Cultural Differences: How to Avoid Embarrassment on Your Trip (Part 2)

Tapping on the head
If you are planning to visit the holy places in Thailand or any other Buddhist country, do not ever, not even as a joke, tap someone on the head. The head is sacred.

Lifting your thumb is considered a rude gesture in Egypt and Iran.

No thanks
No matter how much you liked the food of your Indian host, do not thank him. The word “thanks” is considered as a term for payment, so it can be interpreted as an insult.

In much of Asia, feet are associated with dirt, and it is considered rude to point with your foot or show it to anyone. Think about that when you crossed cross your legs.

Right – Left
The left hand is considered “dirty” in Africa and India, so use only your right hand during a meal.

Reading the business card
If are travelling to Japan on business, be aware that the exchange of business cards is a ritual, of which one should have some prior knowledge. Namely, it is proper to accept the card with both hands and a slight bow; then carefully read its contents. You should never put it in your pocket and do not write over it.

No leather
In India, do not give presents made of leather to anyone, since you can offend them.

Raising hands
When you need a taxi in Greece, do not lift your arm to call for one. Such a gesture is considered offensive by the Greek. Therefore, make sure your palm is facing toward you and with a pinch your fingers try to stop the driver.

Raising hands_02via


Do not call your Filipino friend a good hostess, since to them it is synonymous with prostitute.

Do not wink to anybody in India, unless you want to have sex with that person.