We all know what minding your manners means. It's keeping your elbows off the table, your napkin on your lap, your mouth covered when you sneeze and a firm handshake with your right hand. But once you cross countries, all the rules change. Here is a list of just some of the things we consider appropriate in America that will get you a side-eye abroad.
1. In Japan, it's considered rude to laugh with your mouth open, showing your teeth.
2. A firm handshake is considered too aggressive in the Philippines.
3. It's not necessary to clean your plate in Thailand and China.
4. In Japan, it's customary to first refuse a gift before accepting it.
5. Also, don't blow your nose in public in Japan. (It's not exactly mannerly here either, but we'll let it slide.)
6. Opening a gift in front of the person who gave it to you is considered rude in India and China.
7. Sorry lefties: in Southeast Asia, it's considered rude and gross to use your left hand for sanitary activities.
8. In Japan, anyone under the weather will wear a surgical mask to prevent the spread of whatever has got them down.
9. Haitians think it's rude to whistle in public.
10. It's disrespectful to have your hand casually in your pocket when talking to someone in Korea.
11. Fashionably late is still very much in fashion for many parts of Europe, to the extent that showing up right on the dot is a little faux pas.
12. Always check to see if tipping is considered necessary or rude. It's rude in some countries.
13. Switzerland, Luxembourg and Singapore all abhor chewing gum in public.
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