Habits & Customs that Completely Confuse Other Countries

Customs vary from country to country and foreign visitors are often left perplexed by the cultural differences. It’s easy to assume that because we celebrate certain traditions, everyone else does too. Whether these are annual holiday routines or country-specific cultural habits, every family has a few strange practices they’re used to.

Just look at tea. It’s seen as a stereotypically renowned British pastime, typically presented in ornate chinaware with a saucer. Cross the English Channel over to France, however, and the British would have a heart attack after seeing the French habit of drinking tea from a bowl.

Our infographic explores the way customs and traditions differ from country to country.

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Additional examples:

  • United Kingdom | Confusing Sing Taps – The UK is a modern country at the forefront of engineering, yet unlike most countries around the world, many sinks have separate hot and cold water taps. This means that visitors need to carefully navigate both freezing and scolding taps at the same time!
  • United States | Tax Not Displayed – To the confusion of many visitors to the USA, prices for most items are shown without tax, while the rest of the world includes it in the listed total price.
  • Australia | The Bush – Australians tend to refer to any large area of land that contains plant growth as the “the bush”, while most others differentiate between grasslands, woodlands and forests.
  • Turkey | Camel Fighting – In Turkey, spectators take delight in watching two camels fighting, but unlike cockfighting, the animals don’t get hurt. Even still, agitated camels often discharge sticky, foul-smelling saliva very accurately.
  • Fiji | Your Every Day Drink – Guests to the Pacific island of Fiji are served strange earthy cocktail made from squeezing plant roots. The concoction is called Kava and is considered a narcotic in many countries.
  • Spain | Snatching the Goose – The Day of the Geese is a tradition in Spain that sees a greased goose tied high above a body of water, with young men competing to rip its head off in a show of strength.
  • United Kingdom | Law Abiding Citizens!? – Britain’s are notorious for their drunken antics while abroad, so visitors often find it a stark contrast of behavior at how rigorously the majority of the British public treat the drink driving laws.
  • Venezuela | Late Eaters – People in many Western countries tend to eat dinner relatively early, typically between 5pm and 7pm. South American countries like Venezuela tend to eat much later in the even, often between 9pm and 10pm.
  • United States | Cars That Actually Stop – Visitors to the USA are often surprised by how respectful drivers and pedestrians act towards pedestrian crossing. Heavy fines for drivers who don’t show that respect, will have that effect. Western visitors in particular, will find the roads in Vietnam very unusual. Due to the small number of traffic lights and pedestrian crossings, visitors are left to cross the roads in whatever manner they can, while hoping cars will stop!
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