Cultural habits are something that is not written in a golden book. They are customs passed down from one generation to another. Usually, you pick them up in your childhood. by imitation or through family and school teaching. The same all the people in the world don’t speak the same language, the same way they don’t have the same habits. There can be a huge difference between two cultures in the expressions of some values or feelings.
1. Tipping habits in the USA
Unlike many other countries, in American restaurants tipping is rather mandatory. It has become a real custom. It’s expected to leave around 10-20% of the bill in tips. Those high tips are not about greed when you consider the low legal wage of waiters. However, tipping is not reserved only for restaurants. Specific tippings rules also apply to bartenders, delivery people, and other services. For that amount of tipping, workers generally provide the better service expected in return.
2. Danish cemetery hang-outs
Denmark has found a way to take advantage of his cemeteries. In other countries, they are spooky places and rarely visited, but for danish is another hang-out location. When you take all the spirituality linked to those places, using cemeteries like that is rather pragmatic. During summertime, they are well-groomed and full of locals sharing a drink with friends and ancestors.
3. Pointing with thumbs in southeast cultures
In southeast culture, like in Malaysia or Indonesia, pointing with the index is considered very offensive. In many other countries, it’s also seen as rude, especially when pointing out a human being. To avoid insulting anyone, Malaysians and Indonesians switched the index for the thumb. This habit is seen as a more polite option.
4. Slurping habit in Japan
The acceptance of sounds in the table etiquette is very different in western cultures and Asian cultures. In most occidental societies, cultural habits of making noises while eating is impolite. The idea is that when the food is delicious you should not be able to take your mouth out of it talk or even make a sound. The must let you speechless. In Japan, however, making slurping sound while eating is the indication that you really enjoy your food. Some scientists even study the concept and argue that it may actually enhance the noodle flavors by inviting air into the palate.
5. Pointing out with the lips culture
In a few Latin cultures like in Nicaragua for instance, the custom is to point with the lips instead of using your fingers. With the help of a duck face, they can direct their lips forward or side-to-side. You may usually see them doing so in the middle of conversations when something happens around.
6. Crossing roads from all parts
In many African countries, pedestrian crossings seem to be optional. It’s a habit so old and rooted in the population to just cross the road whenever and wherever you want. Even when they are crossings a meter away they will just cross where they are. Like if this seems not dangerous enough in the eyes of some foreigners, they sometimes even slalom between the cars. When the traffic is fast, they will stop in the middle of the road waiting for the occasion to finish their crossing.
7. Friendliness as a cultural habit
Irish people are quite friendly and this is well-known. This friendliness gene applies to everyone. And everyone includes also the police. Their disregard for the wealth or status of someone could chock some cultures with a deep sense of extreme respect to authority. In Ireland, the custom is to always talk with the same level of informality even to police officers in the street. You may hear them inviting the officers for a drink. In the country of pubs why not?!
8. Ketchup on….pizzas!
The love of mayonnaise for Europeans is not a surprise as well as hot sauces in black communities. Brazilians also have their favorite sauce: ketchup. Ketchup has turn into a famous go-to sauce in many parts of the world. However, you will only see Brazilians cover their slices of pizza with a huge amount of ketchup. It seems like you can really put anything on a pizza.
9. Kissing in France
Some customs are shared between cultures like the Latin American one and the romance cultures. Greeting with kisses is one of those cultural habits. No matter if you are close or simple acquaintances when you meet you kiss on the cheek to say “hi”. However, French people took it to another level. They have added many nuances to the rituals which can give a headache to beginners. They are variation regarding the gender and the region where the number of kisses changes. Moreover, if you are attending any gathering you are expected to kiss everyone there when you arrive. This is a good incentive not to be late.
Those nine cultural habits are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all the different customs between two countries. Countries like Brazil tend to be very original with them. The thing with habits is that they are funny to watch at first but in a blink of an eye you catch them. If you have ever lived abroad you know that when you come back you need some time to get rid of them if you want to. Some are really hard to lose like those.