Wednesday Wanderlust – 10 Cultural Tips from South Asia

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:

Bangladesh

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.

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5 cultural tips and facts from South Africa

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.

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5 things you NEED to know about Indian culture.

 

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.

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Tipping Etiquette of the Americas – Part 1 – A quick guide to tipping etiquette in North 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).

 

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10 Cultural Tips and Facts From South America

Wednesday Wanderlust

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.

Argentina:

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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”.

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Wednesday Wanderlust – 10 Culture Tips from our Newest Releases

Wednesday Wanderlust

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 Lanka:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

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Wednesday Wanderlust -Greetings in Eastern Europe

Wednesday Wanderlust

Greetings in Eastern Europe

Wednesday Wanderlust is back! In these posts we shall be sharing information on the etiquette, values and attitudes of different countries around the world.

This week’s post focuses friendship, manners and greetings in Eastern Europe and highlights the relevant cultural norms for Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Russia and Romania. Traditional versus contemporary greetings divide the older and younger generations within these countries, with similar norms being visible across the region.

Timisoara in Romania

1.      Hungary

Good manners begin with a greeting. Stand up! Only the old and frail stay seated for greetings. Like other Eastern European countries, the practise in Hungary is for a man to make the first greeting to a woman, a younger person to an older, a subordinate to a superior, a salesperson to a customer, and someone entering or approaching those already present. It’s bad manners not to greet people, and worse not to return a greeting. As Hungarian writer István Mácz says, “the reply to a smile, is a smile”.

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Peruvian Delicacies: The Essential Guide to Food in Peru

‘What’s your favourite Peruvian food?’ is a question that you are guaranteed to be asked over and over when traveling in Peru. Food is an obsession for most Peruvians but a justifiable one as their cuisine is recognised as one of the best in the world.

Peruvian cuisine has its roots in ancient superfoods such as quinoa, avocados, maize and potatoes as well as integrating more recent influences of Japanese and Chinese cuisines.

However, your answer to the question will very much depend on where you have been in Peru as there are significant variations around the country.

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