Manners and etiquettes are considered an essential part in the making of a person. You might be familiar with the phrase ‘Manners maketh man’ quoted by Colin Firth’s character Harry Hart in the movie Kingsman: The Secret Service. It is a powerful and true statement. It doesn’t take more than a second to voice a hello or a heartfelt thank you or a welcome. And you can also swallow your ego and let a sorry surface from time to time. Manners are extremely important and it is also important to know what is considered polite and impolite in different countries, especially if you travel immensely. Here are a few rules of manners and etiquettes that will help you loads and make you seem polite and well-mannered. Plus, learning about something new about a country doesn’t do any harm just shows that you considerate and care about the culture of the country. However the following aren’t really acceptable in countries other than a few, they don’t fit into our usual definition of manners and etiquettes and some may even be called weird and absurd.
1 Let It Out!
Letting out a big loud belch escape is not considered rude by many people and cultures around the world. In some Middle-Eastern countries like Turkey and Saudi Arabia, a burp is considered completely acceptable, an indication that you truly enjoyed the meal. It may also be considered rude and offensive if you don’t burp after a meal when a family invites you for one and not letting out a burp indicates that all their hard work didn’t pay off. You wouldn’t want to offend the chef or the good-hearted family that invited you to their lovely home, now would you? So, in order to seem polite and mannered give wings to that big, loud burp and let it soar happily, loudly pronouncing your content and the fruit of their labour.
2 Spit Away!
Does the fact of spitting on someone seem to gross you out? Well, in that case, you may have to bend your rules a bit if you ever visit places where spitting is considered good manners, and yes, you heard that right. While in most countries spitting is considered rude and impolite (and an excellent transmitter of diseases) a particular tribe in Kenya, considers it acceptable and a sign of good luck. The Maasai Tribe located in Kenya use it as a sign of affection, good luck and reverence. They spit on each other when greeting one another as a sign of respect. The father spits on his daughter when she gets married to ensure good luck and prosperity in her marriage. They also spit on newborn babies to ward off any evil. It's not just the Maasai Tribe, Greeks also consider spitting an act of good luck and as protection from evil. Seems bizarre right, well some of our mannerisms are equally appalling and bizarre for them
3 NO Tips
Tipping is considered a fair and polite gesture in many countries, although not exercised much in India it is still considered a polite and kind gesture. But in some countries, especially in Japan, it is considered extremely offensive and rude to tip. A highly common practice in a country like America, many places even in the UK this is only practised when the service is exceptional or you genuinely like the person. However in Japan when you tip you are sending off an offensive message. By giving money you are basically saying that you were not satisfied with their service and you think that they need some training. And in case they don’t believe that you are being rude, then they may be confused by the extra money, thinking that you probably overpaid. So be it, the bellhop, servers, or the taxi driver, when in Japan never tip, it is considered rude.
4 Stay Away From The Shakers.
Avoid the salt-shaker when in Egypt. You probably won’t find it sitting quietly on the table with its counterpart, the black pepper. If you decide to take the courageous step and to tread in dangerous waters by asking for some additional salt, be ready to receive the mean looks that will be shot in your direction. Asking for the magic mineral is an insult and direct slap to the chef’s ego. Indirectly you are saying that he/she is incapable of seasoning the dish properly. You might as well return the dish with a huge greeting card reading ‘This tastes awful’ back to the chef.