How to Not Be Offensive - Cultural Differences Around the World

Every country has its own unique ways and sometimes what is a positive or common gesture in your own country, can actually be highly offensive in another country.  Here are a few tips to make sure you don’t offend anyone accidentally on your next trip:

Thumbs up
Although in many countries this signal says “I’m good” or suggests everything is OK, in Iran it says up yours.

Using your left hand
In India and Muslim countries don’t eat anything with your left hand and certainly don’t try to shake anyone’s hand with your left hand.  In Thailand, you should never pass money with the left hand, always with the right, preferably while the left hand is propping up the elbow of the right arm.

The Ok symbol
In many countries, this signals that we are ok.  However, in Brazil and Greece, this is very vulgar.  In other countries like Kuwait, this signifies the evil eye.

Showing the soles of your feet
In China showing the soles of your feet is rude. 

Touching someone’s head
The feet are the furthest thing from God, the head is the closest.  Touching someone’s head is, therefore, a no-no is many Asian countries.

Sign of the horns
Holding your hand up with the middle and ring finger held down with your thumb while you are in Spain or Italy signals to someone that their partner is being unfaithful.

See what other travel mistakes you might be making?