Social tips worth knowing before going on holiday

Social tips worth knowing before going on holiday

Cultures all over the world can vary vastly from one country to another - even the way you shake someone's hand can be done in different ways overseas.

Readers' Digest and travel site, Vayama, have compiled a list of cultural dos and don'ts to avoid confusion or misunderstandings.

Saying hello in France and showing a smile in Russia are the best ways to win over the locals. These simple and friendly gestures show your sincerity and also build an affinity with the other person.

When touring India, travellers should take note to always use their right hand when greeting someone, exchanging money or even picking up merchandise, according to Readers' Digest.

Using the left hand is considered a social blunder as it is thought of as "unclean" in the Indian and also Malay culture, said both Readers' Digest and Vayama.

Dining etiquette can get complicated due to reasons such as cutlery usage and table manners.

In China, leaving a little food leftover on plates and even burping is considered socially correct in China - it shows that the host provided enough food and burping after the meal is seen as a verbal compliment to the chef.

In both South Korea and Mexico, guests should wait till they are directed to a seat at the table and should not seat themselves.

In Hong Kong, it is polite to give a toast before drinking, but if you are in Mexico, men are traditionally the ones who take the lead in giving toasts.

Find out what other social habits you should learn before travelling to your next holiday destination.

wjeanne@sph.com.sg

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