Our typical gesture to express the word “ok” in Japan means “money”; in Brazil, “buttocks”; in France and Germany used to say that “you are an absolute zero”; while in Syria and Tunisia, this gesture goes on to indicate that you are going to “end” with the person to whom it is directed. It turns out that many things that we have become accustomed, in other countries harbour a completely different meaning, and even in the opposite direction. And often, as a result, the tourists are caught up in situations, to say the least, embarrassing.
Great.guru proposes you know those things that are familiar to us, but which in other countries have meanings very different. Thanks to this list, now you’ll be more prepared than many seasoned travelers.
1. Picnic in the graveyards
In most of the countries of the world, people don’t go to cemeteries for fun. But in Denmark no one will be surprised if you see there’s a whole family doing a picnic or to a couple in the sun with bathing suits. Due to the small territory that holds this country, the danes began to use in a practical way the space, so we decided that a cemetery could also be converted into a place to live. The most popular is the cemetery of Copenhagen, “Assistens”, where you can see many people among the tombs of hans christian Andersen and Kierkegaard.
2. Caresses on the head
In most of the countries of the world, pat a child on the head is a sign of care and praise, but in Thailand it can be understood as an insult of great proportions. The thais believe that the head of the person is his soul, therefore, only the closest have the right to touch this sacred part of the body. Even the hairdressers, before making a hairstyle or a hair cut, bend the palms of your hands and bow before the head of the client in a sign of respect and, so to speak, apologize for having to touch this “cover of the soul”.
3. The left hand
In India and in muslim countries, the left hand is considered “unclean”. This responds to the fact that this is the hand that is used for various hygienic procedures. And even in the Quran it is mentioned that the same brings misfortune. For that, you can’t use the left hand in a handshake, nor to give the products to tourists or a business card and, under no circumstances you can use to eat, even if you’re left-handed.
In Norway is not well seen to praise a person directly, since this can be regarded as a compliment, open and, most likely, will not cause positive reaction whatsoever on the part of the interlocutor. Throw a compliment, praising the appearance, is only allowed to the people very close, not to keep a conversation secular, but because she admires sincerely this feature in the person.
5. Thumb instead of the index
In Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, with the index finger you can point, as a lot of, an animal or an object. But when it comes to the people, this gesture is considered highly offensive. Instead, opt for the thumb, while the other fingers are pressed against the palm of the hand.
Perhaps, the residents of other countries should change their habits. Experiments have recently shown that the majority of people reject unconsciously to their partners when they use their index finger in their gestures. 72% of the students on the teacher repeated deliberately, this gesture, evaluated negatively by your speech and some even left the class.
6. Red ink
In many countries, teachers in the school used a red pen: this way, your notes on the exam or student workbook is see with more clarity. Also it seems odd to highlight someone’s name in red, but in South Korea this should not be done under any circumstances.
This responds to the fact that in the culture of korea, the color red is associated with death: according to legend, during the reign of one of the dynasties, the ink is scarlet prepared lists with the names of the enemies suppressed by the ruling. And by that, to date, the koreans avoided this association and not write the names of the people in red.
7. A trip in taxi
In Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Scotland and the Netherlands, it is considered very impolite to a passenger who is travelling alone, sit in the back seat instead of the side of a taxi driver. Frequently, this error committed by americans, because in EE. UU., if you sit next to the driver, this will think you’re invading their personal space, or even that you want to steal from you.
8. Sticking out the tongue
In the movie “Seven years in Tibet”, the protagonist who plays Brad Pitt is with the tibetans, who taught you the language. This gesture is not explained in any way in the film. It turns out that sticking out the tongue, in sign of greeting, it is a tradition local dating from ancient times. According to the legend, the king more evil and blood thirsty, Langdarma, had a tongue black, so to ensure that his soul does not migrase to a new body, the tibetans decided to demonstrate that clearly to be seen.
In China and other east Asian countries, the birthday is celebrated according to the lunar calendar. Therefore, each year, the day of the celebration falls on different dates. And because the lunar year is home to 354 days, and not 365, at age 30 years, accumulates an additional year. In addition, the chinese think that the person who is born already has a year of age. Because of these traditions, it turns out that in China people tend to consider themselves as being 1-2 years older than they really are.
10. Blowing your nose
In Japan there are many nuances in the rules of etiquette, so that an alien can behave as an elephant in a china shop, simply because guess these rules seems quite complicated. One of these rules is not obvious is the prohibition of blowing your nose in public. Blowing your nose in front of others, in Japan it is considered to be as scandalous as other natural needs of the body. At the same time, breathing with mucous during an important meeting it is considered quite normal.
11. Fingers crossed
Crossing the index and the middle finger is considered a good signal, this gesture is used to wish for luck in many countries of the world. But, under no circumstance should you do if you are in Vietnam. There, this gesture is considered a sign very rough that hints at the peculiarities of the female body, and is used only in a manner obscene.
In India, the word “thanks”, which is common and mandatory for most westerners, hardly used. Thank you for the service of a rickshaw or a waiter, it is considered strange, as they charge for their work, and the verbal expression of gratitude to the family and friends can put put in danger the relationships between these.
The words are often written as the translation of “thank you” in hindi is not found in the speech of normal to the locals, and if you want to thank something to someone (a stranger), the more likely it is that they turn to “thanks” (“thanks”, in English).
13. Saliva to the face, as a sign of greeting
The maasais of Kenya there is an unusual way of greeting each other, which in most countries would be perceived in a sense completely opposite. To be found, the game is spit in the face, showing with this gesture, his special and warm relationship with the person that spit. Spitting in this tribe is similar to receiving a blessing, finding nothing of shameful spitting at a person or to a girlfriend during the day of your wedding.
And what strange traditions you discovered in other countries and cities that you visited?
Illustrator Ekaterina Gandrabura for Great.guru
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