You are not going to believe some of the surprising ways you can offend people in other countries. It’s a lot easier than you may think. Usually you’ll offend someone by misunderstanding the cultural communication norms found in a country. Given that communication is 55% body language, 38% voice tone, and 7% spoken word; these misunderstandings should not be that surprising. Nevertheless, you should still watch out for them. Languages and communication norms vary across different countries and societies and if you don’t learn how these norms differ, things can get…interesting. As a note: since List 25 is based in the United States, “Other Countries” to us means “countries outside of the United States”. With that in mind, check out these 25 surprising ways to offend people in other countries.
In some countries, finishing your meal indicates that your hosts failed to provide you with enough food. Thailand, the Philippines and Russia are among those countries. So unlike in the US, leave a little on your plate.
In Bulgaria, nodding your head means no, and shaking your head side to side means yes. You know, the exact opposite of the United States. So..good luck with that.
You know how you can crook your finger to summon someone? Yeah, don't do that in the Philippines. It's how they call their dogs. Also in Japan that means death, so don't...do it there either.
Putting your hand up to stop someone is pretty common in many parts of the world. Not in Greece. It's a pretty big insult there, dating back to the Byzantine era when people were allowed to smear poop or charcoal in prisoners faces - using their open palms. How is this the stuff a society hangs onto for hundreds of years?
In small countries with social-welfare systems, such as the Netherlands, asking what you do for a living is considered classist and rude. In the US it's one of THE most common icebreakers.
Image Credits: 1. Public Domain, 2. Emanuele Spies from São Leopoldo, RS, Brasil via commons.wikimedia.org CC BY 2.0, 3. EncMstr via commons.wikimedia.org CC BY-SA 3.0, 4. User:Quetzalothep via commons.wikimedia.org CC BY-SA 3.0, 5. Mick and Rortles via en.wikipedia.org CC BY-SA 4.0, 6-10. Public Domain, 11. Shutterstock, 12-16. Public Domain, 17. Dina Said via en.wikipedia.org CC BY-SA 4.0, 18-22. Public Domain, 23. 1ur1 via commons.wikimedia.org CC BY 2.0, 24-25. Public Domain.