If you’re thinking of going abroad for a vacation or for any other reason, aside from packing your luggage, you might as well bring with you these tips. Literally have them printed or written on paper, or you may choose to just keep them mind. Be wary, for the common innocent gestures that you might be used to may be taboo and rude in some other countries.
Dating back from the Byzantine era, the Moutza is among one of the oldest insulting gestures among Greeks. There was once a custom wherein criminals are paraded on the street while they’re tied in a donkey. To make things worse for them, locals rub dirt, feces or ashes into their faces. This gesture is done by extending all fingers, facing the palm to the person to be insulted. One is insulting enough, but using both hands doubles the insult. It is also considered more threatening when the hands are closer to the person’s face. Also, as time has evolved, this gesture is now also being associated with a sexual connotation, wherein the five fingers equate to five sexual acts the doer would like to do with the receiver’s willing sister.
9. Thumbs up
Commonly known as a sign of approval, apparently, this isn’t the case in some parts of the world, especially the Middle East and Latin America. Doing the gesture is equal to saying, “shove it,” which would probably give you all the trouble.
You probably need to keep your love for rock music at bay when in some Latin American and European countries. Extending your index and little fingers, while keeping the rest of your fingers down, known as the sign of the bull, is an easy way of telling someone that his wife is cheating on him.
If stress makes you bite your thumb, you better make sure you’re all relaxed during your trip to India or Pakistan. As this would imply that you’re calling the person in front of you as well as his family worthless.
6. OK Sign
When in Brazil, make sure that you figure out another way to gesture OK and not use the one where one makes a circle by touching the thumb with the index finger and extending the other three fingers. What could be a common, innocent sign to you may be another variation of the finger to them. Meanwhile, using this gesture in Greece or Turkey would mean that the person you’re directing the gesture to is homosexual.
5. Using your Left Hand
Lefties will have a hard time going around the Middle East, Africa and some other Asian countries such as India and Sri Lanka. When eating, be mindful of which had you choose to use, as using the left would deem you unclean as the left hand is used to keep you fresh and clean after doing your #2. Another reason it’s better to keep your being a southpaw is because according to the Qur’an, Satan also is one.
4. Women talking to Men in Public
Moving to Saudi Arabia would lessen the chance of your dream of meeting a good man walking his dog in the park from coming true. Women aren’t allowed to converse with members of the opposite sex in public, as this is considered immoral.
3. Slurping your Soup
Don’t worry about being rude in Japan if you prefer to slurp your noodle soup. This is considered good manners, as a good noisy slurp is a sign that you’re enjoying your meal. Although you may have to turn the slurping down a bit, should you decide to hop to Australia.
2. Finishing Your Meal
Usually, a good indication that everyone loved your cooking is by how clean your visitors’ plates were. This is not the case in some other countries. In China, specifically, finishing your food means you’re not provided with enough food. You wouldn’t want to make your host feel bad about not preparing enough, so no matter how delectable the food is, make sure you always leave a morsel or two.
1. Taking Photos
Photos of you with the Eiffel Tower in the background, of you riding an Elephant in Thailand, or you touring the temples of Cambodia could be captured all in a snap. Moments aren’t the only ones captured when you take a photo, as for the people of rural Ghana, being photographed steals their soul. So better make sure you turn your camera away from the locals