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Don't drop a brick!

Locals will be pleased to find that somebody has a genuine interest in their country and their customs.

  • Learn the local ways of greeting. Shaking hands is uncommon in many countries.

  • Inquire after the social position of women. In many cases, family structures are a microcosm of society. Having a conversation between women is often easier.

  • Public caresses are frowned upon in some countries, as are sneezing and blowing one's nose.

  • In many countries, the left hand is considered "impure". Food is only consumed with the right hand.

  • You will often have to take off your shoes before you enter sanctuaries or private apartments. If you sit with your legs crossed, avoid pointing the soles of your feet towards another person.

  • Don't touch the head of other people, especially not of small children. The head is considered sacred in some countries, especially in Southeast Asia.
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