There’s no denying that North Americans have their fair share of strange customs. We paint our bodies for football games, we say “break a leg” to performers, and we enjoy deep-frying pretty much anything that is considered edible. As normal as these activities and gestures may seem to someone born and raised in the States, the same can’t be said for foreigners.
When traveling abroad, gestures and customs that seem typical to North Americans can actually end up getting them in trouble. We’ll help you avoid accidentally offending someone on their home turf with these tips on local customs around the world.
Using Your Left Hand Is Considered Disgusting In India
It’s something North Americans don’t think about, but in some countries (mostly the Middle East, India, and parts of Africa) it is considered to be very impolite and dirty to offer your left hand. This is because, historically, the left hand was used for certain sanitary activities.
Just keep a note in the back of your mind that if you are going in for a handshake, to touch food, to comfort someone, or even present someone with a gift, don’t use your left hand! No need to accidentally offend any locals with something as simple as a left hand.