Intercultural Word of the Week – Verguenza Ajena

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That moment when someone struts onto a stage with bucketloads of confidence and a true belief they are the next Elvis… but sings out of tune and dances with no rhythm and you want to throw things!  Verguenza Ajena (pronounced ver-gwen-tha-a-hey-na) is what the Spanish call this horrible but strangely liberating feeling.  It is the shame or embarrassment felt as the result of the actions of someone else, usually a stranger.  The most visceral experience of verguenza ajena is felt when dealing with the most self important or thick skinned people, politicians and the powerful in particular.  Linguists think that the reason the Spanish have named this emotion is as a result of the high importance in Spain of not losing one’s dignity.  Interestingly the last piece of food left on a plate is called “el de la verguenza” as whoever eats it should feel shame!


Dominic Tidey is the C.O.O. of EuRA, the European Relocation Association.  EuRA is the professional industry body for relocation providers and affiliated services. As a non-profit organisation EuRA aims to promote the benefits of a professionally managed relocation to companies with globally mobile employees.

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Dom Tidey

Dominic Tidey is the C.O.O. of EuRA with specific responsibility for new projects, conferences, education programmes and research. EuRA is the association for relocation providers across the globe. We are a not-for-profit association run by our 500+ members in 95 countries. EuRA sets global standards for relocation through our MIM Professional Qualification and our EuRA Global Quality Seal, an ISO based independent audit programme for mobility providers. Dominic has worked with EuRA since 1998 having studied law at university and working in social services. In 2003 he completed his masters degree and returned to EuRA as Operations Manager, spearheading the development of the EARP and later, the EuRA Global Quality Seal and most recently, the MIM online training programme.

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