If you’ve traveled much–make that, AT ALL–overseas, then you’re probably very much aware that not everything about North American culture translates well abroad. And if you’re a frequent traveler or someone who’s interested in experiencing life in a new context, those nuances could make all the difference between being accepted or becoming a social outcast.
Take for instance, punctuality.
Here in Panama, where I live, it’s a perfectly acceptable part of the Latin American culture to be a few, or 45, minutes late. In fact, it’s what’s expected. Show up at a party on time, and you’ll likely find your hosts still getting ready and pretty perturbed that you’ve hijacked their last little bit of prep time. The opposite is true in Germany, where being even a few minutes late is considered selfish and arrogant.
Since it’s impossible to understand the customs of a particular culture if you’ve never visited the area before, the folks at Business Insider have put together a helpful list of some of the most common cultural faux pas.
Featured photo credit: bi_graphics_25-common-offensive-american-customs/Business Insider via businessinsider.com