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Home » Country Etiquette

Etiquette for the World Traveler

Thinking of giving a clock as a gift in Hong Kong? You better not as clocks are associated with death or funerals! Are you going to Japan? If you receive a gift in Japan, don't open it upon receiving it, that would be impolite. However, in Austria, do open your gift immediately otherwise you will be seen as being rude.
What might be perfectly acceptable in one country, might be totally taboo in another. In Japan it's not only acceptable to slurp the noodles in your soup, but it's considered good table manners to do so. On the other hand, if you're enjoying a nice bowl of soup in England, slurping is considered rude and would seem rather uncouth!  
While everyone wants to respect the customs of the country they visit, it turns out that many people make faux pas. In fact, according to a survey sponsored by vayama, over half of travelers (54%) said they typically stick to U.S. customs when traveling abroad, and nearly half (47%) said they did something when traveling outside the U.S. that they later learned was inappropriate behavior in that country.   By reading up on a country's customs, traditions, and etiquette, you will not only fit in better, but it also shows respect for the locals of the country you are visiting. We have put together a set of tips to both help you avoid embarrassment as well as to hope you fully experience the culture of your destination. As they say, "When in Rome..."
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