PHOTO: Montreal, Quebec (Photo courtesy Flickr.com/Pedro Szekely)
We all love to travel internationally, and if we’re smart we try to learn as much about the culture and customs of the destination we’re about to visit.
That includes the do’s and the don’ts.
Well, the Russian government’s Foreign Ministry has issued a similar memorandum to its government and citizens, and some of the tips are rather ... unique.
Entitled “Common Elements Of Conduct” and said to be recommended ‘for most countries in the world in order to prevent undesirable incidents,’ the advisory includes some obvious advice – be friendly to local people and consider their way of life, observe the laws of the host country, respect customs and traditions, not to pat another person’s child on the head in some countries, and so on.
Some tips, however, get a little creative.
* Do not use, common in Hollywood films, offensive gestures (extended middle finger, twist a finger at his temple, and others.) And obscenities in English, also in aggressive form.”
* Not to criticize the local (and sometimes peculiar) in the presence of the kitchen of the local population.
* Practice good hygiene when visiting swimming pools and saunas.
Then the advisory was broken down by country and it got interesting.
* In Bangladesh, “to avoid falling into an awkward situation, it is better not to contact with an unknown woman on the street. Wink and whistling here will regard as a rude and against women – as an insult.”
* In the United Kingdom, do not “raise the eyebrows (perceived as an expression of skepticism)”
* In Spain, well, you better know your world football (or, as we like to call it, soccer). “To avoid embarrassing situations when dealing with the Spaniards to keep in mind their likes and dislikes to one or another local football club. In the capital and the central part of the country's most wealthy audience prefers Madrid "Real", the middle class - "Atletico Madrid" in Catalonia - "Barcelona", in the Basque Country - club "Athletic" (Bilbao), etc.”
* And in Canada, oh boy, the Russian Foreign Ministry had some issues with Canada. “Canada, which has long legalized same-sex marriage and there is a serious "fixation" on gender equality – not the best place for retellings "sebaceous male" jokes. In addition to the public censure, in large metropolitan areas with compact residence of representatives of sexual minorities (particularly Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal) there is a risk of running into a punishment in the form of fines and even life for serious article "hate crimes.”
In addition, don’t ever call Canadians ‘Americans’ by mistake. “An important feature of Canadians that must be taken into account in the communication – the "sense of identity and difference" from the Americans. Although foreigners often difficult to distinguish one from another, a Canadian citizen may be very offended for comparing his country with the United States.”