How To - Be mindful and respectful of Cultural Issues

Be well aware of the cultural issues in the countries being visited. This is an important part of your travelling etiquette. In some countries it is important to be aware of manners and culture, especially during business negotiations.

For example, some of the factors that you need to understand include the following:

  • Number 7 is bad luck in Kenya but good luck in Czech Republic. It has different connotations in Benin.

  • Number 10 is bad luck in Korea and 4 means death in Japan.

  • A nod means no in Bulgaria and yet shaking the head from side to side means yes.

  • Never touch the head of a Thailand citizen or pass an object over a head because it is considered sacred.
  • Do not use triangle shapes in Hong Kong, Taiwan or Korea because it is considered a negative shape.

  • The ‘ok’ sign, used in most Western countries (thumb and index finger forming a circle with the other fingers raised) means zero in France and is the symbol for money in Japan. It also carries a vulgar connotation in Brazil.

  • The use of a palm up hand and moving index finger signals ‘come here’ in Western countries but in o...

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