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  • http://english.dbw.cn  2017-04-10 09:05:00
     

    Cultural practices, cultural differences, local manners, and mores: traveling the globe can be a behavioral minefield, even when you have the best intentions. Everything from greeting to eating can be an opportunity to do the wrong thing, and not only embarass yourself, but offend your host countrymen. Look out for the following cultural mistakes and try to avoid them while going abroad.

    (一)Touching Someone

    Where It’s Offensive: Korea, Thailand, China, Europe, the Middle East.

    What’s Offensive

    Personal space varies as you travel the globe. In Mediterranean countries, if you refrain from touching someone’s arm when talking to them or if you don’t greet them with kisses or a warm embrace, you’ll be considered cold. But backslap someone who isn’t a family member or a good friend in Korea, and you’ll make them uncomfortable. In Thailand, the head is considered sacred--never even pat a child on the head.

    What You Should Do Instead

    Observe what locals are doing and follow suit. In Eastern countries remember that touching and public displays of affection are unacceptable. In places like Qatar and Saudi Arabia, men and women are forbidden from interacting, let along touching

    (二)Blowing Your Nose

    Where It’s Offensive: Japan, China, Saudi Arabia, France.

    What’s Offensive

    Some cultures find it disgusting to blow your nose in public -- especially at the table. The Japanese and Chinese are also repelled by the idea of a handkerchief.

    What You Should Do Instead

    If traveling through Eastern and Asian countries, leave the hankies at home and opt for disposable tissues instead. In France as well as in Eastern countries, if you’re dining and need to clear your nasal passages, excuse yourself and head to the restroom. Worst-case scenario: make an exaggerated effort to steer away from the table. Let’s hope you don’t have a cold.

    (三)Talking Over Dinner

    Where It’s Offensive: Africa, Japan, Thailand, China, Finland.

    What’s Offensive

    In some countries, like China, Japan, and some African nations, the food’s the thing, so don’t start chatting about your day’s adventures while everyone else is digging into dinner. You’ll likely be met with silence--not because your group is unfriendly, but because mealtimes are for eating, not talking. Also avoid conversations in places a country might consider sacred or reflective--churches in Europe, temples in Thailand, and saunas in Finland.

    What You Should Do Instead

    Keep quiet!

    (四)Removing Your Shoes…or Not

    Where It’s Offensive: Hawaii, the South Pacific, Korea, China, Thailand.

    What’s Offensive

    Take off your shoes when arriving at the door of a London dinner party and the hostess will find you uncivilized, but fail to remove your shoes before entering a home in Asia, Hawaii, or the Pacific Islands and you’ll be considered disrespectful. Not only does shoe removal very practically keeps sand and dirt out of the house, it’s a sign of leaving the outside world behind.

    What You Should Do Instead

    If you see a row of shoes at the door, start undoing your laces. If not, keep the shoes on.

    (五)Knowing Your Right from Your Left

    Where It’s Offensive: India, Morocco, Africa, the Middle East.

    What’s Offensive

    Many cultures still prefer to eat using traditional methods--their hands. In these cases, food is often offered communally, which is why it’s important to wash your hands before eating and observe the right-hand-is-for-eating and the left-hand-is-for-other-duties rule. If you eat with your left hand, expect your fellow diners to be mortified. And when partaking from a communal bowl, stick to a portion that’s closest to you. Do not get greedy and plunge your hand into the center.

    What You Should Do Instead

    Left-handed? Attempt to be ambidextrous--even children who are left-handed in these cultures are taught to eat with their right hand--or at least explain yourself to your fellow diners before plunging in.

    Once you are on the ground of a different country, remain highly sensitive to native behavior. Never be completely surprised by anything; try to take it in stride, and don’t feel offended if something seems offensive--like queue jumping. After all, this is a global village, and we are all very different.

    Author:    Source:dbw.cn    Editor:Yang Fan

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