What exactly is a culture? Frequently it is something we don’t put much consideration into — the practices or habitual behaviors we take part in without thinking differently about them. Think about when you meet somebody for the first time. As someone from the US, you’re likely to smile or nod and offer your right hand for a handshake; that is a natural response. But, in many nations, a handshake isn’t the norm. For example, in Japan people traditionally bow to one another, while friends in Latin American countries will hug to greet someone. French individuals often welcome friends with a kiss, and in Russia, it is normal to greet people without smiling.
Reading more about the customs and practices of different countries from around the world can increase your understanding of a foreign language, prepare you for traveling to a new country or simply widen your horizons. It can also prevent you from making a faux pas if you visit or meet someone from another country.
As humans, we all eat and drink, go to work, converse with friends, and more. Studying the various ways in which we coexist can be both fascinating and fulfilling. For more standards of cultural etiquette from around the world, check out the accompanying infographic.