Hey pandas, what did you learn about another country’s culture, not from a book?

Cultural discoveries of foreign countries made through media that are not books. I was playing Fallout 3, and in the Museum of History area, I found out that John Hancock was the first to sign the United States Declaration of Independence, and I thought to myself why do people ask for your John Hancock on the dotted line.

I learned in Paris to greet people with a bonjour or bonjour, etc. BEFORE asking a local for directions or a question. I was scolded by a taxi driver the whole way! In retrospect, he was so right to school me. ‘Merica, we are generally rude and self-centered.

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In some Muslim countries, when you are a woman and your husband dies, you are supposed to marry his brother.
I discovered this when my Gambian husband died.
It sounds disgusting, but no, it’s not about that, it makes sense in a country without any form of social security. you will be taken care of and your children too. In addition, in this way, the children remain in the family.
I politely declined the offer. The brother-in-law was relieved, he had just gotten married a year earlier. But I know several men who have like 3 wives, only one chosen and the other elder ladies who survived his elder brothers.

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Texans are as crazy as they are made out to be. (I’m from Wales)

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That Parisians aren’t rude if you try to talk to them in French. I visited 10 years ago and was warned of their rudeness, but when I spoke to them I greeted them in French, explained that I was not fluent and they then welcomed me in English and were very friendly.

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I’m a big fan of Portuguese inventiveness… There is NOTHING but a nice neighbor or sr. Batista, living around the corner, can’t do if you end up with no electricity or a leaky washing machine etc. during the weekend. No lasting repair, but it will suffice until you get the right technician. I remember I wanted to wallpaper my husband’s room while he was away. After removing the old paper, I realized that my ambition was greater than my expertise. .at 6pm the room was perfect. . .

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I was playing Fallout 3, and in the Museum of History area, I found out that John Hancock was the first to sign the United States Declaration of Independence, and I thought to myself why do people ask for your John Hancock on the dotted line.

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Not really cultured but I remember from my first holiday in Crete a beautiful Greek island that you shouldn’t kill cockroaches if you find them in the hotel because the smell they give off is more appealing if them. This information stuck with me all my life even though we don’t have them in my home country

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Oh this one might be more appropriate. I remember them dimming or dimming the lights near beaches close to turtle or turtle season (can’t remember) because when they come out of their shells they follow the light of the stars and the moon towards the ocean. Additional light sources can reject them and cause dangerous situations.
This is something I heard 26 years ago when I was 6 so I can’t attest to its accuracy xD

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I discovered various areas of Tokyo like Shibuya and Kabukicho, which is a kind of red light district thanks to Yakuza games. I also learned that Pachinko is very popular there.

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I just learned, (from my son): In the UK there is a tax on television

The TV license fee is a tax on the reception of live television programs. Broadcast reception licenses were introduced by the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1904 and were made permanent by the 1924 Act. When the BBC introduced television services in 1936 they were covered by the existing licence.

As of April 2021 the annual cost is £159.00 for a color license and £53.50 for a black and white license. Revenue from the license is mainly used to fund the BBC’s television, radio and online services.

Source:

https://www.taxpayersalliance.com
Wikipedia.org

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How good the food is, even the fruit! Picked ripe and not transported across the country, wow so juicy. Butter! Cheese! the bread! Here in the United States, everything seems to be grown or made for the cheapest prices possible, rather than for gluttony. Except for what you can get from farmers markets.

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I learned from my sister-in-law who lived in Romania that you shouldn’t accept an offer of lunch (for example) until it’s been made three times. If they really want to have you for lunch, they’ll keep asking. Otherwise it was just a courtesy and they only ask once.

She once made the mistake of accepting straight away (before she understood this “rule”) and found her hosts soon gone for a while…running to the shops to buy food!!

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In the Far East, you have to offer your business card with two hands, otherwise you look like a card dealer in a casino, and that’s considered rude. Also, if you’re toasting, yours should be lower than your host’s.

