8 Intriguing Customs in Foreign Places
Something you truly will not understand without traveling outside of your nation is the insight of another culture’s way of life. How do their customs differ from yours when it comes to greeting another person or displaying certain table manners during a meal? Routine conventions of other foreign places signify the perpetual importance of diversity. For this reason, it’s pressing to be mindful and aware of different customs from other countries. With Globally Abroad, you can gain an entirely new sensibility to outside practices and habits when traveling within our programs!
Gathering and sharing some fun facts pertaining to other nation’s ways can be a great conversation starter. If you want a lead to all sorts of particular habits, stay the course of this illustrative list.
Holding hands seems pretty straightforward, right? Just take a hand of a loved one or a colleague (with consent) to exhibit affection or salutations. However, it’s not that simple for Egyptians. They’ve established a custom in which using your right hand (only) to receive or give something is essential unless you want to “jinx” it.
No Greek Tooth Fairy
It’s a popular ritual for children to put a tooth that has fallen out under their pillows for the omnipresent tooth fairy to collect and supply them monetary funds. But in Greece, there is no such thing. Whenever a child reaches that point in their early years in the Greek culture, they are urged to toss it onto the roof! Isn’t that such a quirky escapade? This cultural tradition is meant to grant good luck to the family of the child.
Finland Sauna Meetings
Usually, you spend time in a sauna after an intense workout or yoga class. They are meant to relieve stress and really open up your sinuses and heighten relaxation. But in Finland, that meaning is stretched a bit. People in Finland also use saunas as a social gathering place. So, if you are ever in Finland for a business venture and your client or associate insists on meeting up in a sauna – that implies your business meeting was successful.
Thailand’s Touching Tips
What lies on all of our shoulders is nothing but our head – an extremity we wouldn’t have a life without. This specific part of our body is particularly sacred to those in Thailand. Under their custom, both the heads of humans and statues should never be touched. It is deemed impolite to touch the head of a stranger. It would be more acceptable if it were your siblings, cousins, or relatives. Although, never touch the head of a statue if you decide to visit this esteemed place, especially a statue of the Buddha, as it is observed as an object for teaching and guidance.
Helpful Husbands of China
Have you ever heard of husbands having a hand in their wives giving birth? Well, in China there is a little tradition that does the same, though a bit more indirectly… and before the wife actually gives birth. To prove their everlasting love, a husband will carry his pregnant wife while footing it over burning coal. That has to be a strong type of love to be planting your tender feet on scorching charcoal! The meaning behind this ritual is to ensure the wives will have an “easy” delivery thanks to their fearless spouse.
Don’t Be a Latte Fiend
There is an abundance of coffee addicts out in the world; so, if you consider yourself one – this is for you. Imagine one day, you are wining and dining in the beautiful evening of Italy, and all of a sudden you begin craving coffee. You skip to find the nearest café and order the largest, sweetest cappuccino. Finally, some relief and proper indulgence. But as the barista goes back to work, they give you a suspicious gaze. This is because in Italy, enjoying a milk-based coffee beverage that is not a part of your breakfast, past a certain time may seem strange.
Germany’s Marital Motif
Weddings are a celebration filled with a lot of traditions. In Germany, they have a certain one to foreshow a small segment the married couple will share at some point within their partnership. Typically, the night before the wedding, the couple, , their friends, and families will come together and break dishes. It is called ‘Polterabend,’ and is believed to bring luck to the couple’s marriage. There is a catch – the couple must clean up the mess. This represents how they will act as a team and cooperate with one another whenever hardships emerge.
Leaping for Babies
You don’t normally hear about full-grown men jumping over newborn babies as an activity. That may actually be a concerning matter in other countries. But in Spain, it is celebrated! It is explicitly called baby jumping, and this happens due to the principle that the babies will be kept from the Devil’s harm. No need to worry, though – these babies are laid gently on their back atop a huge mattress with supervision just in case they decide to make haste.
Some of these customs may seem completely silly, but they go along with the cultures’ belief system. It is something to be conscious and respectful about. There is no doubt you may have a peculiar tradition your home country is known for and is normal to you. On the other hand, others may find yours trivial. That is where opportunity pops in, to teach others to be courteous when it comes to other nation’s novelties.
GBA transforms the lives of minority youth into global citizens, by way of international travel.
By offering global opportunities ranging from language courses, community service projects, to internships, we encourage and provide international travel programs for minority youth for a chance to encounter diverse communities. Globally Abroad aims to help our participants build their own understanding of world events and culture as they encourage their own communities to do the same. We full-heartedly stand by our mission, which is why we intend to inspire action, break barriers of discrimination, and operate in excellence.