How-To & Guide
Never Do These Things in Foreign Countries
So many countries, so many customs
- - If you want to surprise your Russian girlfriend or your business partner, never give an even number of flowers as a gift. Even numbers of flowers are for grieving and funerals.
- - Manners matter more to the people of Chile than to other South Americans. It is extremely important not to eat anything with your fingers.
- - 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 $1000.
- - 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.
- - Similar to India, public demonstration of affection is not acceptable in Japan. Remember, there is no hugging, or even worse, kissing, in public!
- - 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.
- - 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.
- - 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.
- - An essential thing to remember before going to Turkey is not to give anyone the OK sign. It might seem like a sign of approval to you but is considered an obscene gesture for the Turks.
- - British people like their pudding fresh and their queues well-organized. Don’t jump the queue. Or expect to be judged by the locals.
- - Do not try to play it cool and sound like Irishmen. For Irish people there is no such a thing as Irish accent; they recognize and divide accents depending on the region of Ireland they come from.
- - 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 show disrespect for religion. No matter what their religion may be, Kenyans are very devout.
- - 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.
- - 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.