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Cultural Faux Pas


Just read an article in the OC Register regarding cultural faux pas which I thought to be kind of obvious and common. Along with some of their recommendations of never sticking chopsticks in a rice bowl (which is representative of the incense in an urn), they also discuss never raising your voice at someone who doesn’t understand English in the hopes that a louder voice will magically teach them the language. (Duh!)


What I’m curious about is knowing from our readers what kinds of cultural faux pas we should be aware of–particularly regarding the dining experience. Classic one every knows and loves: the Japanese and their noodle slurping.


Another one I’m really gung-ho about is Soju-shot receiving. Receive with two hands if received by an elder. Receive with one if received by friend or younger person.

It was also interesting to read that some cultures find it polite to arrive 30 minutes after start time of a dinner event, and in certain parts of Mexico, it’s better to leave some food at the end of your meal instead of cleaning your plate.


France–don’t put bread on plate. It’s okay and more common to put it on table. (yes, even with crumbs!)

What’s something you’ve had to discover first-hand that you had made a cultural faux pas? Or what do people do that irk you because it’s a faux pas in your own respective culture?

Tagged with: Miscellaneous

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