Travel tips

Cultures around the world and how they treat guests

Cultures around the world and how they treat guests
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treat a gest in different cultures around the world
Cultures around the world have a different way to interact with their guests. No pressure, but you’d better have an idea on what to expect and how to behave! Upon which you could either get the maximum out of the experience of being a host in a foreign country, or actually ruin it! Let’s review 11 different countries and their traditions around foreign guests.



It is usual for the hostess to offer a glass of water, so always accept it and drink it. Do not to greet with a kiss on the cheek. You’ll prefer to introduce yourself in a more formal way, joining your palms to your forehead and bending gently your head forward. When seated at the table, do not reject the hostess refilling your plate. In case you’re really full, wave both hands and touch your stomach to demonstrate you don’t want more food.



You should never arrive to a house with hour hands empty. Always bring something: it can be a dessert (make it a cake, they’re really popular), some alcohol or a plant. Flowers are nicely welcome in Greece, but make sure you also bring a pot to put it in. If you’re being invited to a dinner, expect the other guests to arrive late, it’s the normal thing to do in social meetings.

being a guest in different cultures around the world Source: Casa Biescas


Morocco & Tunisia

It’s always nice to bring something, but be careful alcohol wise. It will be okay if you offer them a bottle of wine, if they actually drink alcohol. If they don’t, the hostesses (or other guests) will feel offended. You can grab some typical sweets from your country, you won’t go wrong with that. And do not throw bread away, it’s almost sacred in their meals.



As you may guess, the most important thing you should keep in mind is punctuality. It is really rude to be late more than 15 minutes. And if you’re wondering what to bring to the house, anything alcohol will be fine, but it better not be beer. Just act like a real guest and do not feel too comfortable.



It’s usual to sit at the table pretty late, so if you’re invited to a dinner, do not show before 9pm. Keep in mind you will be drinking alcohol (mostly beer) all night long, even during dessert. One of the most important aspects in this kind of situations in Spain is conversation: keep talking and do not make awkward silences appear.



This amazing country is known for its calm people in social reunions. When you’re not at your own home, do not talk loudly or act crazy by any means. In cities like Tokio, that are overpopulated, people are expected to behave very quietly. You don’t want to upset your neighbors, especially at night. Be always extremely respectful and pacific.

how to a guest in different cultures around the world Source: Mindfull living network



In Mexico, party never ends. If you’re in a mexican house having some drinks (or whatever the occasion is), be ready to stay awake until late. Even if guests are sleepy or want to go home, you’ll keep having fun ‘til next morning. Make sure you always appear with a smile on: mexican people are very cheerful.



The first thing you must do when arriving to a new house is taking your shoes off, a rite that’s almost sacred in every Asian country. Then, try to make some compliment about the house or the guests themselves. They are the ones “allowed” to first try  the food and even if the meal doesn’t taste that good, say it’s delicious and finish your plate.



Punctuality in Brazil is a really relative concept: do not show at the house at the time agreed unless the hostess asks for it specifically. It is not rude for them to be late, so take it easy. You’re expected to behave as if you’re in your own home, so feel confident to open the fridge, help set the table or even doing the dishes afterwards.



Like in most Asian cultures, food is very meaningful. It’s important to give some hints that show the meal is tasty, such as making noise when eating or burping when you’re finished. In China the guest is “the king”, so make yourself comfortable. Your hostesses will encourage you to do whatever you please (always with due respect, of course).



Again, remove your shoes when arriving, given that the hostess will offer you a pair of slippers. Do not shake hands at the entrance. In russia, people are likely to prepare big and sumptuous meals, so make sure you have something to offer, like flowers or wine. If you grab some flowers, don’t buy them yellow or in even numbers.


This is what is great about traveling: you get to know so many little details and customs of every country you visit, especially when you focus on certain kind of trips like slow traveling or even a gap year project… We’re so different and similar at the same time, every culture has its own sort of kindness and practises that vary quite a lot from one place to another. Different meals, table protocol and manners, forms of starting a conversation… Learn as much as you can when being a guest, it’s one of the best ways to immerse in other cultures and lives.



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