Taboos

We all know that in every culture, there are certain things you just cannot do or say; a specific topic would be considered really shocking or certain behavior really impolite. Sadly for travelers and people getting to know others from different nationalities, these taboos vary quite a lot according to the culture of the person you are talking to and can result in embarrassing situations if you break these ‘politically correct’ rules. Even worse than embarrassing yourself, you could really offend the person you are talking to by mentioning a topic that he or she would consider as “banned”.

Actually, a taboo is like social prohibition. You have to be really careful when either visiting or living in a foreign country, because by breaking the taboo law you are behaving like the rudest person ever in the eyes of the natives.

The interesting thing is that something that might be considered as really impolite in some countries is perfectly normal in others. For instance, blowing your nose in public is a really impolite thing to do in Japan and Brazil. That may sound surprising for a European, right? So how could we possibly get an idea of what is to avoid and of what is allowed? Well, the answer is quite simple: before going to a foreign country or talking to a person of a different nationality, you should do your homework and get some information about these taboos in advance.

Fortunately, our Lexiophiles writers have developed this topic according to their own countries in the following articles, so you can get an idea of how much these taboos vary from one country to another!

Things that You Have to Be Careful with in Japan

Taboos in Korea

Never Joke about the Pope, or Taboos in Poland

The Brazilian (fake) Politeness

Italian Social Rules and Taboos: Don’t Say Ciao!!

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