Reddit is a trove for knowledge (along with weird photoshops and cute puppies), and this week it's giving us things you didn't realize were offensive in other countries. Dropping truth bombs that will have you starting every sentence with "TIL" (Today I Learned), you're likely to get a solid education about your etiquette when dealing with other cultures from this thread. The question opening the thread is "[Serious] What's extremely offensive in your country, that tourists might not know about beforehand?", the "[Serious]" denoting that this is, indeed, a serious thread and that "replies that are jokes, puns, off-topic, or otherwise non-contributory will be removed." Hopefully you won't find something on this list that you've accidentally already done.
If you're thinking about traveling somewhere new, this thread could be helpful to you when it comes to behaving accordingly while occupying someone else's social and cultural space. You can thank Redditor Draculix for that, who is responsible for posting the original question. There's some very involved conversation in the thread, and some surprising things you might not have known (I learned a thing or two for sure!). Here's some things you didn't know were offensive in other countries, according to the good people of Reddit:
1. Giving Someone An Even Number Of Flowers In Romania
One Redditor was curious to know if people counted the number of flowers in their bouquet immediately upon receiving them:
2. Talking On Your Phone While Riding Public Transport In The UK
As anyone who lives in/has ever been to New York knows, this is something that New Yorkers desperately need to adopt (as well as listening to music or playing loud smart phone games without ear buds). The same goes for most of the U.S., actually:
3. Contrary To Popular Belief, Speeding On German Autobahns
These Redditors learned that the hard way:
4. Not Greeting Everyone In The Home When You're A Guest At Someone's House In Senegal
It's a similar deal in Nigeria, except that if you're a guest in a Nigerian home your greeting is a little bit more elaborate:
5. Telling Someone In France You're "Praying For Them"
This really puts all the "Pray for Paris" status updates in perspective:
Although reading through the comments, it seems that "slacktivism" on social media isn't necessarily considered offensive, just lazy.
6. Speaking Mandarin To People In Hong Kong
I'd like to think it's common knowledge that Hong Kong is an administrative region of China and that everyone knows that Hong Kong has its own identity, separate from China even though it's part of China, but alas. Meanwhile, while most people in Hong Kong speak English, Hong Kong's cab drivers seem to be the same as cab drivers everywhere:
7. Stepping On Money In Thailand
Although as this Redditor points out, it's not likely you'd have the chance:
8. Showing The Bottom Of Your Feet In The Middle East
It's not everyday that you'd have a reason to throw a shoe, but then if you're feeling like doing it, definitely don't if you're exploring the Middle East:
Images: Sofia Sforza/Unsplash