5 Ways You Can Be a Respectable Guest in Japan
In Japan, being punctual is an expression of good manners. Excuses relating to traffic etc. will not save you as everybody has to deal with that – even if you are a first time visitor. Profuse apologies and a humble demeanour are more appropriate.
- Taboo topics to avoid in conversation:
If you want to win friends, do not start a conversation on the subject of the Yakuza – they are not supposed to ‘exist’ (sorry Giri/Haji fans!). Yakuza are a part of Japan’s historical social structure – highlight trained gangsters famed for their ornate all body tattoos, flashy limos and the missing top of the little fingers. Japanese police simply accept their existence and won’t interfere unless something severe happens. The Yakuza rarely bothers foreign businessmen or tourists.
As we move through the month of December, many are celebrating the Advent countdown with the reward of a chocolate every morning. While this relatively recent tradition of daily treats is certainly a wonderful one, the history and culture of the Advent goes far beyond this.
The word Advent means ‘coming’ or ‘arrival’ in Latin and refers to the arrival of Jesus at Christmas. Since its origin, various Christian countries have developed their own traditions and celebrations for this time of year:
Planning a trip to South Asia or just want to learn more about the region? The following tips and facts will give you an insight into its rich and varied culture for all your travel needs:
1. There is a saying that Bangladeshis maintain ‘Bangladesh’ time, and so you might notice that they display a rather casual attitude toward timekeeping. If you are visiting someone socially, allow plenty of time for this relaxed attitude: they will want to chat before a meal and then relax and chat some more, afterwards.
2. The many festivals and celebrations of Bangladesh have given rise to the expression “baro mashe tero parbon” (thirteen festivals in twelve months). These include Nabanno Utsab (Harvest Festival), Basanta Utsab (Spring Festival) and Pokela Boishakh (Bengali New Year’s Day). This New Year celebration is actually held on April 14th as it follows the Bengali calendar, rather than the Western Gregorian calendar.
5 cultural tips and facts from South Africa – winners of 2019 rugby world cup
1 – South Africans go out of their way to make newcomers feel welcome, and this may include being invited to stay in their homes. If you’re invited to stay, there are a few observances that should make your visit comfortable for everyone. Make sure that you keep your room tidy; even if there is a housekeeper, don’t take advantage of it. Offer to help with chores or cooking, even if there is domestic help. Although the original invitation might have been to ‘stay as long as you like,’ be perceptive and gauge how your presence is affecting others. Don’t overstay your welcome.
2 – If you are invited to a South African home for a braai (barbecue) or a formal dinner, arrive on time. Some occasions are ‘BYOB’ (bring your own bottle/booze) or ‘bring and braai’, in which case you’re expected to contribute your share of drinks, meat, salads, or other dishes. South African gatherings are notorious for serving a meal well into the afternoon or evening after normal eating hours.
India is seen world-wide as a large, colourful country steeped in tradition and history. There is more to the people of India than what meets the eye – as such here are 5 things you need to know about Indian culture before your visit!
- FOOD: Indian food tastes better when eaten by hand. Food should only touch your fingertips, and although people will be polite if you dirty your fingers past the knuckle, they will be disgusted.
The societies that make up the southern continent of the Americas are different in many ways to their neighbors to the north. When it comes to tipping etiquette, practice varies widely. Here is the local take on how to go about tipping in some of the different countries of South America:
Tipping culture is a worldwide matter – anywhere you go the etiquette for tipping will vary from place to place. It is often required by both locals and tourists/visitors alike to tip an appropriate amount to those working in the service industries. If you are travelling to North America, here is a quick guide on how to tip accordingly:
USA & Canada
Visitors should be aware that many workers in service industries receive the minimum wage and rely on tips to make a decent income. The expected amount varies, but is more in touristy area, larger cities, and better-class hotels, restaurants, or hair salons. In both USA and Canada, allow a $1 a bag for bellhops and airport porters (more if you’re toting a trunk full of college books or an unwieldly ski bag).
Starting on July 26th, Peru will host its largest ever international sporting event – the 2019 Pan American Games. 7,000 athletes from 41 countries will take part in 424 events around the country, and will be competing for places in the 2020 World Olympics, to be held in Tokyo, Japan.
10 Cultural Tips and Facts From South America
All the following cultural tips and facts are taken straight from five of our many guides within the South American region. The titles used within this blog post include: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, and Peru.
- Be careful with gestures when visiting South America. In Argentina, the “thumb and forefinger circle” gesture stands for OK – unlike in neighbouring Brazil, where it is vulgar and offensive. The “thumbs up” gesture can be used freely as it also stands for OK.
- Whether in the afternoon or in the morning, facturas are a must. The delicious pastries come in various shapes with different fillings such as custard, cream, and jam. Media lunas (croissants,) are perhaps the most common facturas usually accompanied by a cup of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. Be aware facturas is also the Spanish word for “invoice”.
10 Culture Tips from our Newest Releases
All the following 10 cultural tips are taken straight from our five newest guides released this May. The titles include: Colombia, Denmark, Singapore and Sri Lanka.
- Sri Lankan’s are more relaxed about missed opportunities than Westerners because of their strong belief in karma. It is thought that if something does not work out then it was not meant to be, and that it will come around at a more opportune time, with more success.
- To beckon someone toward them, a Sri Lankan will hold one arm outstretched and, with the palm facing down, move the fingers inward. It is considered impolite to point at someone using the index finger, so gestures of moving the head or raising the eyebrows in the direction of the subject are commonly used.