What Cultural Differences have you noticed on your travels?
I have traveled quite a bit and noticed many cultural differences during my travels. For example in Croatia being 15 to 30 minutes late for a dinner is considered normal, while in Germany it would be considered extremely rude. In the west we shake our heads from side to side when we say no, but in India it often means yes or I understand. What kind of cultural differences have you observed ?
You should come to England we have a world of cultures, sometimes all in one street. In my own street we have English, Scottish, German, French, Polish, Albanians, Indians, Pakistani's, West Indians and Africans, all of which are trying to keep their cultural identity alive.
Nothing wrong with that of course but sometimes its difficult to understand just where English culture has disappeard too.
I have discovered one thing is universal; mothers love their children and want the very best for them whether you are in Africa, South America or Europe.
It nearly killed my girlfriend that her house help (Central Africa) called her mommy and he was thirty years older than her. He was being respectful and she knew it, but it still irritated her. I adored all her house help and had to restrain myself from complimenting them too much.
I observed more openness of the people when I visited The Philippines. In positive term, people were not reluctant to show intimacy in public. There are also more more night entertainments like Karaoke in many parts of the city so that a lot of people I interacted with could sing beautifully. Throwing parties and people skillful in modern dances found more common than in my country. Some people even taught me how to dance patiently and I enjoyed it very much.
I travelled a lot the past 40 some years. Here is my 2 cent contribution to your question, mentioning what really impressed me.
China: Upon meeting someone or while leaving from a meeting, do not ever attempt to embrace someone or even worse to kiss as we do in Europe. Also women and men in relation, cannot walk in the public holding hands or kissing etc. DO not attempt a hand shake with both men and women, in general any touch is prohibited. Well, now days, you may find changes in big cities like Beijing or Shanghai or Hong Kong, but if you visit remote areas, like I did, this is the rule.
Iran - Iraq: Never show the sole of your shoes when you are sitting across someone - never try to shake hands with a woman- both are considered fatal rude behavior.
Interesting observation, yes it it very true that in most Asian countries people are not so comfortable with being touched. I did not know that Iran-Iraq showing the soles of the feet was considered that rude. good to know.
Just remembered to add, Austria/ Vienna - When you accompany a woman out for dinner or drinks, the man will always open the door of the bar or the restaurant and will walk in FIRST while the woman will follow.
Geez , that would take some getting use to Mike, I can just imagine the reaction of the ladies in my life if I suddenly adopted the Austria/Vienna custom of going in before the ladies.
The one thing I noticed when I travelled through Greece is that the hand signal for pointing someone or something out is the opposite way from the way we do it. For example I asked one guy sitting at a cafe' table, can you tell me where the bank is please? Instead of pointing it out he straightened his arm then gestured it towards him, so me believing that he wanted me to come closer, came closer! lol! He looked confused, I looked confused, and then luckily someone told me that the bank was across the road. Phew!
I love to travel and visited many places... I would say that there are so many cultural differences as every state or city has its own rituals, traditions and beliefs. For example, during my visit to a hill station I noticed that their culture is very different than those living in plain areas. It is my personal opinion that culture vary from place to place.
Language differences although technically it should be the same. For instance, Hokkien (one of many Chinese dialects) is spoken in Taiwan, Malaysia , Singapore etc but each country has sort of local slang or localized words which the other wouldn't understand
The habits that stem from cultural differences can lead to miscommunication. These tips can help tourists visiting some of the places that I have traveled or lived in. read more
Interesting hub looks like you had an interesting time during your travels
Oh, I always do -- hence the pic of a monkey on my head. Spider monkeys have very soft hands like butter-leather gloves. Random fact that I know only because of travel!
I have noticed in my significantly limited travels and if I may add, I cannot understand why not all cultures play ice hockey! I believe (well not really; yet, try to imagine) that if every culture played ice hockey it would indeed be a better world and global warming would be reversed...
Especially since H-E-double hockey sticks is significantly hot and uncomfortable; thus, Heaven must be a cold hockey rink, right? Why else would one refer to the penalty box in ice hockey as the "sin-bin"? Get on the ice, skate, shoot and ask questions later...
Pretty cute -- I love hockey, too. Don't know that I think heaven should be cold like an ice rink, but maybe it would reverse global warming. How can people play ice hockey with no ice, after all?
Artificial ice, not unlike what all North Americans play on. I live in Florida and we have wonderful ice 12 months a year. The above picture is from RDV complex (2 ice rinks) from Orlando, FL...
I agree with you about CROATIA being late for dinner is normal living here has made me see another culture so differently. In South Africa punctuality is important, and the lifestyle in Croatia is not as westernized as in South Africa
The closer you get to the Mediterranean Sea, the less personal space you have. I was in Israel on an archaeology dig and we would wash the pottery we found in a nearby stream. This was also a popular destination for schools and locals to visit. When the children would come, they would stand so close to me that their pants/skirts would be touching the back of my head. They would also pick up the pottery without asking our permission. At first, I thought they were just being bratty kids. But then adults came and did the exact same things! I quickly realized that they don't have as large of a space bubble as Americans do and that this was something we just had to tolerate.
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