I’m passing on this handy calendar of religious holidays, ReligiousHolidaysFY20122014, prepared by the University of Illinois at Chicago, which has astonishing diversity. What I like is the breakout of which holidays come with restrictions from work and which do not, which limits the number of excuses students can use.
One of the amazing things about the United States (and a handful of other countries, including Canada and Australia) is how we somehow manage to get along despite really big underlying cultural and religious differences. The diversity makes for creativity, and it also forces managers to consider employees as individuals. In the context of investing, really diverse emerging markets such as Brazil, India, and South Africa can turn the diversity into a competitive advantage (like the U.S., Canada, and Australia), or it can become a point of contention that divides the nations. That mix of risk and opportunity makes them really exciting.