Activity (3): read the text above carefully, and find answers to each of the following questions:
3.3 Post reading
Unique Cultural Traditions around the World
In order not to be considered disrespectful or rude when you’re visiting another country, learn some of the unique cultural traditions and customs around the world.
1. Choose the flowers you give to a Russian
If you have Russian business associates or friends, be careful of the flowers you give them. Avoid flowers with yellow colors, as they represent a break-up of a relationship or deceit. Red carnations are taboo as well, because these are flowers presented to veterans who survived the war and on the graves of those who have left this earth.
2. Don’t ask for salt when dining in Egypt
In many cultures, like the United States, it is all right to ask for salt to add to your food. But if you are dining with friends and colleagues in Egypt, keep in mind to avoid asking for salt. It is taken as an insult to the host, as Egyptians take it to mean that you are repulsed by the taste of the meal served to you.
3. Greeting people in Japan and Germany
When you’re in Germany and invited to a gathering, it is a tradition to shake hands with everyone in the room. Greeting and thanking someone in Japan involves bowing. The depth of the bow depends on the social status or age of the person you are greeting. Kissing a person on the cheek is a customary greeting in Argentina. It is customary for friends in Brazil to exchange around three cheek kisses. In France, the cultural tradition of giving a kiss on the cheek depends on the region. In Brest, it is acceptable to kiss a person on one cheek. In Toulouse, you can kiss both cheeks. In Nantes, however, it’s all right to give four kisses on the cheeks.
4. Say cheers but don’t clink glasses in Hungary
It’s almost customary when sharing a drink, especially when there is a celebration, to say cheers and clink your glasses. But the traditional practice is not done in Hungary. You see, Hungarian forces were severely and savagely defeated during their war with Austria in 1849, and they witnessed Austrian generals celebrating the occasion by drinking beer and clinking their glasses. Hungarians swore not to clink their glasses when having a drink for 150 years. The vow ended in 1999, but a majority of Hungarians continue the cultural tradition.