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Customs of your country?
Posted 7/15/13 , edited 7/15/13
My mom traveled all over Asia back in her younger days, and she was telling me recently about how, at least back then when she was in Japan, she couldn't express an interest in something someone else had without them having to give whatever that was to her. She also told me that, in Thailand, she couldn't pat someone on the head because their head (or hair) was considered a temple. Again, in Japan, she said that if she stuck a pair of chopsticks in her rice, it was considered an insult to the dead because when someone dies there, the tradition is to put a pair of chopsticks into the dirt where that person is buried. I'll bet some of this is off, and maybe played out, but I created this thread because I wanted to know (1) what some of the customs are in different countries that you know of, (2) if someone could clear up any of these misconceptions, and (3) why some if not all of these customs exist?
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25 / M / Sydney, Australia
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Posted 7/15/13
The head part is true. In Asia, it's offensive to even touch someone's head for no reasons (unless you're a doctor examining).

Some customs from my original culture include taking your shoes off before entering a house. I think this custom was kept to keep the house as clean as possible...
It's funny because when I enter someone's house (who is not Asian), I take off my shoes at the front door subconsciously, then the person would tell me to leave it on.... it has become more a reflex thing for me rather than an awareness of it.
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16 / M / America
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Posted 7/15/13
True I sometimes automatically take off my shoes when I enter a house...this is the only custom I can think of at this very moments. Besides that i am a asian raised in America so I don't have any "foreign customs"
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22 / M / Los Angeles, CA
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Posted 7/15/13
Well, i know in mexico...

You have to watch were your driving because little kids like to jump on your car and start washing it (usually they make the car dirtier) and they expect you to pay them, never drink the water unless you know for sure its imported water, be careful about the tacos unless you like eating dog, mexican cokes are the best and even the soda, things are a lot cheaper.

House rules you have to do the holy cross thing before and after you eat and say thank you god for the meal in Spanish, when leaving make sure you do the holy cross in front of the virgin Mary or the cross of Jesus.

And thats just the bits of it
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Posted 7/15/13 , edited 7/15/13
You cannot turn a fan on when you sleep. The fan must be off. ( Most of East- Asia ) . The reason(s) why is because at night the fan may go haywire and cut you til you're into pieces. Another reason , is because the fan can cut the air molecules so you won't be able to breathe and die .

If you're buying a house ( Asian ethnic family ) you have to skip the house number "4" or "14". Something to do with Chinese death number. However , it is just a superstitions like any bad luck number in other ethnicity's .
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Posted 7/15/13
I live in North America now, but I lived in Ireland when I was younger.
Apparently, if you give white flowers to somebody as a gift, I guess it was kind of offensive, because white flowers are only used in funerals.

I remember helping my Mom arrange some flowers to give to our neighbor for a baby shower. My Mom was from the U.S., and was still kind of new to the customs. I never knew most of the customs either, not even this one. When she put a few white flowers in the bouquet, my dad freaked out.
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[not] China
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Posted 7/15/13
We deep fry everything
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The Metro
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Posted 7/15/13 , edited 7/15/13
We play hockey against the polar bears while the great canadian moose run aboot. We make igloos out of the tears of our people, which we collect when we run out of poutine. I usually meet with my coworkers at the local Timmie's and we all make fun of the Hosers. On certain days, me and my buddies play some lacrosse in the park near Lac Ontario. On parle en francais quand les anglais son present, pour les confuser. But most of the time we just sit around sipping maple syrup, thinking up new ways to spell words differently by adding U's to them. Ya know, the usually..eh?
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25 / F / Samsara
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Posted 7/15/13
study the customs and religions stuff of a country before you go their unless you want to have your life threatened..
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35 / M / Northern California
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Posted 7/16/13

Shohee wrote:

If you're buying a house ( Asian ethnic family ) you have to skip the house number "4" or "14". Something to do with Chinese death number. However , it is just a superstitions like any bad luck number in other ethnicity's .


