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ARGENTINA AUSTRALIA BRAZIL CHILE CHINA
EGYPT FRANCE GREECE JAPAN KENYA
MALAYSIA MEXICO NEW YORK NEW ZEALAND PHILIPPINES
SAN FRANCISCO SAUDI ARABIA SINGAPORE SOUTH AFRICA SRI LANKA
THAILAND        

Mind It Mind It Mind It Mind It

ARGENTINA

Argentina also has a history of fighting some bitter wars, some of which are in living memory. It is considered very bad etiquette to bring up The Falkland Islands war in conversation. However, if for whatever reason you find that this subject has been broached, you should always refer to the islands by the Argentine name, 'Islas Malvinas'.

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AUSTRALIA

Australians love their beer and barbeque . when socialising in Australia, it’s considered good etiquette to buy a round of drinks for your group or if you are invited to a barbeque bring some food to share.

It almost goes without saying that you should bring your own beer for your consumption, and any leftovers should be left to the host or hostess.

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BRAZIL

Possibly one of the most obscene gestures that you can give a Brazilian is the ‘OK’ sign, whereby you create an ‘o’ shape between your thumb and index finger. Unless you want to appear extremely rude and ignorant, avoid it at all costs!

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CHILE

Chileans are readily open to political discussion, but you should be mindful of a few points. Like the dictatorship of Pinochet is still very much in living memory and may prove an extremely sensitive topic to some. Many suffered and lost their lives during his rule, and it is perhaps good etiquette to only broach this subject if brought up by a Chilean in discussion.

As a woman travelling in Chile, do not be offended if you are frequently gazed upon -it is merely meant as flattery and a sign of admiration!

Also, it is good etiquette to always let a man foot the bill when dining out in Chile. To refuse or try and pay half could be seen as emasculating for the man in question.

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CHINA

Contrary to Western etiquette, talking with your mouth full when eating is perfectly acceptable in China.

Slurping food is also common and shouldn’t be met with any disdain. Fervent burping is actually considered to be a sign of gratitude and satisfaction.

Try sampling all the dishes that are being served, as this is regarded as polite. When you are eating, don’t wave your chopsticks about or use them as a pointing tool, and never leave them standing in your food. However, try to leave a little food at the end of your meal as it signals that you are full and not a glutton.

NEVER give a Chinese person a clock as a gift – this would be seen as a very sinister action as clocks are indicative of death and funerals. Scissors and knives also make bad gifts in China, as they represent the cutting off a friendship.

You should be aware that some colours are very symbolic in China – for instance white is associated with death, and black has connotations of disaster, so never use these colours to wrap a gift. Red however is considered a sign of good luck, as are even numbers, especially 6 and 8.

While the number 8 is considered lucky, the number 4 is unlucky. Even in hotels, many will skip the "fourth" floor just as many here will skip the 13th.

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EGYPT

In Egypt and many other Islamic countries, showing the soles of your feet or shoes is perceived as very rude and bad etiquette.

In Egypt, give gifting is quite common, especially when visiting the homes of an Egyptian. You should try to avoid giving flowers, as these are retained for occasions such as weddings and funerals.

More appropriate gifts include a high-quality compass (as it will allow a Muslim to always be directed to Mecca), sweets and chocolate, or any digital gadgetry.When giving or receiving a gift, you should only use your right or both hands.

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FRANCE

Flowers should be given in odd numbers but not 13, which is considered unlucky.

White lilies or chrysanthemums as they are used at funerals; red carnations as they symbolize bad will; any white flowers as they are used at weddings.
 
Do not begin eating until the hostess says 'bon appetit'.

 If you have not finished eating, cross your knife and fork on your plate with the fork over the knife.

 Do not rest your elbows on the table, although your hands should be visible and not in your lap.

 Finish everything on your plate.

 Do not cut salad with a knife and fork. Fold the lettuce on to your fork.

 Peel and slice fruit before eating it.

 Leave your wineglass nearly full if you do not want more.

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GREECE

You should be aware that in Greece, the ‘OK’ signal of making an ‘O’ shape with your thumb and forefinger is actually a vulgar gesture.

