25 Surprising Ways To Offend People In Other Countries

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.

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In Findland crossing your arms is considered purposefully arrogance. Granted, it can mean arrogance in the US too, but no one's gonna start a bar fight about it here. Usually.

armscrossedSource: http://nypost.com

Don't eat with your Left Hand in the Middle East, India or most countries in Africa. In these countries the left hand is traditionally associated with wiping oneself in the bathroom.

toilet-paperSource: http://www.huffingtonpost.com


Don't say you're from "America". Okay, first of all, the US isn't the only country in the Americas. Our country is the United States of America, not just "America". North and South America are continents. Secondly, if you go to one of those other countries, in say, South America, and describe yourself as "American" when you really mean you're form the "United States", it's really haughty and rude, implying that South America isn't worthy of the title. Not only are we NOT the only country in the world, we're not the only country in the Americas.

Americas_satellite_mapSource: http://www.businessinsider.com

In most Arab countries, refusing food or refreshments is incredibly rude. Even if you aren't hungry or thirsty. In the US this might seem polite "Oh, don't bother yourself, I just want to visit!" but that would be considered so very rude there.

Egyptian_food_KosharySource: http://www.businessinsider.com


Don't give the three-fingered Hunger Games salute in Thailand. It's outlawed due to becoming a symbol of the opposition during the country's military coup in 2012.

HungerGamesSaluteSource: http://nypost.com

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