Never Do These Things in Foreign Countries
Never do these things in foreign countries. So many countries, so many customs. Any jet setter will agree this good old proverb is true. In the age of globalization, going places has become an essential part of our life. We are all well aware of the fact that while visiting a foreign country, we must obey certain local traditions and common rules. Failing to do so has given a rich ground for many jokes. If you don’t want to be in one of those, or better yet, featured on YouTube as that crazy tourist fined, or even arrested, pay attention to our list of do’s and dont’s accurate in different countries of the world. Russia. The mysterious Russian soul has a lot of dark corners, and it might take years to discover and understand all of them. Let’s start with one basic Russian don’t. It does not matter if you want to surprise your Russian girlfriend, your business partner or thank an old lady for her hospitality, never give an even number of flowers as a gift. Even numbers of flowers are for grieving and funerals. The florist might say something if you accidentally choose an even number of flowers, but it’s better if you stay alert yourself, just to be sure. Give a proper bouquet of five, seven, nine or more flowers, depending on how much you are ready to spend, and the recipient will be more than happy. Chile. Manners matter more to the people of Chile than to other South Americans. It is extremely important not to eat anything with your fingers. Even the smallest french fry must be stabbed with a fork. Licking your fingers for utensils is also a no-go. Word to the wise: if you are planning a trip to Chile, take your time to study some etiquette rules to know your salad fork from your fish fork. Singapore. Clean streets and low crime rate made Singapore famous worldwide as the fine city, and not because it is so beautiful. Remember the second meaning of the word fine? This is the case. Some little crimes you might get fined for are easy to understand. Others will leave you surprised and much less wealthy. Chewing gum, for example, is banned in Singapore. So you’d better leave it at home before getting on the plane. If you break the gum rule for the first time, you may be fined for up to a thousand dollars. It is also prohibited to feed birds, spit, and throw any trash onto the street, or eat on public transportation. India. When in India, you have to keep your private life to yourself and your emotions under control. No matter how much you want to show affection to your special someone, never kiss them in public. This, in particular, can get you put in jail. No physical contact with people of the opposite sex is allowed in public. Japan. Similar to India, public demonstration of affection is not acceptable in Japan. Remember, there is no hugging, or even worse, kissing, in public. Unlike in so many other countries, tipping is not a thing in Japan. Tips are not expected, so don’t be surprised if you try tipping someone and they turn it down. A brilliant thing to do, to stay on the safe side, would be just to do what the locals do. Mexico. Are you planning a trip to Mexico? A good piece of advice will be to stay as thick-skinned as possible, since Mexicans love making jokes and never miss a chance to do so. Don’t take things too personally. No one means to hurt you. It is just the way they are. Be brave and adventurous. Local people will highly appreciate your attempts at speaking the language, or experiencing their culture. Try dancing their national dance, love the local food, or wear a sombrero. There are many ways to show you care and respect them. New Zealand. Remember the difference between Aussies and Kiwis. Never mix them up. In case you didn’t know, the Aussies stand for Australians and the Kiwis for New Zealanders. Just to make it clear. New Zealanders are friendly and fun-loving people. However, there are things no one would ever joke about. Rugby, the Lord of the Rings, and Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom are the topics to avoid when trying to make a funny joke. Don’t be surprised if you see a lot of barefoot people. Walking to places with no shoes on provides good massage to your feet and is a cultural thing. Norway. When in Norway, don’t ask questions concerning church. This may be taken for disrespect. Many people here don’t attend church, and those who do will want to keep it to themselves. Do not expect any formalities. There will be no Mister or Miss something. People prefer to talk informally and refer to each other by their first names. Turkey. An essential thing to remember before going to Turkey is not to give anyone the okay sign. It might seem like a sign of approval to you, but is considered an obscene gesture for the Turks. Try not to drink too much. Being drunk in public is considered shameful here. So don’t be surprised, it might be hard to find booze. And if you manage to do it, don’t get wasted on it. If you take out a toothpick at a public place, or blow your nose, expect surprise and even angry looks. Don’t do it in public. Keep it private. United Kingdom. British people like their pudding fresh and their queues well-organized. Don’t jump the queue, or expect to be judged by the locals. That extra minute you might spare can cost you a room full of contempt. Don’t ask people how much they earn. This is not a good topic for discussion. Talk about the weather, cricket, or Her Majesty’s new hat. Just do not start the money talk. Don’t invite random people over. Remember, your house is your castle, and only your close friends should be welcome there. Ireland. Do not try to play it cool and sound like Irishmen. For Irish people, there is no such thing as an Irish accent. They recognize and divide accents depending on the region of Ireland they come from. Don’t be cheap. It is not a good idea to start a night of bar-hopping if you don’t have enough money to buy your beers. Germany. Don’t ever use Nazi greeting gestures. If you do, your journey to Germany might end sooner than you planned. Every year, tourists get arrested and sent back home for this. Don’t stare at people. Germans might look very attractive, but try to resist the temptation of staring at fraus on the metro. Only poorly educated and crazy people do that here. Don’t try to look overly friendly. It takes a good amount of time, sometimes months, for a German to get used to new people and call them friends. Don’t congratulate anyone on his or her birthday before the day itself. Germans are very superstitious when it comes to their birthdays. They believe it is a bad sign to hear happy birthday before the special date, and can even cause death. Kenya. Don’t show disrespect for religion. No matter what their religions may be, Kenyans are very devout. Be patient. Five minutes Do not necessarily mean five minutes, and that bus schedule you are looking at might not be very accurate. In fact, nothing ever happens here according to schedule. Learn to go with the flow. Don’t talk about sex in mixed groups of friends. This topic is a taboo. People might get so offended they won’t want you in their group after that. Don’t call anyone by his or her name if the person hasn’t referred to you this way. Miss, Mrs., Mr., Dr. is what is expected of you. If you want to call someone whose name you don’t know, you can just go with madam or sir. Malaysia. Never touch anyone’s head. For Malaysians, this is the home of the soul and the most sacred part of the body. Keep yourself from running your fingers through people’s hair, especially babies. Korea. If you want to have good manners in Korea, use two hands when handing over money. When you pay for things, pass on your cash or credit card with both hands. It’s a sign of respect. Do you know any other things that are prohibited in foreign countries? Share them in the comments below. Don’t forget to give us thumbs up and click subscribe to join us on the bright side of life.