Asia is home to several countries that place high on lists of places to visit. And sometimes, one can even meet their visiting asiaspecial someone in one of their travels, or maybe you are travelling to meet the special someone in person for the first time. When visiting Asia, it is always good that you be aware of several no-no’s so as to avoid embarrassment and to gain points for etiquette.
No-no #1: Sticking your chopsticks upright in rice or in food in general.
In case you are dining out and are forced to use chopsticks, please keep in mind never to stick it in food, may it be rice, a dumpling, noodles or anything. This is mainly because the chopsticks sticking out of your bowl looks much like incense offered to the dead among other funeral practices. People in Asia are very careful with anything that pertains to death or the dead. And on the topic of food, it is also considered rude to double dip.
No-no #2: Taking compliments
In Asia, it is customary to humble yourself rather than simply thanking someone for the compliment. In Asia, when you are praised for a job well down, you usually respond by saying that it was not very good and you thank the person for giving you the compliment despite the “mediocre-ness” of your output. This is because they will view the outright “thank you” as a cocky gesture. Yes it can be tedious, but it is customary that you downplay the compliments you are given.
No-no#3: No pointing fingers
When visiting Asia the first time, of course it is a given to go places and buy souvenirs. Just a word of precaution, a lot of Asian countries consider pointing very rude. To be on the safe side, instead of using your index finger to point, use your thumb instead. Now this takes presence of mind and a little bit of practice but imaging the plus points you get with that special someone when you come knowing this little gesture. Respect, after all, is highly valued in Asia.
No-no#4: When entering homes, take-off your shoes. Or at least ask if you should.
Remember this when visiting Asia: Asian homes are sacred to those who live there. It is very rude to take your shoes into their home which have been everywhere and are relatively dirty. It’s the equivalent of a visitor tracking mud through your newly polished living room floor. It is a fairly simple thing to do, but will be much appreciated when done. In case you are not sure, you can always ask if you need to take off your shoes as some homes might actually prefer you keeping your shoes. But generally, this is practiced in Japan, Korea, and a few other countries.
No-no#5: Limit physical contact between the opposite sex.
Say you are touring with your special someone, and would like to kiss them. Try to limit this to a minimum as most Asian countries are still conservative when it comes to public displays of affection. It might be okay to hold hands or kiss cheeks, but going beyond that might offend people especially those who are elderly. Again, it is all about respect.
These 5 are just starters. They might be good for a while but, ultimately, you need to do more research on this topic. While you’re at it, consider visiting Asia earlier. It’ll be a one-of-a-kind experience for you!
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