Rudeness is in the eye of the beholder. For proof, look no further than this map highlighting unique etiquette practices from around the globe. As you can see in the graphic from Remitly, behaviors considered socially acceptable in some parts of the world may get you kicked out of someone’s home in others.
No matter where you travel, you’ll find people are particular about how they drink and dine. In Japan, slurping your soup signals appreciation to the chef, and in Norway it’s poor form to eat with your hands. Russians always drink their vodkas neat, while people in France avoid ordering scotch or martinis before dinner. Foreign diners in Australia remain at risk of social faux pas after their meal has ended; if they say they’re “stuffed,” they’re announcing to the table that they’re pregnant.
Hand gestures can also be a minefield when traveling abroad. You should never use the “OK” or “thumbs up” gestures when visiting Argentina, and take care not to point at people in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Indonesians point with their thumbs instead of their index fingers, while Germans make pounding motions with their fists to encourage good luck. If you’re unsure how hand gestures are used at your destination, maybe stick to verbal communication while traveling.
Though the rules can feel strict in certain social circles, etiquette is constantly changing to fit the current culture. These pieces of American etiquette may feel just as foreign as the customs in the map below. To see a bigger version of the map, click here.