12 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 wanna find yourself in! Culture and location sure can make a difference when it comes to appropriate behavior and gestures.
Every country has its own laws, traditions, rules, and specific features that might seem strange and even shocking to the people of other cultures. For example, did you know that in Denmark, people have picnics in cemeteries? Or that Tibetans show their tongue to greet others? Or that the Vietnamese consider crossed fingers offensive? Our world is amazing and unique and that’s what Bright Side keeps reminding our readers. The following 16 facts confirm this statement.
TIMESTAMPS: In Demark, people have picnics in cemeteries 0:47 People in Thailand don't let others touch their head 1:32 In many Muslim countries, the left hand is considered the “dirty” one 2:13 In Norway, people don't compliment others to their face 2:43 People in Malaysia point with their thumb 3:15 Koreans don't write names in red 3:43 In Australia, sitting in the back of a taxi is rude 4:20 Tibetans show their tongue to greet others 4:55 People in China celebrate their birthday according to the Lunar calendar 5:35 The Vietnamese consider crossed fingers offensive 6:09 Indians don't say “thank you” too often 6:35 Maasai tribe members spit at each other to show respect 7:11
SUMMARY: - 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! - 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. - 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. - 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. - In Malaysia, pointing at someone with your index finger is considered really rude and offensive. You can kinda get away with this if you point at an animal or an object. But when it comes to people, Malaysians use another hand gesture. - 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. - In the 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. - 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. - 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. - In Vietnam, crossing your index and middle fingers over each other represents genitals, obviously making it an incredibly offensive gesture to show someone. - 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. - 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.