According to a great Chinese Philosopher Lao Tzu a person who never travels reads just one page of his book of life”. Travelling helps us go beyond our comfort zone. It helps us gain inner wisdom, self-reliance and confidence, but we realise the how small we are in this grand scheme of things and there so many people in this world who are so different from us so we must also keep in mind another ancient dictum too when “In Rome…..” we are travelling abroad, we are their guest and must respect and follow their traditions and cultures without saying or doing anything which would offend our hosts so here some tips to avoid some honest mistakes travellers make while they are abroad. We should never do these tactless things when travelling.

1 Don’t give an even number of flowers in Russia.

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In Russia and many Eastern European countries giving even numbers of flowers is considered rude and insulting. Actually, it’s a traditional practise which is followed in funerals and therefore in normal circumstances (like a date) or a (house warming party) even number of flowers would be considered morbid and unlucky, so add or reduce a flower and you are good to go!

2 Avoid eye contact in China

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Among tactless things when travelling, in western culture eye contact while conversing is encouraged to garner self-confidence and assertiveness. One is always taught to look in to the eyes and speak out as it usually conveys the truth and sincerity but same logic might not work in a country like China where giving respect to others while speaking is paramount and glaring or staring at the other person’s eye even during normal conversations is considered rude. In Chinese tradition men look into each other’s eyes only when they are angry or in confrontational mode. So, eyes should be lower always if you want that business contract to be successful In China.

3 Do not disrespect the royals of Thailand in any way

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Making fun of the royal family is a strict no-no in Thailand. Always mention them with proper respect no matter how informal the get together and in no way step on a currency note with their picture on it as it will directly make you a criminal from the guest in the country and you shall be treated like one too.

4 Don’t talk about going to church in Norway

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A very small number of people go to regular church masses in Norway so asking about the schedule and the mass timings to regular people or colleagues is considered rude, weird no doubt but it’s the truth nonetheless.

5 Don’t wear shoes inside of Indian temples or homes

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Indian temples are places of worship and if you enter with your footwear inside, it is considered that you are polluting a clean space of worship and insulting the deities. Therefore, there are dedicated places to keep your shoes outside the main temple building where you can leave your shoes and then you can retrieve then back when you exit. The same logic applies to any Indian home too. Apart from the fact it keeps the house clean from outside dirt and dust, many people have a small temple room or deities in their houses as well and the house is considered a smaller version of a temple in which members of family live under the blessings of their Gods therefore, always remember to take off your shoes outside the main door of the home.

6 Do not wish an early happy birthday to someone in Germany

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Germans are superstitious about things in the sense that if you wish them well for an exam or a meeting, they will believe it will go bad for sure similarly if you wish them happy birthday a bit early on, they would feel that bad luck is upon them. it’s always safer to ask them about their exams, tests or meetings after wards, even a belated birthday wish might not be such a bad idea after all.

7 No kissing in the UAE

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Countries like UAE, Egypt and Saudi Arabia are very conservative male dominated countries and women still wear burkhas most of the time and most of them didn’t even have driving liberties a couple of years back. So public display of affection with your partner in such countries is disapproved and might leave you in trouble as well. So, try to keep your hands off each other while travelling these nations.

8 No pets are allowed in Singapore

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Some dog breeds such as pit bulls, akitas, Tosas and few other “aggressive “dogs breeds “are banned in Singapore. Other docile varieties are tolerated but the dog control is very strict so if you have a lovely pooch you can’t live without and is a handful, then we would suggest you skip the trip to Singapore.

9 No jaywalking in America

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Even if the road is relatively empty and there is no traffic, jaywalking is still considered illegal in US. It is always better to stay out of trouble and use the cross walks. In many other countries, jaywalking is an offence too.

10 Don’t eat only one course in a French restaurant

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French people are proud set of people and they take pride in their culture, language, fashion as well as cuisine. So, if you order just one course in a French restaurant it considered rude. Furthermore, try to polish off your plate after your meal as leftover on your plate means you didn’t like the food and it’s a direct insult to the chef. Better still instead of just leaving it off its better to send them back to the kitchen.

11 Don’t mistake New Zealanders with Australians

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Imagine being called Bangladeshi constantly or a Pakistani when you are a pure blood Indian in a foreign nation. It’s frustrating and exhausting to keep explaining the difference because we sort of have the same skin, hair colour and talk in similar diction. The same issues bother the Neighbours Kiwis and Aussies too. Many people from rest of the world cannot make out the difference between the 2 nationalities and often confuse the 2 which is extremely annoying and insulting, so be bit careful while addressing them.

12 Never eat with your hands in Chile

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It’s considered rude as well as uncultured to eat with your hands in Chile, especially in public areas. Even the finger food such as fries and chops are also expected to be eaten with a fork and knife. Another Chilean dining etiquette to be remembered at all times in restaurants is to keep your hands on the table with your wrists on the edge of the table.