The famous proverb says, “When in Rome, do as the Roman’s do.” The experienced travelers know that is not just empty words. Some everyday things we do seem usual and normal for us, but at the same time are unacceptable for the citizens of other countries. Inappropriate gestures, phrases, actions, and outfit can make you look silly, humiliate you or your companion, and even can be treated as unlawful acts.
Check out or list of the things you should avoid when traveling abroad.
- Drinking alcohol in unappropriated areas in Muslim countries
The Muslim culture is the strictest in the world. Alcohol is one of the biggest taboo for everyone who follow the Muslim traditions. Even in the modern and highly developed country like The United Arab Emirates consumption of alcohol is strictly forbidden, despite it is widely available. When visiting Arabian and Middle East’s countries never drink in public, visit special designed places instead, for example licensed restaurants. And don’t even think about giving a bottle of something strong as a present!
- Displaying of affection in public
Hugging and kissing in plain view is extremely obscene in many countries. Restrict yourself and hold your feelings in Muslim countries, Japan, India.
In some countries it is OK to bargain and people even love to discuss the lower price with the tourists. Independent traders on markets in Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Turkey, China and most of Asian countries consider the skill of haggle a feature of a wise and experienced person.
Bargain is an art and a ritual in the east, but it is bad manners in the west. Never try haggling in Scandinavian countries. The prices are always fixed there.
- Giving odd or even numbers of flowers
The culture of giving flowers is completely different on all continents. The number, sort, and color matter. For example, it is obscene to present red roses to a married woman in France or Austria. Yellow flowers symbolize grief in Mexico and Chile. Giving unwrapped bouquets is common in Germany and Poland. In addition, if you find one of the Russian woman dating reasons, be sure you present only an odd number of flowers. Even number is traditional in China.
- Touching someone’s head
Your good intentions to pat someone’s head may be regarded as a huge insult in Buddhist countries. People there believe that the head is a place where our soul lives, so it is the most sacred place in a body. Don’t touch a top of the head or even hair, especially children’s.
- Bringing up the forbidden subjects
Due to a numerous of historical premises, there are a lot of themes that should not be discussed with the local in many countries. Try not to mention any interethnic conflicts: Tibet and China, Ireland and The UK (never call their Isle a part of the British Islands), Palestine and Israel. Don’t touch topics like these especially if you don’t know much about the problem.
- Entering homes with the shoes on
Always wear clean socks in Japan and Norway. Why? Because it is obligatorily to take your shoes off. The house owners will give some pair of extra slippers.
- Pointing and gesticulate with the chopsticks
The eating traditions are very important in oriental culture. When eating with chopsticks be careful with this unremarkable item. Don’t point at people with them, don’t cross them over and use them for eating only. It is also a bad sign to put the chopsticks upright into a bowl. In addition, don’t talk with mouth full. The Japanese even cover their mouth while chewing.