When putting the info found in the World Book into context, a majority of references to the very cosmopolitan ideal of Arduin is a reference to the heavily homogenous depths of the cities.
The villages are more of the xenophobic, standard ideal of a village, where everyone does known one another and strangers stand out. Let me say, too, that those who leave and return to those small villages and towns are treat almost as foreign as those very strangers whom the villagers do not know for the very same reasons.
Do this once and a while and they will continue to accept you, though likely with some reservations, and as long as sufficient time elapses between each ‘journey away’ to allow them to readjust to your ‘differences’.
My case in point would be military service. Join the military and leave for a few years and then return to the small town of your origin. While at first they see you as a stranger, eventually they come to view you once again as the person they always knew—if a little different or changed from your experiences. Leave again fairly quickly or several times in a row without this (fairly long) adjustment period and you are as much a stranger to them as the person who just blew in.
The racial and cultural crosscut prevalent in the majority of densely populated areas in Arduin extends to some of the villages but not to a majority.
They are xenophobic, often parochial, and usually more traditional and resistant to change than urbanites. They will not deal with the social evils as much or in as plentiful numbers as the cities. Deodanths, demons, serial killers, crazed users of magiks, running street fights, organized gangs, and so forth are not as prevalent in these areas as they are in rural ones.
The cycle of growing, gathering and storing for winter is closer to the rural peasant than the urban dweller who continues to go to market through out the year, complaining about the lack of one item or another. Villagers and smaller settlements work on a smaller range of goods and rarely have them in sufficiency—that excess is sold, traded or bargained for other needed goods.
There is a greater sense of community (some places more than others I would say) as there is a smaller pool of people generally to breakup or challenge the accepted norm.
Also, reigning nobility have a greater say in the rural portions of Arduin than in the urban regions. Urban regions generally fall under the sway of administrators appointed by the king (which could / can be nobility also) but rural regions are usually carved out of individual nobles demesnes. A more firebrand noble may have an interesting outlook toward the government and certain races, while others may not care the least.