10 Surprising Global Culture Facts You Need to Know

10 Surprising Global Culture Facts You Need to Know

Have you ever wondered about the different customs and practices around the world? While travel can broaden your horizons, learning about different cultures can be just as enlightening. Here are 10 surprising global culture facts you need to know:

1. Greeting Gestures Vary

While shaking hands is a common greeting in Western countries, it’s not universal. In Japan, a bow is a respectful greeting, and touching noses is a traditional greeting in some parts of the Pacific Islands.

2. Spoons are for Soup in Thailand

In Thailand, spoons are the primary utensil for eating, not forks. The fork is used to push food onto the spoon, which is then used to consume.

3. The Thumbs-Up is Offensive in Certain Countries

In countries like Iran and Greece, the thumbs-up gesture is seen as vulgar and offensive, similar to the middle finger in Western cultures.

4. Different Names for the Same Sport

Soccer in the United States is called football in most other countries. Similarly, what Americans call football is known as American football in other places.

5. Greek-style ‘FrappĂ©’ Coffee

While drip coffee or espresso might be the norm in some countries, Greek-style ‘FrappĂ©’ coffee is frothier and made with instant coffee, sugar, water, and ice. It’s a popular way to start the day in Greece.

6. Christmas Traditions

In Norway, instead of a tree, a Christmas broom adorned with ribbons and sometimes an eggshell is displayed. In Japan, KFC is a traditional Christmas Eve meal.

7. Different Gestures for Saying ‘No’

In Bulgaria and Turkey, a shake of the head means ‘yes,’ while a nod means ‘no.’ In many Asian countries, nodding is used to indicate agreement, not understanding.

8. Lunar New Year Celebrations

While Chinese New Year is the most well-known lunar new year, many other cultures also celebrate it, including Koreans, Vietnamese, Mongolians, and Tibetans.

9. The Significance of the Colour Red

In many Asian countries, particularly China and Japan, red is a symbol of good luck and prosperity. In India, it’s traditionally used in bridal wear.

10. Name Order and Honorifics

In Japan, the surname comes first, and honorifics (“san,” “sama,” “sensei”) are commonly used in place of titles like Mr., Mrs., or Dr. In Korea, an honorific is added to a person’s name to show respect or familiarity.

From greeting customs to food traditions to name order, there are so many diverse global culture facts to explore and appreciate. Learning about these differences can help us better understand and appreciate other cultures while broadening our own perspectives.

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