Do you study cultural differences before visiting a foreiign country?

@mipen2006 (5528)
Australia
August 18, 2009 4:29pm CST
To me, learning about a country's culture is just as important as deciding where to go, and what to see, when you're planning your trip, as so many things can be totally different to what you're used to. In some Asisn countries, blowing your nose aloud, and openly using a tooth pick in a restaurant, are frowned upon, but having your finger up your nose goes unnoticed. There are so many more. Bearing this in mind, I read as much about a country's culture before I visit, so I don't embarrass myself or offend hos my hosts. What about you? Do you think this is an important part of making travel plans?
1 person likes this
6 responses
@ibuemma (2954)
• United States
18 Aug 09
well, I'm not really bother usually. If i travel somewhere, I let the "cultural shocked" surprised me..hahaha...and i think that's what makes the travel itself so memorable when you experienced it before you learn it.
1 person likes this
@mipen2006 (5528)
• Australia
18 Aug 09
Some cultures sure can shock, but they can also embarrass you.
@ibuemma (2954)
• United States
18 Aug 09
I agree sometimes it's emabarassing but I still don't mind hahaha...learn it on the spot.
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@mipen2006 (5528)
• Australia
19 Aug 09
Sounds like you'd be fun to travel with. Plenty of surprises, at least!
@Porcospino (18385)
• Denmark
22 Aug 09
Before I visit a new country I always to learn a bit of the language and I also read about the culture. I think it is nice to know a bit about the country beforehand. Traditions, superstition etc are not the same, and the things that are considered polite in one country might be very impolite in other countries. When I meet the locals it is nice to know a bit about the right and the wrong behaviour, otherwise people can get offended. One topic could be presents (giving and receiving) In my country it is considered impolite not to open a present straight away. In my country it is customary to thank the giver when you have opened the present, but in some countries it is impolite to open a present in front of the person who gave it to you. You have to open it when you are alone and send a written thank you letter. Differences like that are nice to know, before I visit a new country.
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@mipen2006 (5528)
• Australia
29 Aug 09
I know exectly what you're saying, Porcospino, I wasn't prepared for the present culture when I first visited Thailand. Thanks for the response.
@maximax8 (28490)
• United Kingdom
21 Aug 09
Hi my friend Mipen I visit my local library to borrow books about the country or countries that I am going to visit on my next trip. Then I read much about the culture so I can be sure how it is appropriate to be in the different countries. I would feel terrible if I traveled to Japan with a cold. If I was going to sneeze I would have to rush off to the bathroom all the time. Especially when I visit Asia I have to read up lots about the culture. When I went to the Maldives I also read much about it on my return home.
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@mipen2006 (5528)
• Australia
29 Aug 09
That's exactly what I'd expect from you, max, and similar to what I do now. I must admit when I first went to Europe, I wasn't as prepared as I would have liked to be. Yhanks for your response.
@tigeraunt (6331)
• Philippines
20 Aug 09
this has to be done so that when you reach the country you will understand the people better hence you will be able to communicate better because you know their ways. and there will be less embarassment or mistakes on how to deal with them.
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@mipen2006 (5528)
• Australia
20 Aug 09
Exactly right, tigeraunt, and anyone who thinks differently, is in for a shock. Thanks for your input.
@dengyl (59)
• China
19 Aug 09
Yes , I agree with you , it is quite important to learn about other coutries' culture.Different places have different cultures.If we don't know enough about their culture ,we may do many things unsuitable during our travel, which undoubtly will despoint our travel .
@mipen2006 (5528)
• Australia
19 Aug 09
Very well said dengyl, and you'd be a model tourist. Thank you for responding.
@polachicago (19075)
• United States
18 Aug 09
I do. I don't like suppresses. For an example, I would never travel to the country where woman is not treated well, I could be afraid to be easy victim.... Also, I would like to know how to behave....
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@mipen2006 (5528)
• Australia
19 Aug 09
Even though I'm a man, I wouldn't visit those countries either.