Travelling around the world we need to be constantly aware of all the cultural differences. Some customs can be astonishing while others can puzzle or even shock. Irrespective of where you are, they all have to be respected.
We have selected a few of some interesting traditions followed in different places all over our globe. If you want to be an aware tourist, you’d better learn the lesson!
#1 Muslim countries
Some toilets in Egypt, Tunisia, Malesia or Iran look slightly different. Instead of traditional toilet bowls, you will see a hole in the floor with spots where you put your feet. Moreover, toilet paper is not quite common there. Instead, you will get a bucket of water or a faucet with a hose connected. While left hand is used for ‘sanitary purposes’, the right one is used for eating.
Always take off your shoes before entering a temple or a private house. There is usually a stand where they can be put, and sometimes you have to pay a small fee to someone who will watch them.
Spitting is a fairly common custom among the Maasai people. It is believed that the saliva removed this way helps them clear their minds of bad thoughts they have about their family members or friends.
There is popular custom called Polterabend. The day before a marriage is concluded, the wedding guests get together in front of the bride’s house with a great supply of plates, bottles and other dishes. At an agreed signal they begin to smash everything into pieces. Of course the louder, the better! The ritual is believed to ensure happiness and harmony for the bride and the groom as well as the beginning of a new life.
The Chinese have their soup straight from bowls and tea straight from the pots. As the liquids are normally very hot, slurping is pretty common. This is a very normal practice because nobody waits until the tea or soup gets cold.
There’s another thing worth rIf you want to express your gratitude or admiration for the cook’s skills, just belch!
#6 The Republic of South Africa
In Johannesburg, on the New Year’s Day, people throw out of their windows old and useless furniture and other items. This kind of cleaning has got a purifying meaning – they get rid of redundant baggage.
Dia de los Muertos falls on the second day of November and is celebrated in a cheerful atmosphere. People get together at graveyards where small parties are held. They talk about all those who have already gone, sing some popular songs and tell endless stories. Simple gravestones are used as tables for candles, sweets, salt and skulls made of sugar. Nobody is sad and nobody cries. They all have fun honoring the dead, as one of the song goes.
#8 The Philippines
The way the young show their respect for the elderly is really peculiar there. The young ones kneel before the old person and put the senior’s hand onto their own forehead.
Tipping in Japan is considered really bad-mannered. Offering a small amount of money to the waiter is insulting. Pay only the mount you see on your check – that will be absolutely enough.
#10 Georgia (the country)
Raising toasts in Georgia is an art. At each celebration there is just one, previously appointed person (tamada), who will do all the speaking showing off with their oratory skills. The toast are raised for the fatherland, God, family, friendship. Love, ancestors, women, children, peace, life etc. everything depends on the tamada and his/ her creativity.
When you order some coffee, you will be asked if you want to have it at the table or at the bar. The one drunk at the table will be more expensive – never forget it.
This is because it is common for the Italians to come to the café in the morning and have a quick shot of espresso, without spending there much time.