Whether it’s for a honeymoon, fun or business, traveling can be a pain. There is that matter of having to search for and book hotel rooms, prepare travel documents and make transport arrangements. Luckily, all this can be done swiftly and conveniently with a reliable travel company like Salaton Safaris.
The initial cultural shock upon arrival can be exciting or scary. The people dress differently, act differently and talk differently. As you try to blend in with the locals, remember that gestures are a very sensitive matter. What you consider innocent may be termed as vulgar and could land you in a mess.
Here are some examples:
Okay sign -Spain, Greece, Turkey and Brazil, Germany
What easier way to say something is okay or perfect than by creating a circle with the thumb and first finger? Maybe use words if you find yourself in these four countries. The Turks view this as an insult to gay people while in the rest; it is an abuse that involves an obscene body part.
Thumbs up- West Africa and the Middle East, Italy, Greece, South America
A thumb moving in an up and down motion may not have the effect desired in West Africa and the Middle East. This is the equivalent of showing someone the middle finger.
Patting the head- Buddhist Countries
Often, a pat on the head is a show of admiration and affection. Not so much in Thailand, SriLanka, Cambodia and other Buddhist nations where the head is viewed as sacred.
V sign- U.K, Ireland, Australia
The V sign made using the index and middle finger is a symbol of peace or love for most people. Elsewhere however, it may be taken as an offense since it’s similar to shoving somebody the middle finger.
Crossing the fingers- Vietnam
While crossing the middle over the index finger is an innocent gesture that’s supposed to bring luck, it’s highly derogatory in Vietnam as it represents the female anatomy.
Talking on your mobile in a public vehicle in Japan
Japan is known for its emphasis on manners. It’s considered very rude to have a conversation over a cellphone when commuting by public means.
Using the Left Hand
It is common for parents to warn their right-handed children against using the left hand for daily activities. In some cultures around Asia, Africa and the Middle East, the left hand is dirty and shouldn’t be used for greetings, touching food or presenting a present.
A Visible Shoe Sole –Middle East
In Arab countries, showing the sole of the shoes as can happen when a leg is crossed over another is utterly offensive. Soles are considered dirty items that should be out of view.
Head Movements- Greece and Bulgaria
In these two countries, nodding the head means “no” while shaking it means “yes”. A complete reverse of what we’re used to.
“Come Here” sign- Philippines, Singapore, East Asia
This is a gesture most of us are guilty of overusing. In these countries, it’s too offensive and should be preserved for summoning dogs.