Weird as it might sound, while packing your bags for the vacation, one thing you just cannot afford to miss out on is, manners. Thanks to the cultural and demographical barriers, of the world we live in, what is construed as good manners at one place, could be grossly offensive in another. I have compiled a list of 10 commandments that you must follow while vacationing abroad. You could, thank me later!
Thou Shalt Not Compliment on People’s Belongings in Arab & African Countries!
“Great car”, “Nice Sofa”, “Amazing painting, ya!”, what is considered as a polite or a courtesy talk in rest of the world is taken very seriously in some parts of Arab & Africa; so much that the host feels obligated to give away whatever you have admired. Awkward much?
Thou Shalt Not Arrive on Time (for party or an event) in Argentina!
Let the rest of the world dole out “lectures on punctuality, in Argentina it is considered “rude” to arrive on time for a party or on event. So, if someone invites you for a party at 9 pm, arriving there 2 or 3 hours late is normal and expected. I know, women are celebrating a little there.
Thou Shalt Not Carry Chewing Gum in Singapore!
Most of the countries have stringent rules about keeping the environment clean. Singapore, however, took a step further and banned the import of chewing gums way back in 90s. Also, you could attract some serious fine if you are caught spitting chewing gums in public and they have like a full-fledged law for it! Kidding? I’m not.
Thou Shalt Not Make Eye Contact with Indonesian Men!
Okay, don’t dub me as a sexist already. Let me explain this whacky etiquette of Indonesia. While staring in most parts of the world is considered as rude, but in Indonesia it is perfectly normal. Indonesian people would stare at you and do not mind at being stared back, except when you are staring into a (young) man’s eyes more than thrice, which is considered as “challenging them to fight” there.
Thou Shalt Not Give ‘Thumbs Up’ in Italy, Greece, Nigeria, Afghanistan & Iran!
Such a positive sign, right? NOPE. The harmless “thumbs up” is considered as an extremely offensive gesture in the aforementioned countries. Wonder how would you say ‘All the Best’ to someone? Nod your head, may be?
Thou Shalt Not Greet Someone with Your Left Hand in India!
Eating with your left hand, greeting or waving someone with your left hand is considered inappropriate and disrespectful in India and most Arab countries. Erm, why you ask? That’s because left hand is considered as ‘unhygienic’ and people do not prefer using toilet paper there, if you know what I mean!
Thou Shalt Not ‘Tip’ in Japan & South Korea!
A sigh of relief, right? After paying a hefty amount on eating out, spending an extra 10% on tip seems so unfair. Thankfully, people of Japan & South Korea think the same, tipping in these countries is akin to begging & considered offensive.
Thou Shalt Not Touch Anyone’s Head in Thailand!
The head is considered home of the soul and the spirit. Touching head, playing with someone’s hair or passing anything over head is a taboo in Thailand. Refrain!
Thou Shalt Not Sing Loudly after Sunset in Hawaii, Honululu!
Beaches, sand, and a lovely evening to spend…you would want to break into a song. Right? I wouldn’t recommend that in Hawaii, not post sunset at least. It is illegal.
Thou shalt Not freely Burp & Slurp to appreciate good food in China!
Burping, slurping the soup…Yewww, right? Well not, while you are in China. Feel free to make that slurping sound while having soup or burp in an unapologetic way for, both these gestures would mean that you have had a good satisfying meal & you would want to appreciate the chef.
So, yes that’s it. Keep these little tips in mind and never ever earn a discerning glance from a native again.