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Being married to an Egyptian as a French chick…insha’Allah (God willing/if it’s God’s will) means f**k no 90% of the time

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The Spanish they speak in Ecuador is different from the Spanish you learn in Spanish class.

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When you’re in Russia, you have to take off all your gloves to shake someone’s hands. Also, you can’t shake hands with someone through a door to greet them; you have to go out on the porch or they have to come into the house.

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Around the island of Kawai, Hawaii, there is an island that tourists are not allowed to go to. The reason is that there are people who are native to this island who do not like tourists. Just a fun little fact I learned on my trip there. (My guide also taught us some magic tricks!!)

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Australians call people from the United States “Seppos”
It’s a shortened version of Septic Tank, which rhymes with Yank.

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Russians don’t have middle names

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“Pura Vida” is an expression used in Costa Rica to express the joy of life, I had a bad assumption that was a tourist thing, but after living 4 years here, it’s clear that people live and enjoy the life and all aspects of life, late is never late, and it doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor, people always smiling and open to all situations!

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I learned that in some places in Europe the driving age is 18 and you have to pay €2000 for your licence. Most places in the US you get your license at 16 and it’s maybe $50.
In the US you get your license early but you can’t drink before 9pm 🤷🏼‍♂️

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I learned how friendly and generous Costa Ricans are. Always ready to help and share their culture with you. I love to visit over coffee (or sometimes beers) and learn about the history of local neighborhoods and country.

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I have a friend from Morocco and she once ate at my house and after dinner I wanted to throw the leftover bread in the trash. She told me that Muslims never throw away bread out of respect for those who are hungry. In his family they fed it to ducks, deer (we have a deer park where we live) and of course on the roof for the birds. It filled me with respect that they do this, do Ramadan and pay Zikkat to help and think about world hunger. From that day (I was 10) until now (48), I have never thrown away bread and donated to food banks in my area.

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If you drink in South Korea, you must pour drinks with both hands, and when you drink, the younger person’s glass must touch the bottom of the older person’s glass. Both of these actions show respect and to do otherwise is considered rude.

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I learned firsthand that Germans can seem unfriendly and hard to get to know, but once you’re a friend, you’re really into it! Hard to find more loyal friends than the Germans!

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What I learned from my trip to Spain is that everything is later than in Germany. They get up later, eat later. There were literally no restaurants open when we wanted lunch at our usual time. That and the afternoon nap, everything stops. But I also realized that Spaniards are more religious. In fact, they go to church. Like, in northern Germany, where I come from, hardly anyone goes there. I’m a Muslim and I liked this, it reminded me of our Friday prayers.

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My parents were missionaries in Alaska (before I was born/adopted) and the Turkish children came to work at the fish canary during the summer.

Whenever the church held a dinner for them, they couldn’t drink root beer because the Turkish children thought it was alcohol.

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A friend from the UK online came here for a holiday in Florida. She said Americans are awfully friendly. It turns out that where she lived, people barely talk to strangers and they don’t give each other little “hellos” or brief smiles like we do here.

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After living in Sweden for a few years, I learned that they don’t have proper healthcare, and the only way to fail a university exam is to not show up. I guess the first follows from the second.
Oh yes and in the summer EVERYTHING (including important things like health care) closes for almost 2 months and they are very proud of that. Also, they can’t really drink alcohol without getting completely tipsy.

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I traveled to England and was surprised that the hotel asked me to return my key when I left for the day. This was so that the cleaning staff could return my room while I was away. I found it weird having to do that. Didn’t they have a master key?

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After spending many years as an engineer in the British Merchant Marine, there is not enough space

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Almost everything, LOL. Mom’s family is from another culture, and the rituals of greetings, respectful treatment/courtesy, food, hospitality, attitudes… It’s crazy how different it is when I stop d think about it and compare it to my father’s family.

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A culture from another country? Goat cheese?

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I learned in a book that most girls in Pakistan are married around 12 or 13 to much older men to cook and clean for them! I hate that!

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Helen D. Jessen