With lots of scholarship opportunities for graduates, postgraduates, MBA scholarships, and other degrees easily available online, it’s never been easier to travel the world. However, each country comes with its own unique culture, including a set of dos and don’ts that must be respected. Some cultural taboos can be severe, so it’s crucial to be aware of the forbidden actions in order to avoid serious trouble.
Traveling to a new country can be both thrilling and daunting because it allows you to immerse yourself in a different culture, meet new people, and try new things. However, keep in mind that different cultures have distinct norms and expectations, and failing to follow them might have serious implications. This is why it’s critical to be aware of the country’s taboos and to make an effort to understand and respect the local culture.
Religious beliefs and practices are associated with cultural taboos in many countries. Touching someone’s head or feet, for example, is considered impolite in several nations, as is gesturing with your feet. It is considered disrespectful in other countries to eat with your left hand or to show affection in public. These are only a handful of the many taboos that are prevalent in various cultures, and it’s important to be aware of them and avoid breaking them.
Another area where cultural taboos can come into play is how we dress. Some countries believe it appropriate to dress modestly and cover up, while others consider it acceptable to wear revealing apparel. For others, wearing clothes with religious symbols or that is insulting in any manner is expressly offensive.
In addition to religious and cultural taboos, it is essential to know the legal taboos of the country you are visiting. This covers rules governing drug use, gambling, and prostitution, as well as regulations governing public behavior. Littering, urinating in public, and other kinds of public indecency are outlawed in many countries. Violations of these laws are punishable by penalties, imprisonment, or possibly deportation.
Let’s take a look at some do’s and don’ts of visiting these countries:
Brazil is a famous tourist destination due to its vivid culture, carnivals, and samba dance. Despite its popularity, many people are unaware that the thumbs up gesture is considered highly disrespectful in Brazil and other Middle Eastern countries.
Waving to friends is a common greeting in many countries, but it is considered impolite in Greece and should be avoided. In Greek culture, waving with an open palm is considered a disrespectful or unfriendly signal and is not well accepted by the locals. As a result, if you are visiting Greece, it is best to respect cultural standards and refrain from adopting this gesture as a form of greeting.
Picking your nose while eating with family or friends is not considered impolite or disrespectful in Germany. So, before you make plans for dinner with your German friend, check sure he or she is not suffering from any cold.
Making loud slurping noises when eating noodles is actually encouraged and seen as a show of appreciation for the food’s delectability in Japan. Tipping, on the other hand, is not widely practiced in Japan and may be considered impolite. Restaurant and hotel service is usually excellent without the expectation of a tip.
We were taught as children that picking our nose in public is considered unpleasant and disrespectful by others. Picking one’s nose while interacting with others, on the other hand, is seen as a sign of good hygiene in Thailand and is not considered disrespectful.
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If you meet a Russian girl and want to impress her with flowers, send her flowers in odd numbers. Giving flowers in even numbers in Russia is considered as inviting death because they give even numbers of flowers only to the dead people as a funeral custom.
After 11 a.m., avoid ordering cappuccino in Italian restaurants. It may seem strange not to order a drink from the place where it was created! But the Italians have a good reason for this. Italians are convinced that drinking milk after any meal can cause digestive problems.
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Giving a clock or an umbrella as a gift is considered unlucky in Chinese culture. The reason for this is that the word “clock” sounds similar to the words “end” or “departure,” and an umbrella represents the act of spreading apart or separating. As a result, these things have negative connotations, such as the end of a relationship or the separation of friends. So , it is best to avoid offering these things as gifts in Chinese culture, as they may be regarded as a wish for the relationship to end.
Making the OK gesture (where the forefinger touches the thumb) is considered rude in Turkey since it indicates homosexuality, which is not socially acceptable. It is also considered impolite to point a finger at someone.
It is customary in India to avoid using the left hand since it is considered unclean. When meeting someone, exchanging money, or handling items, always use your right hand.
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The Dos and Don’ts of the Responsible Tourist
1. Every place has its own history, nature, and culture. We tourists should learn more about these issues so that our actions do not affect them.
2. We should coexist with nature. We should view wild fauna from a safe distance to avoid disturbing its natural environment.
3. Keep in mind that natural resources like water and energy are limited. Use them moderately.
4. If your hotel does not have eco-friendly policies, request that the linen be changed only when necessary.
5. Carry your personal hygiene products with you at all times and avoid using hotel amenities.
6. Make use of rechargeable batteries.
7. Do not accept unnecessary brochures.
8. Avoid littering. Keep waste in your possession until you can find a wastebasket or bin.
9. In terms of culinary, aim to consume local food that is produced with organic ingredients whenever possible.
10. If you have any suggestions, make them known to the tour operators you hire in the destinations you visit. This way, we will be able to promote tourism as a means of achieving long-term development.
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When traveling to a new country, it is essential to become acquainted with the dos and don’ts in order to have a memorable and delightful trip. To respect local culture and avoid legal issues, learn about the country’s cultural and legal taboos. This will allow you to fully immerse yourself in the experience while avoiding any cultural missteps, whether you are a student, professional, or curious traveler.
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