10 Cultural Faux Pas to Avoid While Visiting 10 Countries
Steer clear of these common cultural mistakes on your next trip.
A primer on surprising etiquette rules in 10 countries.
Faux Pas #1: Dining in transit and pouring your own drink in Japan.
Another unsuspectingly disrespectful behavior in Japan is pointing your chopsticks upright into your rice bowl, which can be interpreted by Buddhists as offering rice to the dead.
Faux Pas #2: Blowing your nose in public and sporting shoes in homes and sacred places in China.
Faux Pas #3: Neglecting to follow standard meal and language etiquette practices in France.
Faux Pas #4: Wearing revealing clothing (including swimsuits) or showing public displays of affection in the United Arab Emirates.
Faux Pas #5: Paying with pennies in Canada.
Faux Pas #6: Breaking tacit coffee-culture rules and baring midriff in Italy.
And before you make your way to iconic sights, Saglie points out that "Catholic cathedrals and basilicas throughout Italy and Vatican City strictly enforce a strict dress code for all visitors." To ensure you're able to visit sacred sights, he advises sporting clothing that shields the shoulders, skirts and dresses that go past the knee and, for women, a shawl to wrap around sleeveless blouses in the summertime. He also cautions against showing midriffs to avoid disrespect and to ensure you're allowed to enter religion sights.
Faux Pas #7: Making offensive hand gestures in Brazil and the U.K.
Faux Pas #8: Incorrectly greeting locals and wearing the wrong shoes to ancient sites in Greece.
Faux Pas #9: Smuggling bubblegum into Singapore.
Faux Pas #10: Touching someone's head or disrespecting nobility in Thailand.