Dedicated to ‘cross-cultural etiquette and understanding’ this community website reveals some useful and often highly amusing insights into the various cultures and customs of the world.
Simply select a country from the list to read up on their habits which come under sections such as ‘personal space and touching’, ‘taboos’ and ‘law and order’. And there is much to learn.
For example, in England it’s ‘not acceptable to start conversations with strangers on public transport’, indeed, ‘in such environments, people will do their best to ignore everyone around them’. Warning: ‘if a conversation is started, it is usually embarrassing for all concerned.’
In France, you should not make a fist with one hand and slap the top with the other hand; this is a rude gesture. In Uganda, men always wear long trousers even in the hottest weather as ‘shorts are a sign of being a child.’
Americans apparently stand 2-3 feet apart during conversations. Brazilians ‘view time as something flexible’ and ‘wonder why North Americans are more attentive to schedules than to human needs’.
While in Armenia, don’t be surprised if someone ‘pets’ you during conversation – it’s a sign that you are adored. And don’t forget that ‘many Australians can be very sarcastic’. It can be a challenge at times to decide whether they are being serious.’
CultureCrossing.net is a great place to learn about the people of other countries, and perhaps more interestingly, learn how your culture is perceived by the rest of the world.
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