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Tips to avoid a culture clash

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By Fiona Reid
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Tips to avoid a culture clash

IT'S always good to make an effort with the local language when you're abroad.

But are you clear on what NOT to do on holiday?
Here’s a few key cultural faux pas to avoid if you’re travelling this summer:

* Waving your hand in front of someone’s face in Germany and Austria, is regarded as an offensive gesture
* Don’t start eating unless everyone at the table is seated and ready to start their meal in France
* Take shoes off when entering somebody’s home in Ukraine, Romania, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Poland
* In Bulgaria, if asked if you like something, make sure you shake your head for yes. The gesture is reversed the other way, so remember to nod for no
* Displaying too much flesh could see you ejected from churches in Italy and Greece, so dress modestly if you intend to visit
* Flashing the thumbs up sign in parts of Italy and France is regarded as an insult
* Showing your palm of your hand to a Greek is regarded as highly offensive
* Don’t sit down at a dinner table until you’re asked to in Austria, as you may be met with disapproving looks.
* Putting a piece of bread on one’s plate in France is poor etiquette. Leave it on the table beside the plate as bread is not considered part of a meal
* Failing to make eye contact while clinking glasses with Germans is considered bad luck
* In some parts of Italy and France tips are expected even when service has been added to the bill
* And in the USA: asking where the toilet is could result in a frown, call it a restroom or bathroom to avoid appearing rude; don’t steal another’s cab whilst in the Big Apple; ensure you have change or a metro card ready when stepping up to get on a bus or approaching a turnstile for the metro in New York; and not tipping in the USA is considered rude, and tipping is customary in restaurants, bars, hotels and taxis.

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