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Nine Things That Are Fine Here, but Offensive in Other Countries


If you've ever been to Europe, you probably know you're not usually expected to TIP over there.  But did you know that in Japan, it's actually considered INSULTING?
 
Here are nine more ways Americans accidentally offend people while traveling abroad.  Some of these we've heard before.  But some of them we HAVEN'T.
 
1.  Using your left hand for pretty much ANYTHING in the Middle East.  Historically, people used their left hand to WIPE.  So touching food or even another PERSON with your left hand is considered rude.  The same goes in India and parts of Africa.
 
2.  Sitting in the back seat of a cab if you're by yourself.  In Australia and New Zealand, you're expected to sit in the passenger's seat if it's only you.  Otherwise, you look like a snob. 
 
3.  Standing with your hands in your pockets.  In Turkey, they considerate it to be a sign of disrespect.  In fact, you shouldn't even stand with your hands on your hips.
 
4.  Flashing a reverse peace sign.  Meaning your palm is facing you.  For example, you might be at a bar and want to order "two" drinks.  But in the U.K., Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand, it's like giving someone the finger.
 
5.  Showing the soles of your shoes.  It's considered offensive in the Middle East, even if you're just crossing your legs.  And they take it VERY seriously.
 
Former Congressman Bill Richardson crossed his legs during a meeting with Saddam Hussein in 1995, and Saddam left the room.
 
6.  Crossing your fingers in Vietnam.  They consider it to be vulgar, because they say it resembles a part of the female anatomy.
 
7.  Touching someone's head in China.  Or anywhere that has a lot of Buddhists, like Sri Lanka or Thailand.  They consider it to be the most sacred part of the body.
 
8.  Giving a thumbs up.  It's considered offensive for different reasons all over the world, including parts of West Africa, South America, Iran, Israel, Thailand, Afghanistan, Italy, and Greece.
 
9.  Giving an "a-okay" sign.  Which is where you make a circle with your thumb and first finger.  In Brazil and Germany, it means you're calling someone an A-HOLE.  And they're not crazy about it in France, Venezuela, or Turkey either.  (Yahoo)
 

 





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