There are some cultural differences that one may encounter while traveling and the more you’re prepared the more savvy you will appear. Here are 7 unusual cultural customs that you may not know:
1. Left hand considered dirty in India and the Middle East
When eating or handing over a gift only use the right hand, as the left hand is deemed dirty. Indians and other nationalities use their left hand for “cleaning” purposes.
2. Don’t sprinkle salt in Egypt
Sprinkling salt on your food is an insult to your host or chef. It signals that you found the meal repulsive. (Better to avoid anyway as salt causes bloating)
3. Select flowers carefully in Russia
When gifting flowers in Russia, be mindful that you don’t give an even number as that is reserved for cemeteries or memorials honoring the dead. Also avoid gifting yellow flowers, especially to women, as this is the color of sadness, deceit, or an upcoming break-up.
4. Avoid red ink in Korea
When writing a note or card be mindful to avoid red ink as this can cause offense. Red ink can signify the person whose name you are writing is deceased. (You may reconsider if the message is intended for an ex-lover or jealous socialite)
5. Look for the airport send off in Japan
Japanese ground crews will wave to departing planes as a traditional sendoff. Quite a sweet gesture.
6. Don’t point in Indonesia
In Indonesia, one should point with their thumb as it’s considered very rude to point with a forefinger.
7. Always use utensils in Chile
Manners matter in Chile so even when eating something such as French fries be sure to use a fork and never the hands. (Although we do this regardless, right Ladies?)
HOMEWORK: Can you think of anymore unusual customs? Let us know in the comments below.