Tuesday, November 1, 2011

#TTOT Round-Up: Customs From Around the World

Every Tuesday it's Travel Talk on Twitter! Follow the #TTOT hashtag to see what all the commotion and Tweets are about! There are two sessions to join, one at 9:30am GMT and the other at 9:30pm GMT.

Here's the round-up of this week's #TTOT: 

Q1 via : What custom do you think is unique to your country?
  • : India ... my absolute favourite ... the head wiggle! Love it! Yes, no, maybe, go away, hello, come, ok... so many meanings
  • : I'm from france, so I believe that being on strike for pretty much anything is one of our custom
  • : Us Brits love a good queuing session preferably with fish & chips at the end of the line
  • : Filipino time - which is meeting AT LEAST 1 hour later the actual scheduled time
  • : In the US we like to have ice in almost all of our beverages
  • : Yerba Mate at work
  • : Tire d'érable - cabane à sucre, pouring boiling maple sap on snow and eating it
  • Customs from Brazil - be super friendly, invite strangers to parties/ lunch in their houses, kiss in the cheeks and hug
  • : Giving other people much wider personal space

Q2 via : Did you adopt any custom you met on travels?
  • I now tend to 'slurp' my noodle soup - much more fun, and i never waste the leftover liquid, always drink every last drop!
  • The Indian head wobble.....although I STILL cant get it right!
  • : I adopted drinking tea since moving to England
  • : I eat Asian cuisine with fork & spoon or chopsticks
  • : Beans on toast - breakfast of champions!  
  • : Calling every person you meet by 1st name (even senior acquaintances). Still trying to get used to it
  • : Having a glass of wine each night after my first visit to Europe
  • : Breakfast doesn't seem the same without black olives, since Turkey
  • Crouching down when waiting rather than sitting on a bench - picked that up in Cambodia, hence calling it the Cambodian crouch
  • Reaching for the hibiscus tea in times of stress! Our friends in Egypt assure us it lowers blood pressure

Q3 via : What is the most unusual custom you have come across during your travels?
  • : The lack of driving skills required to be road worth in certain countries is always a shocker!
  • Hanging onions on your door to drive way bad spirits
  • All Saint's Day in Spain, all my neighbors are cleaning off graves of their ancestors, and everything is closed
  • : Eating with my new friend in Morocco, but only with the right hand, never, ever the left hand, ever
  • Love the bright, baggy, colorful, matching pajama sets as daytime garb in Cambodia
  • : Hamam baths in Turkey and being roughly scrubbed by a woman older than your mom!
  • : In Bali, when having a baby, the 'Dad' can't cut his hair until the baby is born
  • : Haggling in Cairo
  • : I had to pay for a squat toilet in China and that money was clearly not going towards maintenance

Q4 via : Have you ever come across any customs you disapprove of? How did you handle that?
  • Throwing trash on the ground in Honduras bothers me. I saved my water bags and trash until I could find a trash can
  • : Piling as many members of the family as possible, including pets, on to a tiny moped in Vietnam
  • : Customs that aren't cool - Female Genital Mutilation in North and West Africa, it needs to stop!
  • : The Swazi Reed dance, where the king get to pick his next virgin bride
  • : The lack of effective queuing the world over
  • : The annual seal hunt - killing animals violently for pleasure and money disturbs me
  • : I don't approve of arranged/forced marriages, but I try not to disapprove of customs. Different culture & value systems 
  • Many people are shocked to hear that Vietnam puts ice in their beer. Who are we to judge how they like their Tiger beer?
  • I could disagree with lots of customs around the world. But when they're not mine, who am I to judge?

Q5 via : What's the biggest cultural faux pas you've made?
  • : In Venice, it took us 3 attempts before we had all the clothing required to visit St Mark's Basilica in Venice... whoops!
  • : Accidentally using my left hand to eat with (even though I swear it was clean)
  • : I almost passed out when a full cooked rabbit w/ floppy ears cut in half at dinner in Paris
  • : Try to give the 3 Italian cheeks kisses and a hug to a Thai mate while she was bowing, total disaster!
  • : Siitting with the soles of my feet facing a monk on a temple stay. Opps!
  • In Egypt I kept eating everything on my plate (good UK manners). Oops, a sign I thought hosts were being stingy
  • : Snapping photos of the 'window models' in Amsterdam's red light district. Man did I learn my lesson
  • : Thinking I was dressed modestly (by Western stds) when I wasn't (by Eastern stds) before entering holy sites - major faux pas 
  • : Asking for my steak cooked medium well in Paris. You would've though I insulted the waiter's grandmother

And there you have it, "Customs From Around the World"!   

Next week's #TTOT topic is: "Museums". Submit your questions HERE! And don't forget to follow the #TTOT every Tuesday at 9:30am and 9:30pm GMT to chat about all things travel!

As always, a HUGE travel community thank you to our #TTOT hosts and organizers: traveldudes, , , , , , and !

Have YOU got anything to add to the "Customs From Around the World" travel discussion? 

© Connie Hum 2011

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