Living and working in a new country and culture can be full of adventure, possibility and excitement. But it’s not always as romantic or easy as it sounds. Just consider these cultural norms in countries around the world. Based on your customs, would you make any mistakes in these situations without any knowledge beforehand?
- In Jordan, a man typically initiates a handshake with a woman, not the other way around.
- In Uganda, it is rude to sniff your food, even if you find the aroma appetising.
- In Argentina, business meetings typically begin 30-60 minutes after the scheduled time, so arriving “on-time” is actually arriving early.
- In Thailand, it is considered rude to touch another person’s head (even a child’s) because the head is considered sacred.
It is easy to make mistakes when adjusting to life in a new place. Locals may be understanding, but it is important to make every effort to respect the cultural norms of your host country with the ultimate goal of “fitting in” in your new home.