Asia has been a wonderful place across ages for tourists to explore and have fun. Asia is a land of unity in diversity as different cultures live in perfect harmony sharing common geographical and terrestrial gifts of nature. Discovering and experimenting the subtleties of significant cultures in Asia is definitely a part of exploring the continent. But there are certain things not to be experimented or done in this traditional nation.
Let us understand what exactly these faux pas are:
Beware while talking to elders in Asia: Asia demands higher level of respect for elders of the continent and will not entertain addressing them by their first names. In China, India and Philippines, they are referred to as uncle, aunty, brother, sister, grandma and pa, even if the foreigner is not related to them by blood. Elders should be given preference to sit first, to be greeted first in a gathering and invited to eat before meals begin. When moving with elders, public displays of affection, boisterous behavior and coarse language should be strictly avoided. In some Asian countries, touching elders in their head, back and shoulders is strictly prohibited and considered rude. It is a habit to bow before elders in Hindu religion, whereas it is prohibited in Muslim community as they believe people should bow only before god.
Avoid wearing slippers indoors:
In most of the Asian countries including Singapore and Malaysia, footwear should be removed before entering one’s house. Foreigners should remove their shoes and place them in the foyer as arranged at the house entrance. Temples and mosques also restrict people from wearing footwear inside their holy shrines. It is not mandatory to remove socks and they could be used to protect foot from humid weather and dust as well.
Avoid unwanted hugs and kisses in Asia:
Do not attempt any inappropriate physical contact with people you are meeting for the first time in Asia. In many Asian countries, hugs and kisses as forms of greeting people are never practiced or accepted. Asians are usually more comfortable with a hand shake or a bow. Also in Muslim communities, women are restricted from touching men and they would be forced in a difficult situation when offered for a hand shake.
Use chopsticks properly in Chin and Japan:
Fumbling with chopsticks may not be accepted by locals and they would appreciate and expect people to use them properly. Mishandling them is regarded inauspicious; in Japan two people should not hold the same piece of food with chopsticks as it resembles bones and ashes after cremation. Gesturing with chopsticks may also be not invited here and it is better to ask for forks and spoons to enjoy the meal better.
Be ready to pay the bill:
a great deal in most of the Asian hotels lies in deciding who pays the bills. In China taking up the responsibility of settling the bill is a sign of a good host and it’s also testifies one’s ability to spend money. You may also get the host treat you and pay for you, otherwise you would only return home empty handed. Do not try to attract the attention of a waiter by raising the voice; also do not try to snap fingers at the waiter.
Points to be remembered while being a guest in Asia:
There are some morality principles that are to be adhered strictly while being a guest in Asia. Some of the major ones are that, not to hit at a Asian girl without her consent, never to try establishing a relationship with a minor, insult divine idols and monuments, touch the heads of others, as the head is considered supreme and sacred by most people. Raising one’s voice, loosing temper in public, getting involved in brawl and working illegally on a tourist visa are all considered worst crimes in Asia.
Morality principles to be followed in Asia:
Asia is not a place to be caught smoking dopamine, popping drugs and pills, if found, the person may be caught and punished with criminal imprisonment. The penalty in most of the Asian countries is severe, including death sentences on those who have sufficient quantity to warrant them as criminals.
On the contrary to most foreign nations most items and shops in Asia do not have a price tag and the prices are almost negotiable with a good bargain.
Eating in the streets:
Foods sold on the streets, are better than renowned cuisines in terms of taste and palatability. But health constraints follow, one best way to dine in local shops is to watch the preferences of the locals, the shops they choose etc.
muggings happen everywhere, there is a need to keep personal belongings sage at all times, during hotel stays, travel etc.
Be prepared to be approached by people who do not know before:
Locals in Asia are often fantasized by foreigners they see in movies and are often nice to westerners. They do compliment them for their looks and prove their English speaking skills to you. Though it may seem a little strange in the beginning it is better to get accustomed to it’s at the earliest.
Do not try costly liquor at local shops:
Drinks in Asia are just the quarter of the price, they cost in US and Europe, because most of the typical brands are produced at local stores and are prepared using local ingredient. Do not get shocked if your favorite brand tastes little different in Asia and it is better to avoid them here.
Beware of costly travel agents and guides:
It is easy to explore the beauty of Asia by using a simple motored vehicle. Do not invest in costly tours and trips with paid guides. It is an utter waste of money, as you could easily spot things in Asia and take help from the locals, and the cost is also nominal. Budget travelling by taking advantage of the buses and trains is also a smart option to refrain from spending huge amounts in private transportation.