Traveling? Keep These in Mind: 8 Habits Other Cultures Consider Rude

Posted by on May 9, 2016 in Conscious Evolution, Conscious Living with 2 Comments

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By Starre Vartan |

It's kind of a strange when you think about it, but rudeness is 100 percent a cultural construct. Anything that you can think of that's considered rude in American culture, for example, might be seen as perfectly fine (and maybe even positive) in another place.

What you have to apologize for varies from culture to culture. The key, of course, is knowing what's acceptable where you happen to be. So before you head out on your next trip, check out what the local customs are. Here are a few of some of the most common taboos from around the world that are different from what we do in the United States.

1. Tipping varies from country to country. While it's considered rude not to tip for myriad services in the U.S., from servers at restaurants to the dryer at the car wash to a cab driver, in Japan it's considered rude to tip. That's because great service is the expected norm, and tipping shows that you thought you might not get the best, which is insulting. In most European countries, the Middle East and Australia, tipping is more of a token than an expectation, since it doesn't form the base of the salary of the person who's assisting you. So it's still nice to do in these places, but smaller amounts are appropriate, though you won't be insulting anyone in these locations if you tip.

2. Opening gifts: In the U.S., it's generally good manners to open a gift that has been received in front of the person who has given it (and to express joy and thank the person who has given it to you then and there). But in China, India, and other countries in that region, one opens presents in private. Opening gifts in public is seen as tacky and a sign of a lack of self-control because the person receiving a gift is supposed to build up anticipation for the present. In China, you never, ever want to give an unwrapped gift; that's considered incredibly rude.

3. Using your left hand: You may have heard that in some parts of the world, the left hand is seen as unclean. While that custom has sensible origins — the left hand would be used to do dirty things related to urination and defecation and the right hand was used to eat — it's no longer true that the left hand is used this way because modern toilet facilities have become more common. But the taboo remains in many countries, including the Middle East, parts of Africa and India. In Ghana, even pointing, gesturing or handling items with the left hand is frowned upon. And in those places, you should never shake hands with your left, even if you're a leftie.

4. Public nose-blowing: In the U.S., honking one out with friends and in public is considered acceptable as long as you use a tissue or handkerchief. But in Saudi Arabia, France, China and Japan, blowing one's nose in public is considered disgusting. In China and Japan, using a handkerchief rather than disposable tissues is also looked down upon — the Japanese word hanakuso means “nose waste,” which gives you a good idea of how they feel about it.

Copyright : Piotr Marcinski

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  1.' Quỳnh Punny says:


  2.' Jeanne Ham says:

    Read: Indonesia = Asia

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