Twelve strange behaviors that are normal in other countries did you know that the okay sign means money in Japan zero in France and is even considered a sexual insult in Brazil yikes that’s definitely not a situation you want to find yourself in culture and location sure can make a difference when it comes to appropriate behavior and gestures let’s take a look at some of the biggest differences around the world.
Number one in Denmark people have picnics in cemeteries for most of us a cemetery is reserved for grieving families and an overall gloomy atmosphere but believe it or not it’s not that uncommon to see a happy Danish family having a picnic or a young couple sunbathing there and the most popular location for this is the a-c-stand Cemetery in Copenhagen the thing is with beautiful leafy trees and paths, it’s one of the largest green zones in the country that’s why this cemetery quickly turned into an important cultural site where concerts Tatra chol shows and other big events take place throughout the year so if you ever go to Denmark don’t forget to visit this unusual Cemetery with people having the time of their lives near some of the most famous people’s graves.
Number two people in Thailand don’t let others touch their head in many countries patting someone on the head is a sign of approval and care but that’s not the case in Thailand Thai people strongly believe that the head is the most sacred and important part of the body where your soul resides that’s why only the people who are closest to you can touch it this rule applies to Thai statues as well in fact it’s so serious that your barber or hairdresser will probably apologize in advance for touching your head passing something or raising your feet which are considered dirty and profane by the way over someone’s head isn’t a good idea either if you accidentally do it be sure to sincerely apologize.
Number three in many Muslim countries left hand is considered the dirty one apparently it’s not that easy to be left-handed in many Arab and Muslim countries since the left hand is seen as unclean and dirty in their culture however there’s a very simple explanation for this Muslims usually use their left hand to clean themselves after going to the bathroom you must use your right hand for greeting people and eating meals actually the less you use your left hand while visiting a Muslim country the better.
Number four in Norway people don’t compliment others to their face people in Norway are way more subtle with their compliments than say Americans are they don’t really like to put others on the spot and make them feel embarrassed by their words that’s why you’ll rarely hear clear and direct compliments coming your way but that doesn’t mean Norwegian people aren’t friendly they’re incredibly welcoming and polite they just like to take your feelings whatever they may be into consideration here to.
Number five people in Malaysia pointlessness up in Malaysia pointing at someone with your index finger is considered really rude and offensive you can kind of get away with this if you point at an animal or an object but when it comes to people Malaysians use another hand gesture they close their right hand into a fist put their thumb on top to show their respect and only then point that someone this tradition is pretty common in the Philippines and Indonesia as well.
Number six Koreans don’t write names in red in a lot of countries it’s perfectly fine to use red ink to make someone’s written name even more noticeable in South Korea though locals would never do something like that this superstition goes back to the times when red ink was used to write deceased people’s names on the family register nowadays if the person is still alive writing their name with red ink means that you wish them to harm bad luck and even death that’s why it’s better to avoid red pens and pencils in Korean language classes as well just in case.
Number seven in Australia sitting in the back of a taxi is rude in u.s. sitting in the front passenger seat next to the taxi driver would be really weird that’s why it’s more common in America to sit in the back of the taxi but in Australia New Zealand Scotland Ireland and the Netherlands sitting in the back can be considered impolite of course everyone is different but some people still perceive it as snobbish and arrogant so if you take the front passenger seat and casually talk to the driver while visiting these countries they’ll certainly appreciate it.
Number eight Tibetans show their tongue to greet others if you go to Tibet you’re guaranteed to have fun every time you meet someone simply because Tibetans often stick their tongue out to say hello this strange tradition originates from past times during the 9th century Tibet was ruled by a cruel king named long Dharma who happened to have a black tongue given that Tibetans strongly believed in reincarnation they started to stick their tongue out when greeting one another to show that they’re not the incarnation of the barbaric King and don’t carry evil within them nowadays some Tibetans don’t really follow this tradition anymore but you can still find those who will stick their tongue out to welcome you to their country.
Number nine people in China celebrate their birthday according to the lunar calendar in China as well as in some other East Asian countries people have quite a unique approach to their age first of all the Chinese believe that people are born at the age of 1, not 0 like in the West plus people in China add one year to their total age on their Lunar New Year’s Day that’s why people in China can be one or even two years older in their age counting system than in the international one it’d be kind of cool to know that you’re actually younger in someplace in the world don’t you think
Number ten the Vietnamese consider crossed fingers offensive we usually cross our fingers when we want good luck but Vietnamese people have a completely different opinion when it comes to this hand gesture in Vietnam crossing your index and middle fingers over each other represents genitals obviously an incredible offensive gesture to show someone yeah definitely avoid that one when visiting Vietnam
Number eleven Indians don’t say thank you too often you probably try to thank your waiter at the end of a wonderful meal at a restaurant or perhaps the cashier at the grocery store well Indians take thank you way more seriously if you say it in the wrong context where it’ll sound insincere it may even get you into trouble Indians also believe that duty is a thankless job but that doesn’t mean that Indian people are ungrateful they just prefer to show unspoken gratitude there a lot cheesier with their words and usually express only sincere and heartfelt emotions verbally
Number twelve Masai tribe members spit at each other to show respect I bet if you spat on your friend as a greeting they most certainly unfriend you forever back in a lot of places spitting on someone can even land you in a fistfight but for the Maasai people of Kenya and northern Tanzania spitting at one another is seen as a sign of blessing and respect they also often spit on their palms before shaking hands in fact when a baby is born their parents along with their friends and family members spit on the newborn to wish it good luck and a long prosperous life Masai wedding traditions also involve spitting when a father gives his daughter away to her future husband he should spit on her forehead and breasts to bless the happy couple sounds like a Masai wedding would definitely be a sight to see do you know any other strange behaviors that are considered totally normal in other countries tell us in the comment below don’t forget to share it with your friends.