Dos and don'ts of travel

Melbourne, December 2 (ANI): Since other people's social customs can be very different from yours, experts have listed out some pitfalls to watch out for while travelling to other countries to make sure that they do not mean anything offensive in that culture.

To start with, it is rude to ask people in Argentina what they do for a living. Wait until they want to bring it up in conversation.

In Japan, never blow your nose into a handkerchief. The Japanese word for snot is hanakuso, which translates to "nose sh-t", so they don't like the idea of anyone carrying it around with them, News.com.au reported.

Carnations are used at funerals in Germany, Poland and Sweden. Chrysanthemums are used at funerals in Belgium, Italy, France, Spain and Turkey. It's unlucky to give odd numbers of flowers in China and Indonesia, but odd numbers of flowers are lucky in Germany, India, Russia and Turkey.

In Europe, you'll be considered rude if you don't take your gloves off before shaking hands.

In restaurants in Spain, always request the bill at the end of a meal. Waiters think it's rude to bring it to you before you have asked for it.

In Scandinavia and Germany, you should look your fellow travellers in the eye when you are toasting. In Russia, the custom is to drink the vodka in one gulp.

At holy places in Thailand and other Buddhist countries, never pat anyone on the head. The head is sacred.

The thumbs-up sign is a rude gesture in Egypt and Iran.

After having an enjoyable meal in India, don't thank the host because saying "thank you" is seen as a form of payment, and may be taken as an insult.

In most of Asia, feet are thought of as being dirty, so it's disrespectful to point your feet or show the bottom of your shoes to anyone.

The left hand is considered the dirty hand in Africa and India, so use only your right hand when you eat.

If you are on business in Japan, the business card exchange is a ritual you need to know about. Receive the card with both hands and a slight bow, then read it carefully. Never put it into your pocket or write on it.

In India, don't give anyone a present made of leather, because cows are considered sacred and many people may be offended.

When getting a taxi in Greece, don't raise your hand as you would to signal stop. Greeks consider the forward-facing palm to be offensive, so turn your hand so that the palm is towards you and keep the fingers together.

In the Philippines, never refer to someone who has invited you to an event as your "hostess" as it means "prostitute".

The experts concluded by advising people never to wink at anyone in India, unless you know it has sexual connotations. (ANI)