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Traditional social custom

A few particularities around the world

“Differences simply act as a yarn of curiosity unraveling until we get to the other side” Ciore Taylor.

All countries have their own cultural heritage, and their proper habits and customs. As we are now living in the age of globalization and travelling has become much more easier, this knowledge can be very important in several areas such as political international relations or international trades for example. Knowing some of those traditional customs can be useful when you are planning to travel in another country and even for your general culture. Here, you will find a “free-sample” of some of them.


Talking about international relationships, let us start with the world’s biggest economic power. You have to know that Chinese people have a high sense of honour. It means that if you do anything that makes them feel humiliated or weak, they will have an inferior appearance, and they will never forget it. Then, it is customary to bring a gift to your hosts when they invite you to their homes. Do not feel offended, if they do not open it in front of you: by way of courtesy, they do not want you to see them disappointed, if they do not like it.


You should never shake hands with a Russian on the doorstep: it is believed that it brings them misfortune. Moreover, you should not only avoid giving yellow flowers because it is synonymous with break-up or cheating, but also avoid giving red flowers because they are usually used for funerals and war veterans. Lastly, do not forget to take your shoes off when you are invited at their home.


In France, the main thing to know is that, except in a professional context in which you generally shake hands, people always greet with kisses, even if they are not really good friends.


A really funny custom in Venezuela is that, contrary to many countries, arriving early or just in time makes a very bad impression. If you are invited at someone’s home, it is recommended to arrive between 10 and 15 minutes late for the simple reason that you would be considered as an impatient or greedy person.


One particular custom of this country full of history is that you should avoid to add salt on your plate. Indeed, adding seasoning is offensive for your host because it means that you think his / her cooking is disgusting or at least not tasty. Take it easy and consider that it is better for you blood pressure!

For the rest, the best way to discover another country and to know more about its traditional customs, its cultural patrimony, the behaviours to adopt, and of course the language, is to visit it and be open-minded.


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