When it comes to globe-trotting, experiencing new cultures is one of travel's greatest appeals. Getting into awkward situations over cultural clashes? Not so much.
Every new adventure into a foreign place always comes with the risk with running a cultural faux-pas. So rather than learning the hard way by first-hand experience, here's a breakdown of some of the odd customs around the globe and why you shouldn't break them when abroad.
Norway: Don't unwrap flowers before giving them as a gift. There's no clear-cut explanation as to why it's rude to give a Norwegian flowers wrapped in paper or cellophane but Business Insider's explanation is simply because "German's do it."
Russia: Never give an even number of flowers. In Russia, odd numbers are preferred when gifting flowers as they represent a joyous occasion. An even number of flowers is traditionally the numbers mourners bring to a funeral, according to Stanford University.
Canada: Don't drink outside. Canada's provinces and cities are responsible for alcohol laws and they typically frown upon drinking outside. But you probably already knew that.
Singapore: No gum chewing. Don't expect to see any gum on the sidewalk. Singapore has outlawed the import and sale of gum in an effort to keep the city-state clean.
New Zealand: Don't honk your horn (too much). It's not illegal to honk your car horn, but excessive honking is frowned upon by Kiwis when navigating their roads.
Brazil: It's not okay to use the A-Ok hand gesture. One traveller's gesture for "everything's great" is another resident's "f*ck off"
Italy: No ordering of cappuccinos after meals. Italians don't order a milky coffee after a full meal so expect plenty of stares if you're ordering a cappuccino after breakfast.
America: Don't forget to tip. Like in Canada, tipping is encouraged (though not mandatory) in the States for certain industries as tips make up a portion of an employee's wages.
Germany: Don't wish someone an early birthday. It's considered bad luck to wish a German happy birthday before their big day. So forget about early gifts, cards or cake, unless you want to be remembered as a jerk.
China: No clocks or umbrellas for birthday gifts: Like wishing a German an early birthday, giving a clock or an umbrella to someone in China on their cake day is like wishing them bad luck. The Chinese characters for "clock" are very similar for "funeral" which is a bad omen of things to come.
The characters for "umbrella" are very similar to "break apart", which could be interpreted as you are breaking off your relationship with the gift recipient.
Hungary: No clinking of glasses when drinking beer. This practice dates back to when Hungarians lost the 1848-49 Revolution and War of Independence to the Austrians. The Austrians executed 13 of Hungary's most senior generals and then reportedly celebrated with a pint of beer and the clinking of their mugs, according to CNN.
Hungarians, understandably mad, then swore to never clink their glasses for the next 150 years. The tradition continues today, despite the ban officially ending in 1999.
Vietnam: No receiving gifts with one hand. It's said this tradition comes from Chinese culture who insist gifts are given with both hands as a sign of respect. To show mutual respect, recipients should use both hands to receive the present. Anything else and you come off as rude.
Netherlands: No sharp objects as gifts. If you want to give someone in the Netherlands a knife, a throwing star or a chainsaw... just stick with a blunt gift card instead. Sharp objects as gifts are seen as a sign of bad luck and increase your chances of stabbing yourself by 100 per cent.
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