Going to a new place and not knowing anything about the culture or tradition is like driving with a blindfold across one’s face.


To prevent awkward moments or flouting long-held tradition, here are a few things to know about the Japanese, Indians, Chinese, Russians and New Zealanders.

Japanese don’t tip

It could be a norm in other places around the world but in Japan, it is not. It is considered degrading, so avoid the act when you are there.


Master the phrase “arigatou gozaimasu” (Thank you) and you are good to go.

Indians don’t make gestures with left hand

In India, left hand is traditionally considered as unclean. Don’t exchange pleasantries or items with your left hand while you are there. Let your right hand do all the assignments.


Never gift your Chinese friend an umbrella

Chinese see gifts like umbrella and wall clock as a bad omen. If you give such gift, then you’re wishing them bad luck.

You can’t blast your horn as you wish in New Zealand

As much as you would love to hoot to clear all obstacles on your way, it’s frowned upon in New Zealand.


They regard consistent honking as an emergency, so don’t scare your fellow drivers by making them leave the road.

Russians don’t smile at strangers

You can’t smile at strangers in Russia. To Russians, smiling is considered an intimate gesture and should, therefore, be carried out between two people who have a close bond.


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