that have changed over the past 30 or so years that affect the way we view health, fitness, exercise and what is considered “best”. Let’s look at some of these changes in Fitness.

1. Activity level

This change in fitness is pretty obvious. We just don’t move around as much as we used to 30 years ago.

Currently, the average sedentary person living in an urban setting takes 900-3000 steps a day. Uh… that’s a puny number! In the journal of sports medicine existing literature was pulled together to set a general guideline of what a good number of steps per day would be

The author Dr. Catrine Tudor-Locke translated different physical activity into steps-per-day equivalents. A rate of fewer than 5,000 is classified as sedentary, 5,000 to 7,499 is low active, 7,500 to 9,999 is somewhat active 10,000 or more is active and 12,500 or more is very active. So what does 900 make us? Close to dead! But its not hard to imagine. Get up from, take elevator to car park, drive car, take elevator to office, sit down, order fast food, reverse the process to go home and go back to bed. Just to note, 1km is about 1300 steps.

Its gotten to the point where we have to purposely inconvenience ourselves to get our activity level up. Here are some suggestions (that actually show us how pathetic our average activity levels have become).

Park at the far end of the car park and walk to your building Instead of dropping the kids off in front of the school, park a couple of streets before it and walk them the rest of the way… 10,000 is actually considered a LOW estimate for children.

Go round the shopping centre or supermarket in a random. With today’s super malls, this is a big thing!

Take the stairs instead of the lift or escalator (well if you work on the 50th floor, maybe climb halfway to start)

Give the dog an extra 5 minutes on his walk (we need it even more than him)

Stop emailing colleagues in the same office, instead go over and talk to them (shockingly effective considering how much email we send each day!… great for team building as well)

Go for a walk during your lunch break, walk to get your lunch or to find somewhere to eat your lunch

Get up and do something, run up and down the stairs for example during TV ads (no excuses here!)

Walk to the corner shop instead of driving or popping in on your way home

Walk to friends houses instead of driving

Take public transport and walk from the train station

Dr. David Bassett studied an Amish community to see what things were like in the past. These guys have no cars, no electricity and do hard manual labor to put food on the table. Its like time travel to the past. They eat 3 large meals a day with lots of meat, vegetables and natural starches like potatoes.

The 98 Amish adults Bassett surveyed wore pedometers for a week. The men averaged 18,000 steps a day. The women took an average of 14,000 steps.

The men spent about 10 hours a week doing heavy work like plowing, shoeing horses, tossing hay bales, and digging. The women spent about 3.5 hours a week at heavy chores. Men spent 55 hours a week in moderate activity; women reported 45 hours a week of moderate chores like gardening and doing laundry. Wow that’s a lot of manual labor. Get a pedometer (its only like 20 bucks) and see how you fare.

2. Fat Percentages and Obesity

Activity level leads us right on to this point about obesity. The scary obesity rate is one of the most obvious changes in fitness.

The obesity rate among the participants in the study of the Amish population was 4 percent, as determined by body mass index, or BMI. The current obesity rate among the urban populations is 30% or more. OK the obesity percentages are a scary thing because obesity is already in the “VERY high risk of a lot of bad ways to die” category. There is still the overweight category (obviously fat but not hitting the medically obese range) to consider. These people are at a high risk already!

The total percentages of overweight + obese are really wild… hitting close to 70% in some cities. Compare this to the average in the 1980s. 10-15% obesity in most cities. It rose to the mid 20% in 1995 and its now at an all time high.

3. Diet

OK linked to point no.2 is of course diet. This is another obvious change in fitness. Its very simple actually. We now eat more refined foods (white bread, sugar, rice, flour, noodles). In the body these give pretty much the same response – FAT storage. The only time we should eat these items is immediately after hard training. As we can tell from point no.1, not much of any training is going on. But lots of eating is!

We also eat less fresh fruits, vegetables and meats. We eat more snacks like chips and cookies (which are also refined despite what advertisers claim).

These changes in fitness are made more troubling because even natural foods today are not as good for us as they used to be. Current farming methods make vitamin and mineral content in fruits and vegetables drop about 10-40% depending on the mineral. Corn fed meats don’t give us as good an omega 6 to omega 3 ratio as we used to get from grass fed and free range animals. (that means not so many healthy fatty acids for us)

And of course, we are also simply consuming more calories. The Amish people in the study in point no.1 ate about 3600 calories/day for men and 2100 calories/day for women. Many sedentary people consume this much and more! How? Well a fully “featured” gourmet coffee from coffee bean or Starbucks can add up to 500 calories in an instant of caffeine folly.

That’s 2 hours of walking for an average sized lady.

Just remember, calorie quality counts as well. 2000 calories of vegetables, meat and healthy fats is infinitely better than 2000 calories from french fries. Its close to impossible to get fat on the first, and nearly impossible not to get fat with the second.