The alternative and acceptable way of gesturing ‘OK’ is by making a fist and pointing your thumb to the sky.


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JAPAN

Make sure that you never walk on a tatami mat with slippers on. In many homes, you will sit at a low table with cushions, rather than up at a table. Remember that when you are seated you shouldn’t point your feet at anyone.

During the meal, you may share your dishes with other dinner party members. This is quite common practice, and you should be aware that it is considered bad etiquette to share food with the ‘used’ end of your chopsticks.

Blowing your nose publicly, especially at the dinner table, is considered to be extremely bad etiquette.

Meishi name cards - when offered a meishi, one should always accept it with two hands, examine it carefully, and then put in either a case or an inner pocket. You should not write on the card, bend or fold it, or otherwise abuse it— you would be symbolically abusing your contact!

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KENYA

There is no doubt that you will want to take many pictures whilst on holiday in Kenya. If you wish to include a person in your photographs, it is considered proper etiquette to politely ask them beforehand. Taking a picture without consent is considered very rude and will be frowned upon.

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MALAYSIA

In Muslim areas of Malaysia the 'call of prayer' from the mosques are treated with high respect. This happens 5 times a day everyday. So if you are in the neighbourhood of a mosque take note of this important religious etiquette. The call of prayer is only for a few minutes each time and Muslims will lower their voice or stop talking completely.

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MEXICO

If you decide to bring flowers, be aware that the colour yellow has connotations with death, red with the casting of spells, and white with the lifting of spells. Also avoid giving any gifts of silver – this is because Mexicans believe that their silver is of the highest quality, and giving a Mexican person silver from another country may suggest that you think otherwise.

Although an invite may specify a start time, it is actually proper etiquette to show up at least 30 minutes after the stated time.

Also leaving a little food on your plate shows that you are sufficiently satisfied and don’t need any more food.

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NEW YORK

In most cases, when attending a special occasion such as a theatre outing, shorts, t-shirts, trainers (or ‘sneakers’), and other sports-related clothing are definitely not acceptable attire.

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NEW ZEALAND

In New Zealand, be sure not to drop litter! New Zealand prides itself on its “100% pure” reputation. 

 If invited to a meal in a restaurant, it is common to split the bill, whoever has extended the invitation.

Tipping is extremely rare.

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PHILIPPINES

It is very important that you remember not to refer to a host's wife as a hostess. This is because in Philippine English, the word hostess actually means prostitute - so one can imagine how badly this would go down!

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SAN FRANCISCO

It's worth noting that when visiting San Francisco, it can be considered slightly rude or derogatory by residents to refer to the city as 'Frisco'. It should only be referred to by full name, or simply 'the city'.

When eating out - unless the bill includes gratuity - the etiquette you would be expected to tip anywhere from 15% to 20% of the total bill. Although this may seem quite high in comparison to other countries.

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SAUDI ARABIA

If you are planning on giving your Saudi acquaintance a gift, remember that men presenting women with gifts, especially flowers, is not always wholly appropriate. A gift for the whole family would be well received. If you are presented with a gift, it is polite to open it later.

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SINGAPORE

In Singapore, resting your hands on your hips is considered bad etiquette as Singaporeans consider this an aggressive posture. Similarly touching your head may cause offence, as the head is considered sacred.

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SOUTH AFRICA

Whistling, nail biting and pointing with your index finger is thought to be bad social etiquette, However, you might be surprised to learn that despite this, emptying the contents of your nose onto the ground and spitting isn’t really an issue.

Etiquette rules for South African golf courses. don't plan on playing in jeans--they're not allowed on South African golf courses.

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SRI LANKA

Don't try to photograph Buddhist monks without their permission. It's OK to take pictures of statues and images of Buddha, but it's not acceptable to pose in front of Buddha.

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THAILAND

If you're planning a visit to Thailand your trip will go more smoothly if you follow three simple rules: respect the king, respect the monks and keep smiling!

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Ray Mears

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The EXPLORE i is looking for you!

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