When you are at your home country, you are free to do whatever you wish. However, this is not the same when you are at a foreign country. The things that you normally do or the things that are socially acceptable in your country may be frowned upon or it may even be illegal in a different country. To help you stay on the safe side, we have enumerated some of the things that you should be careful with when you are traveling abroad. These are as follows:
- Drinking alcohol
If you live in Western countries, drinking alcohol is not just acceptable—it is even socially expected of you. However, this is not the case when you visit a Muslim country. For your information, it is not customary for Muslims to drink and when they do, they do not do it publicly in order to avoid embarrassing themselves. Because of this, you must shy away from drinking or worse, getting wasted in public when you are visiting such countries. In addition to that, you should avoid bringing a bottle of alcohol as a gift when you come as a house guest.
- Public Displays of Affection
While public displays of affection is quite accepted in various Western countries, these actions are frowned upon when you are in Dubai. More than frowned upon, it is even illegal and can certainly put you behind bars. Additionally, pre marital sex or sex outside of marriage is also equally prohibited. In fact, there is one couple who made love publicly in Dubai and they were imprisoned for 6 years.
- Patting someone’s head
There are other countries who see this gesture as a gesture of affection. However, this gesture can be disrespectful for some countries. When you are in Europe, patting a child’s head is a friendly gesture but you should avoid doing this when you do it to an adult. When you are in a Buddhist country, you must keep in mind that the head is considered to be as the sacred seat of the soul. That is why touching the head is insulting even for a small child.
- Pointing fingers
For Europeans and Americans, pointing fingers is done in order to indicate the location or direction of an object. In Malaysia, people indicate direction by pointing using the whole fist with their thumb at the top. In the Philippines, they usually point direction by pointing it with their mouth or shifting their eyes towards the said object.
These are some of the things that you should not forget when traveling. By keeping these etiquette reminders in mind, you can be able to respect the tradition and culture of the place you will be going to and even, befriend some locals there.
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