I like this car analogy. If you had a 2million dollar dream car, would you put low grade or high grade petrol into it? High grade of course! Then why do some people put low grade filth into their bodies which are so much more important than the car we drive?

4. Games children play

The average child who grows up in an urban environment is a motor-skill weakling. As a hobby, I coach youth basketball. In our talent scouting, I have kids do a very simple drill of dribbling in and out and around cones. There are so many kids who can’t do it and some who I think might fall down if asked to RUN around the cones without the ball! This is in contrast to the past where kids ran around, chased each other, played physical games and sports of all kinds, where the playground was the center of fun for young kids. This lack of activity not only causes a change in fitness for the child in his/her youth, but has a profound long term effect as well.

Of course this change in fitness is a result of a combination of possible factors.

Parents who only consider academic success to be worth striving for, who only give a child recognition and praise when they do well in academic subjects.

An education system who also values book knowledge above other things and takes away physical education classes to put more academic lessons in.

Poorly taught PE lessons that don’t help a child develop motor skills in the key early years Busy double-income families where fathers are not free to play with their children (or don’t care enough to… money isn’t everything dads)

The maddening computer game addiction situation where virtual life is more important than real life. I believe this is the reason for all the empty basketball courts in my neighbourhood. It used to be that teams lined up to play there. Now only people my age (late 20s to 30s) play. No young kids are there any more.

But actually, so what? The issue is that if kids stink at sport and physical activity, the well known psychological factor of “competence” comes is. Simply put, in general, we do what we are good at. If our next generation is poor at sport and physical activity, they are even less likely to do any of it! Which combined with items 1 to 3, make for a deadly health crisis for many countries. Obesity costs the UK 7.4 billion in national health care per year! If we don’t help our kids, that’s only going to grow to be a bigger and bigger burden for everybody.

5. Social Support

This is a more subtle change in fitness. People are communal animals. We stick with things because there is a supportive community behind us. Even drug and alcoholism rehab centers recognise this. We all need social support. But social links are getting weaker. And no, Friendster and MySpace links don’t make up for it.

In a more connected but less close world (I know so many people who are only comfortable behind a computer screen and not in front of a real person) there is less social support than in the past (extended families, communal living, strong friendships within a neighbourhood etc) and its hard to stick with something which requires dedication and sacrifice like an exercise program. I’m not a sociologist but I do believe there is a reason that exercise classes do better in terms of membership than individualized training. Most of them certainly are not as effective as great individual coaching. But the social factor does come in when sustaining a lifestyle change is involved.

6. Free Time

This subtle change in fitness is pretty clear. We just have less time that we “own”. Bosses, social, family and other commitments make free time a very precious commodity and it adds difficulty to the fact that time is our only non renewable resource. When we choose to exercise or spend time cooking to keep a healthy lifestyle, we are competing with movies, games, TV and other things for free time. We know that exercise is good for us, but it not only has to be good for us, it has to be BETTER in our minds than the latest episode of desperate housewives, or the latest computer game. That’s the issue. We need to prioritize long term health over temporary fun.

7. Training methods

OK here is where we are doing well. 30 years ago the aerobics craze took the western world by storm. Its not a very good training method both in terms of results, and in terms of results per unit of time. Add that to the fact that we have such minimal time to train, we can’t afford to train in a sub-optimal way. We know a lot more now. Fortunately for us, there are good methods that smart coaches use to improve training efficiency and get RESULTS even with less training time. Some of these include smartly designed resistance training programs, interval training and good assessment techniques to determine individual needs. If you have a coach like that in your corner, you can turn back the clock and avoid becoming one of the ever growing statistic of people who’s health is headed in the wrong direction. Stay fit and strong and good luck!

The Hotel industry is expanding with every passing day due to the boom in leisure and corporate tourism. Frequency of travel has increased over the past decade, leading the hotels to compete in every manner to attract more guests and give them a comfortable stay. Hoteliers know the fact that if they want their customers to choose them over the competitors they have to provide something extra to the guests. Most important one is by offering the quality and right hotel amenities to the guests at suitable rates. If you want your hotel to succeed than it should keep itself ahead in the current trends which will ensure better occupancy rates.

You can start on the hotel amenities services by providing the basic things and supplies like toiletries, towels, hangers, etc. These basic hotel supplies are targeted towards providing the guests ultimate convenience and feel at home factor. However the definition of basic hotel supplies differs on the hotel class and type. The Hotel industry is a highly competitive industry and competes with one another for business. Thus the hotel amenities and supplies that they provide are part of the competition which concerns things like- how many amenities are being offered, its types and the quality and design of the products.

Guests’ expectations of such supplies are affected by the type of hotel and its sophistication level. Hangers, ice boxes, absorbent towels, exquisite bed linens, wooden luggage racks, etc these are basic hotel supplies for mid level hotels. The main aim for providing such extra luxury items is to increase the occupancy rates of the hotel rooms. As the level of the hotel goes up, so does the quality and number of hotel supplies and amenities.

