The tickets are booked, the bags are packed and you're raring to go. You're thinking, nothing can come between you and your travels. Except may be not knowing how to behave like a local in the places you're visiting. Behaving like a local doesn't mean you end up looking like them but it does entail brushing up on a little etiquette before you head out. The things you consider to be most banal in your hometown could be really offensive on the other side of the world. So, here's a little guide straight from locals across the globe that will help you chart your journey better.
Don't wish someone a 'happy birthday' before it's their birthday because according to local superstition, something bad can likely happen (like dying). Also the Nazi salute here is a big no.
It's okay if you ingest some of the residue from your cup of tea if you're in India. But in Turkey it's usually frowned upon and apparently something of a joke among waiters serving at more touristy places there.
This one goes out to all us Indians. You can't litter in Singapore, it's a criminal offence. You also can't have a drink in public between 10.30pm and 7am.
Kissing in public is possibly the worst thing you could do in Dubai, probably not as bad as having sex before marriage anywhere in UAE though. Also electronic cigarettes are banned in the UAE, so no point pretending they're better once you're there.
This much you may have gauged from movies based on the country but they usually like to keep the outside, outside (read: shoes). Meaning, the next time you're invited to a local's home, leave the shoes outside. Also because you're sort of expected to. Don't be lazy either - make sure you have a clean pair of socks on.
You could be jailed for clapping in the public in Belarus. It was in 2011 that not clapping became one of the ways in which citizens there protested against the president.
Don't make the 'O.K.' hand gesture in Brazil because turns out, it's not as universal a hand sign as you may have thought. In Brazil it has a more offensive meaning. So, not okay.
Like with India, China's society instills a sense of respect for the elderly. When here, don't be in a rush and don't exit a room before a person older than you. In fact, you're expected to hold the door for them. Also, don't bring up Tibet. And speaking of how Indians love their tea, don't ask for milk for your cuppa here - it's insulting.
I know right. Jamaican music is already playing in your head as you relax and think a giant doobie will be perfect right about now. Not in Jamaica it isn't. In fact, it's illegal.
Given the political stickiness in the region, joking about a bomb on the plane or just security in general could land you in thick, hot soup.
Here, when giving someone a bouquet make sure the flowers are even in number. Bouquets with an odd number of flowers is meant for the dead. So unless you're sending someone a message, don't do it. Additionally, that original Russian vodka, it's meant to be finished in one gulp otherwise it's just plain rude.
The Irish are so jovial and friendly, they may take offence if you keep refusing to have a cup of coffee or tea. It's best to say yes to at least one because things can get touchy. Also, here, the Isle is not part of the British Islands. At least not until your tea is finished.
Don't wash your feet in the sink at a public bathroom - there's usually a sign you'll spot that will caution you. If you do it anyway, you could attract a fine of up to 1000-baht (Rs 1900).
Don't flaunt your birthday suit at the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu. You'd be surprised how many tourists have been arrested for doing so.
The 'rock on' hand gesture here is insulting. It's like you telling someone their wife is cheating on them. Also Italians may be as loud as Indians and all about family etc., but eating with hands here is considered rude.
Here, your passport needs to be in the same area as you at all times. So, don't leave it in the hotel room, carry it with you.
This isn't India. Jaywalking here is illegal big time. If you're looking to get to the other side of the road, always take the crossing and wait for the little man on the signal to turn green first.
Source - indiatimes.com
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