If you've lived in the same country for most of your life, your pop culture, celebratory holidays, regional courtesies, and even daily routines probably seem pretty normal. But are they? Regions tend to have their own unique ways of doing things, with their own sets of both mandated and culturally understood laws.
Many non-Americans find themselves in shock at some of the customs here when they come to visit. In actuality, a lot of our accepted cultural habits are viewed as strange, questionable, or even rude in other countries. However, we're not the only ones that have unique lifestyle tendencies that seem peculiar to other cultures.
From mealtime manners to surprising laws, people from around the world shared things that are normal in their countries that seem odd to the rest of the world. Vote up the ones that would definitely provoke some quizzical glances in your neck of the woods.
From Redditor u/spntrash67:
Siestas! I’m from a very small village in Greece, and in the summer months [from] 3 to 6 pm, the place looks deserted. Everyone goes home to sleep, which helps since everyone stays up late drinking. During this time we even had common hours of silence where you can be fined for making too much noise while people sleep.
From Redditor u/Turbobrickx7:
Whenever I was stationed in Korea, the biggest thing that shocked me was the "two hand" system. You take and give EVERYTHING with two hands. On top of that it is extremely rude to pour yourself something. The custom is to pour everyone else at the table a drink and then wait for them to pour you one.
I went out with a couple of the Korean guys and we got a bottle of SOJU. I poured myself a glass and you would have thought I killed someone by the looks on everyone's faces. Luckily, they politely explained to me the customs of the area and were really cool about it.
From Redditor u/chibimagaa:
Slurping noodles is encouraged, and sniffling and snarfing your boogers loudly in front of strangers is still better than blowing your nose. Seriously people need to just blow their noses, though. It’s so gross listening to people moving phlegm and snot around.
- 4422 VOTES
From Redditor u/tanhannah2008:
In Singapore, it's illegal to buy or sell [chewing] gum. So if you want to get it you have to buy it overseas.
From Redditor u/gardenvarietyhater:
[In Pakistan, there's an] expectation to work on the weekends without pay, [and there's] no concept of overtime or extra pay.
"Work Meetings" can last till 11 pm (again, you aren't paid for these).
[However, you can be] 2 hours late for everything other than work. Imagine that I was the first person at my own wedding and almost freaked out, thinking there might be a case of a "Runaway Husband." [My] husband [and] in-laws were an hour late and [did] not reply to my texts.
From Redditor u/Coolestdragonever:
There's nudity in Swedish movies and TV shows. We have a no-censoring law, which makes us able to kind of put in anything as long as no people or animals are hurt during production. [This] makes it really weird for other people, mostly from America and Britain, to just see [breasts] and [butts] out of nowhere.
I could never see anything like this fly in many other countries. But it has really helped me from early childhood to learn that seeing a naked human body isn’t so much of a taboo or an awkward encounter. It’s just how we look without clothes.