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Old 10-14-2007, 09:19 AM   #41
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Cultural differences can make you crazy. I sometimes close my eyes and repeat, this person isn't really trying to insult me, he is just from a different culture. There are so many it can drive you crazy. Never show the bottom of your feet to an Arab. Never eat with your left hand in many cultures (that hand is for taking care of bodily functions). Never, ever spear food with your chop stick. When you meet someone new, always show both of your hands. I grew up with a myriad of different cultures, and as I get older, find myself with many more.

Many Middle Eastern men, Christian, Jew, or Muslim, will hug and walk arm in arm with their male buddies (and not gay), but would never, ever show that much affection to their wives, female friends, or daughters.

There are so many cultural differences that you could fill a book.

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Old 10-14-2007, 10:37 AM   #42
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Here's a recent piece on the BBC website about Brits and social kissing:

BBC NEWS | Magazine | Pecking order

Even here in Spain I'm not too sure. The man who runs our local builder's yard is getting to be a good friend of my partner's. He expects the two-cheek kiss if he comes to drop stuff off but not if I go round to his office. The other day I did the two-cheek kiss to say hello to our lady mayor in the town hall. No idea if that's normal or not.

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Old 10-14-2007, 11:04 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by Alix View Post
Not sure if this is relevant, but we just had a discussion about wearing shoes in the house. Here it is considered rude to wear your outside shoes in the house, but in many places you are looked at strangely if you remove your shoes when you enter a dwelling. In Japan, you remove your shoes too.
I'm Chinese-American and remember getting in trouble every time I forgot to take my shoes off when I came home from school. Mom has a shoe radar and knows you are wearing them in the house even when she was upstairs in her sewing room.
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Old 10-14-2007, 11:37 AM   #44
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In European countries you eat with your fork and knife.I mean you keep your knife in your right hand and cut every bite just before you eat it. I still do that, can't get used to the only fork in right hand thing.
When you are finished, you put your knife and fork side by side across your plate, handles facing to the right.
Even if there is food left on your plate the host or waiter knows you are finished.
Napkins are kept on the table not on your lap.
When a couple enters a public place the man goes in first then holds the door for the woman. Leaving the same place, the man holds the door and the woman leaves first.
Meeting strangers you shake hands, regardless of gender.
Meeting family or close friends you kiss on both cheeks.
There is no rule for taking shoes off, we did it anyway in the winter when ikt was snowy outside.
I'm sure there are more, just can't think of them at the moment.

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