Hotels and resorts that are 5-star and above provide a high level of guest services and amenities to attract and sustain high-end guests. For instance- shaving kits, medical kits, microfiber Bathrobe and towels, shaving mirrors with fog-free feature, in-room lockers, refrigerators, mini bar, etc are just some examples of high quality hotel supplies of such luxury hotels and resorts. Not only do such additional amenities attract new guests but they also increase the occupancy rates.

Guests give rating’s for the hotel supplies and guest complementaries they utilize based on there quality and there convenience. When an hotelier is in the process of deciding which hotel amenities they would provide, a number of factors would influence the decision like- the budget, expectations of their guests, type of guests they receive, etc. The value and importance of hotel supplies cannot be overlooked as they have direct Affect on the occupancy rates.

Indian weddings are easily among the most colourful, elaborate and lively in the world. Unlike the West, where it is the bride and the groom that are the prominent characters, in an India wedding, it is the immediate and extended families on both sides that are the star players! A wedding is a social affair, and heralds the coming together of not just the couple but of their families as well. So, it should come as no surprise that a majority of the youth comply with their family’s wishes even today and go in for arranged marriages.

A typical Indian wedding comprises of three broad segments – the pre-wedding ceremonies (which are almost as elaborate as the actual wedding itself), the wedding and some post-wedding rituals.

India is a vast and diverse country, with the North, South, East and West each having its own distinctive languages, cuisine, customs and traditions and wedding rituals.

North Indian marriages

A traditional North Indian wedding takes place at the brides’ home. North Indian marriages are characterized by several pre-wedding and post-wedding ceremonies. The most important pre-wedding ritual is that of the Mangni or Sagai (engagement ceremony). The boy and the girl exchange rings in the presence of a religious priest and family and close friends.

On the actual day of the wedding, the boy’s family sets off for the girls’ house in the evening amidst a lot of cheering, dancing and general merriment. The groom mounts a brightly adorned horse, usually with the youngest boy of the family sitting up front with him. He is preceded by a crowd of his male and female relatives, and friends, dressed in all their finery and accompanied by a musical band. His face is covered with a curtain of flowers (the sehra which is tied by his sister). The noisy, procession, with the band belting out the tunes of the latest Bollywood chartbusters, makes its leisurely way past residential houses, busy streets before finally arriving at the girl’s house.

The groom and his family are warmly received by the girl’s family, new members greet each other by exchanging garlands of flowers.

Finally, the groom and the bride, seated on a dais, get up to exchange garlands in the Jaimala ceremony – one of the most important of North Indian wedding traditions -amidst a lot of good-natured cheering.

The next part is the most symbolic one – the Saat Pheras (or the seven steps) that the bride and groom take around the ceremonial fire. Thus usually takes place very late – usually after 12 midnight – much after the guests have feasted and left and only the very close relatives on either side are left. Both of them circle the scared fire, taking vows to love and honour each other throughout their lives. The groom then applies a streak of vermilion to the bride’s head, after which they become lawfully wedded husband and wife.

The bride is then given a tearful send-off by her family as she leaves with her new husband to start a brand-new life.

South Indian marriages

The biggest difference between North Indian and South Indian weddings is that the latter takes place during the day instead of at night. The basis for the rituals is the same except that they are conducted in a different manner.

The wedding venue is usually a hall where the wedding mandap ( a small covered enclosure) has plantain trees tied to both the gateposts, overhead festoons made of mango leaves strung together, and Rangoli designs (intricate designs made with coloured powder) at the entrance.

The evening before the actual wedding day, the bridegroom is led in a flower-decked procession from a temple by the bride’s parents to the marriage Mandapam (hall). Once there, the formal espousal ceremony takes place. The elephant-headed god Ganapati, the God of Initiation, is invoked, and is entreated to keep away all obstacles away from the couple.

The ritual is followed by presenting clothes to the couple. Interestingly, the marriage ceremonies are performed separately by the bride and the groom.

The marriage ceremony is formalized in the hall by a Vedic priest who chants ancient hymns and verses, recalling the names of three generations of ancestors of both, the bride and the groom before all who have gathered to witness the wedding. The bride and the groom exchange garlands when they are lifted onto the shoulders of their respective uncles.

The bride then sits on her father’s lap for the ‘Kanyadan’ (giving away the daughter) ceremony to the bridegroom. The bride is presented with a Mangalsutra (the scared necklace that signifies her married status) as well as a new sari which is draped around her by the sister of the bridegroom.

After this, the groom walks seven steps with his bride, holding her hand in his. The seven steps are the most important part of the wedding ceremony.

The wedding is followed by an elaborate and delectable wedding feast, usually vegetarian.