September 5, 2016
There are many cultural sensitivities and traditions around the world that will have an impact on how you behave as either a tourist or a contractor working across borders. Ranging from covering up in religious buildings to eating all the food a host provides you with, these nuances leave individuals less familiar with country-specific behaviours open to inadvertently insulting someone.
So what should you be aware of when relocating across the world?
It’s perhaps less well known that when spending holidays along the coast or taking day trips to the seaside you should not walk around shirtless or in a bathing suit unless you are actually on the beach. This is not only viewed as rude, but in many cities you will face a fine for such action.
Locals are very friendly and welcoming, so don’t be offended if someone treats you in an informal manner or calls you by your first name having only just met you, for example. It’s also common to greet others with hugs or kisses, so again, be prepared and try not to be taken aback by this behaviour if it’s not something you’re used to. Also, bear in mind that English isn’t understood by everyone, so some knowledge of the local language will be beneficial.
Be wary of traffic and don’t attempt to cross the street without checking first, even if you have right of way. It’s common for drivers to try to out-manoeuvre pedestrians instead of stopping, so always play it safe.
Never ask questions about someone’s income, such queries are considered by many as a ‘crime against privacy’ and will insult the person you are speaking to. On a more personal note, if you enjoy Latte’s never order a Café Latte in Italy, you will simply get a cup of hot milk as the translation in Italian simply means ‘milk’.
While there are ongoing debates over whether or not it’s part of Europe, this is the least concern for visitors to the country who like the odd sneaky beverage as it is prohibited to drink alcohol or smoke in public places unless it is a restaurant or pub. While some locals may flout this law every now and then, authority figures are likely to come down harder on tourists and expats. Food etiquette is also important and you must remember not to smell food before you eat it as it is considered an impolite gesture that suggests you don’t trust the host.
Punctuality is important in Norway in both a personal and professional capacity, so make sure to be on time for dinner appointments, meetings and any other schedule events. When travelling around major cities, it’s also advisable to avoid taxis as they are often highly expensive.
These are just a few examples of cultural nuances that are perhaps less well-known across the globe, and there are many more to be aware of. While it is certainly advisable to fully research any such differences which could have an impact on your actions while abroad, it’s also vital that you remain compliant with local tax legislation. Contact the team today to find out how we can help you avoid potentially hefty fines.
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