One of the most crucial parts about being a great traveler is understanding and respecting the culture that is hosting you. Some people feel that this is unnecessary, as if they should be allowed to act as they want to no matter where they are in the world. However, **since nobody likes those people**, it’s beneficial to teach yourself how to behave in new places. It might feel strange, but remember: There are a lot of strange things that people do in your country, too. Check out these etiquette tips below – some of them are a bit antiquated, but some of them are crucial to surviving and thriving there. Take a few minutes to learn how to be a respectful global citizen. Above all, **if you’re unsure of how to proceed in a situation abroad, simply ask a local.** They’re happy to tell you, and it’s better to ask first than regret your stupidity later.In Japan, slurping is not only acceptable, but it’s also considered to be polite. Slurping food is said to indicate that you like it, and that you appreciate the work of the chef.
Ladies, if a man speaks to you directly in a social context, it means he is disrespecting you. If someone speaks to you on the street, that is also unacceptable. Women are not supposed to look men in the eyes, and they should also keep their eyes lowered in the street. The practice is archaic, and not reflective of male/female interactions in most Muslim countries.
If you’re visiting Bulgaria, never give someone a bouquet of yellow flowers. There, yellow flowers symbolize hatred.
It seems counterintuitive, but if you’re in Italy, don’t ask for cheese unless it is offered. Adding extra cheese to dishes is seen as disrespectful to the integrity of the dish.
If you finish a bottle of vodka, don’t put it back on the table, because Russians believe it causes bad luck. Instead, put the empty bottle on the ground.
Additionally in Russia, smiling directly at someone is considered an intimate gesture, and to do so to someone you don’t know is considered presumptuous.
Don’t honk your car horn – Norwegians only use their horns in case of emergency.
In Germany, most of South America, and Turkey, the “OK” sign, which is the thumb and forefinger making a circle, is considered very rude. In Turkey specifically, the sign is used in a derogatory way to indicate that a person is gay.
Talking with your hands in your pockets is considered extremely disrespectful.
In many Asian countries, you shouldn’t shove someone’s business card into your pocket after they give it to you. To do so indicates that you feel their professional identity doesn’t matter.
Never stick your chopsticks vertically into a rice bowl, as it is considered bad luck. Instead, pick up rice from the side of your bowl.
In Greece, any hand signal that involves showing your open palm is considered offensive. In other words, don’t wave, or tell someone to stop using your hand. To say hello or goodbye, wave with your palm facing inwards, as if you are a beauty queen.
Don’t use your left hand, because it is thought of as unclean. This is for good reason: Many Indian people don’t have access to toilet paper, so they use their left hand and water as the next best thing. Perform all public activities, like eating or shaking hands, with your right hand.
In Singapore, there is an archaic law that declares chewing gum illegal. Many think it’s rude, but mostly the law stemmed from the fact that too many people were sticking it to the sidewalk.
Never split the bill. It’s better to offer to pay, and then your dining partner will cover your next meal.
Never forget to say hello to someone before you start talking to them. If you don’t, it indicates that you feel the person is beneath you.
It’s considered snobby to eat with a fork and knife in Mexico…it’s more fun to eat with your hands, anyways.
Never give a clock as a gift in Hong Kong – these types of presents are affiliated with death and funerals.