Every country is different and similarly, every culture is different. Also, they are unique. There are many people who go through culture shocks in a foreign country for this very reason. Some of them have earned a negative image as well.
Here are 10 strange traditions that you will notice in other countries and find them interesting:
1. Toilet Paper Problem
While you might think toilet paper is common all over the world, you will be surprised that Pakistan, Bhutan, India, Bangladesh, Thailand, Philippines, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Malaysia do not use toilet paper – they use water. You may not find toilet paper in many hotels there too. While it seems strange, imagine how many trees get saved because of this. Plus, few people can afford toilet paper. Water is cheaper and more efficient too.
2. Bathroom Alert
In the Tidong Tribe in Indonesia, newlyweds are prohibited to use the bathroom for about 3 days and nights. While there are certain customs in other countries like grooms are prohibited to see the face of the bride prior to the wedding day, the bathroom thing seems a terrible punishment. But it’s natural for them and breaking customs might bring bad luck. To control it, they are provided with minimal water and food.
3. Yellow Rose: Rudeness Indicator
The red rose is the sign of love – Valentine’s Day is full of red roses all around. But what does yellow rose stand for? It is supposedly a sign of friendship. But not so in China, Italy, and Mexico. In Mexico, it is connected with death and funerals, while in Asian counties, it signifies the end of the relationship. In France, it is indicative of an affair.
4. Breaking Plates
Polterabend is a strange wedding custom in Germany. People wish good fortune for the newlyweds by breaking porcelain plates. The greater the number of shards, the stronger the marriage, according to them. Plus, they have a wonderful time breaking the plates. An unfortunate time for the cleaner.
5. Being Single And Spices
In Denmark, if you are unmarried even when you are 25, then your family members can shower cinnamon on you as per custom. And that too in public. Good luck with keeping your relationship status private. It goes back a long time, about hundreds of years. Spice peddlers would never settle down and get married and that’s why spice is used. If you are unmarried at 30, then cinnamon changes to pepper. Be prepared!
6. Late For Weddings
Not being punctual is part and parcel of being a Venezuelan. The custom is so intrinsic that wedding events plan their invitation cards in a way that the printed time is an hour prior to the actual event. Once upon a time, a reporter, whose plane was delayed by an hour, went to a press luncheon, after 1 hour and 15 minutes. He found an empty room. He was too late supposedly, but the front desk told that he was the first person there.
7. Risky Jumps
The men in Vanuatu has no use of bungee cords. They use vines from trees and jump from tall wooden towers each year. It’s a tradition that happens on Pentecost Island. The men showed their strength and risk-taking ability by jumping in this manner. It is supposedly a way to bring good harvests that season.
8. No clinking glasses
Alcohol parties with friends are incomplete without the clinking of bottle or glasses. The whole globe celebrates it, except Hungary. It seems strange but there might be a reason. Back in the year 1849, when Austria won over Hungary, they celebrated by clinking glasses. Well, no wonder, Hungary doesn’t follow the same.
9. Sauna Business Meetings
Business meeting in a proper office room? Not so for the Finnish. Sauna is a part of their culture and they visit it once a weekend, at least. It is relaxing and best suited for an office meeting. After all, a calm environment breeds more ideas. It works too – Finnish businesses conduct their meetings in saunas and do have such marvelous ideas.
10. No Eating With Your Left Hand
In some areas of UAE, as well as in many Middle Eastern countries, eating with your left hand is considered unhygienic and rude. The left hand is used for other activities like opening bathroom doors, so even shaking hands with this hand is seen as rude. If you wave your farewell with the left hand, be prepared to be glared at.