Something which might be very normal to us, can be perceived very differently by foreigners. We have all been surprised about the strange habits in another country. To prepare yourself for your trip and to not be surprised by different etiquette and common practises abroad, I’ve written down some interesting habits abroad.
Curious about new cultures and habits abroad? 6 interesting habits abroad!
1. Greeting each other
In Europe, it’s common that when you look at each other, you give that other person a nod or a smile. In South-Korea for example, this is less common, because if you do not know each other, you ignore each other. If you do happen to glance at each other, you look away and if you’re having bad luck, people might get upset when you do decide to smile. Strangers simply do not make eye contact. If it does get to that point, people will ignore you and quickly look away.
2. Running late
In many countries in Europe, punctuality is an important part of life and we always get to things in time. When you do run late for whatever kind of reason, you report this to the other person. However, this does not happen in some other countries. In India, Turkey and Spain for example, people think it is acceptable to be late for 15 minutes or half an hour. In Venezuela it is even considered rude to be early or in time for an appointment. It shows greed and that’s why it’s better to be 10 to 15 minutes late.
3. Spitting and blowing your nose
It does happen a little in Europe, but it is not fully accepted to clear your throat and spit. But in China for example, people gurgle and spit everywhere you go. However, in Japan it is very rude to blow your nose in public.
4. Kissing when greeting
Kissing when greeting? It’s different per country. In some countries, people give 1 kiss during a greeting and in other countries this can be 2 or even 3. But there are also countries that consider it’s strange to kiss each other on the cheeks. People instead hug or shake hands. A lot of countries don’t do a simple hand shake anymore, but kiss each other on the cheek or hug when greeting someone instead. However, in Dubai or in Indonesia, public kissing is not a good idea.
5. Giving presents
Would you like to give a present to your host/hostess in China, then it’s important to consider what to bring. In China, people do not appreciate flowers, handkerchiefs or sandals because these gifts represent death. In most countries, tea or cookies are appreciated as a gift.
6. Saying no
If we say no, we mean no and that also goes for saying yes. But there are countries in which communication is not as direct. If something is offered to you in Iran, you always refuse two times, even when you really want to say yes. You only say yes during the third time. Iranian people will always offer you things multiple times. Indian people communicate in a very polite and indirect way. They often say yes just to be polite, even when they mean no and do not feel like it. This also causes them to not show up for appointments. The body language might be a little tricky, because when they shake their head, they mean yes or it means that they understood.
This is my list with interesting habits abroad! Do you know more interesting habits abroad?