Cultural Differences!


By Rupveen Arora MW

Customs across the world vary and for good reason. I’m always intrigued to find what’s acceptable traditionally in one corner of the world is found highly offensive in another. See the accompanying graphic for 24 U.S. customs that are considered offensive in other countries.

I love to laugh, but in Japan if I were to show those pearly whites, I’d offend everyone at my dinner table!

Being ‘fashionably late’ is what I/we ‘Brown People’ refer to as  IST, or Indian Standard Time. Unlike in Latin America where it’s considered rude to show up on time, we simply take the time stated on the invitation and add 45-90 minutes to bestow upon the host our grand entrance. The opposite is true in Germany where turning up even a few minutes late is extremely frowned upon.

According to custom #22, Americans are quick to accept gifts whereas in Japan it is considered the norm to decline a few times before accepting them. India too has the same outlook on declining multiple times before coming around to accept.

Perhaps some of these customs are an East vs. West. Regardless of the custom, always remember to respect all cultures of said country.

When in Rome…

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