I'm somewhat familiar with this one, too. Chinese and Japanese hospitals also won't use the number "4" for the same reason, so the elevators just skip it, and the floors are numbered to match. My understanding is that it has a similar phonetic pronunciation as the word for death in both cultures, and there has been an effort in Japan to use the variant word "yon" for "four." Superstitions aside, I suppose it's somewhat understandable to not want to remind people of death in a hospital, any more than is already obvious.

As for my own, taking off my shoes when entering a home is practically second nature to me. If I'm asked to keep them on, I will, but it's my default behavior.
Posted 7/16/13 , edited 7/16/13

Shohee wrote:

You cannot turn a fan on when you sleep. The fan must be off. ( Most of East- Asia ) . The reason(s) why is because at night the fan may go haywire and cut you til you're into pieces. Another reason , is because the fan can cut the air molecules so you won't be able to breathe and die .

If you're buying a house ( Asian ethnic family ) you have to skip the house number "4" or "14". Something to do with Chinese death number. However , it is just a superstitions like any bad luck number in other ethnicity's .


There's an American horror movie titled "1408."



I wonder if that's why, or literally part of the reason.
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18 / M / with ur female
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Posted 7/16/13
whenever i walk in my house i pray to george w bush and cry in a corner for 15 minutes. it's a custom for me and my family.
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Posted 7/16/13

anti-lambsacrifice wrote:

My mom traveled all over Asia back in her younger days, and she was telling me recently about how, at least back then when she was in Japan, she couldn't express an interest in something someone else had without them having to give whatever that was to her. She also told me that, in Thailand, she couldn't pat someone on the head because their head (or hair) was considered a temple. Again, in Japan, she said that if she stuck a pair of chopsticks in her rice, it was considered an insult to the dead because when someone dies there, the tradition is to put a pair of chopsticks into the dirt where that person is buried. I'll bet some of this is off, and maybe played out, but I created this thread because I wanted to know (1) what some of the customs are in different countries that you know of, (2) if someone could clear up any of these misconceptions, and (3) why some if not all of these customs exist?


I could see the sticking chopstick in the middle of a bowl of rice is considered rude in Japan, because it is to Chinese people. It basically looks the same as putting incense in a little ash pots that's used for worshipping the dead.

Considering that I have lived in 2 different countries in my life, I can see the weird things that local people do from both sides that are considered normal in their own countries.

1) The way British people eat slices of orange in their mouth is considered rude to Chinese people.
2) Chinese people like to tap on the table when someone's pouring their tea as thank you, but it's rude to British people.
3) When someone says "No need to bring anything to my house when you're visiting" is NOT A TRUE STATEMENT. If you don't show up with a gift it is considered rude in Britain. Same goes for "Help yourself to anything in our house", it does not mean you can literally help yourself with anything. Lol, British people are a little bit coy sometimes.
4) If a British person offers another person the last biscuit in the packet, he/she was just being nice, do not take anyone's last biscuit!!!
5) Queuing is taken very very seriously in Britain, even the most trashy mother would yell at her kids for jumping in front of the queue.
6) British people love holding door for people, and it's considered a little rude if someone holds the door for you and you don't hold the door for the person after you.
7) Having dinner with Chinese people is like getting a never-ending buffet whether you like it or not, it is considered rude if you don't finish all your food, and once you are finished, the Chinese lady in the family will likely to offer you another bowl of rice one after another. You have to refuse for about 10 times before she actually understands you are full.
8) Most Chinese families will ask you to take your shoes off when you're entering their houses, and then you will be offered to put on slippers.
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Posted 7/16/13

Shohee wrote:

You cannot turn a fan on when you sleep. The fan must be off. ( Most of East- Asia ) . The reason(s) why is because at night the fan may go haywire and cut you til you're into pieces. Another reason , is because the fan can cut the air molecules so you won't be able to breathe and die .



The fan death is pretty much a Korean thing. I'm pretty sure Chinese and Japanese don't believe in that. And if you ever question a Korean person about it, he/she will tell you IT IS A FACT. Makes me raugh out roud everytime
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25 / M / san jose, Ca
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Posted 7/16/13
MURICA.... we deep fry and super size everything.
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