Customs, traditions and near faux passes
September 3, 2009 4:41am CST
My parents and teachers always taught me that "When in Rome, do as the Romans". Subsequently life taught "One man's food could be another man's poison". Across the world with so many cross cultures intermingling and so much travelling undertaken today it is rather curiously noted that how much we have to be informed and educate ourself as to regards to various do's and dont's when we go visiting new places. Some interesting nuggets described by friends after coming back from various foreign sojourns makes good food for thought when we mix the aforesaid quotes. In Greece it is not considered polite to show high fives or the palm of your hand with fingers facing upwards. Goodbyes are waved with palms facing oneself while just moving fingers up and down. No problem with that. Only in America and most part of the world that is how we ask people to COME to us. In Croatia kissing on cheeks after or while shaking hands is considered extremely impolite and offensive. Again no problem,we can keep our distance, but again what will happen to the world where it is the done thing? In Italy wearing white socks is considered as a sign of weakness or to put it bluntly one is termed as 'Mamma's Boy' No problem with that either as white socks tend to soil fast. Only Micheal Jackson went on to make it a fashion statement and send the world in a tizzy. In Bulgaria giving anyone an even number of flowers is not considered good as it is indicative of death or funeral. Well nothing wrong with that except that we dont count the flowers when we espy a girl and quickly grab a bunch of flowers to break the ice, anywhere in the world. Well it is a different matter that if the girl accepts the flowers it is going to be our funeral anyways. In Morocco when you go for an interview it is a grave offence to cross your legs as you are not supposed to show the the sole of your feet. No problem with that except it was good that Sharon Stone did not film 'Basic Instinct' there. All of us have travelled to some place, sometimes. Have you come across any such contradicting traditions which has left you confused or in a quandry?
• United States
5 Sep 09
I have never been anywhere except for in my own country, the United States of America, and even then I've only been to one other state besides mine own, and that is Virginia. I am not much to read up on cultural things though once I read about them I am quite fascinated. Some cultures do have very different beliefs and traditions and I am sure that there are some countries who think Americans are impolite creatures because our customs are quite weird. I for one, believe that Americans can be quite offensive (me being as one) but it doesn't take different hand gestures or greetings to call the U.S.A., just look at all the cussing and slang, and just foul language! lol! Well not really lol, but you get what I mean.
5 Sep 09
Just a few impolite people from any country doesn't make that country on the whole offensive type. There are good and bad people in every country. It all depends on the upbringing one gets. During our growth we get influenced by so many factors. It is upto us what to accept and what not to. Every human being has some good and some bad qualities. Observe the good qualities and try to follow. Leave the bad qualities. This will help us to become a better human being.