I’ve done some traveling, but I’ve never been anywhere really exotic.
But some of my friends who have traveled to China and India told me that those countries in particular really felt DIFFERENT. And that they experienced legitimate culture shock.
But one of the best parts of traveling is being exposed to things that you’d never see where you live, right?
AskReddit users talked about what is normal in their countries but considered weird everywhere else. Let’s take a look.
1. No shoes, no problem.
“In New Zealand it is normal to be barefoot in public.
In the mall, the supermarket, fast food places etc. It’s even normal for kids to go to primary school barefoot.
It’s recognised this is unusual and has become a point of national pride for some people.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like everyone is doing this, but it’s a noticeable minority and would be seen on a daily basis, even in winter.”
2. Happy birthday!
“We scream when we cut the birthday cake in Venezuela.
It is expected to be a blood-curdling scream, and people laugh at you and ridicule you if it wasn’t loud or scary enough.
Also, our birthday song is like 2 minutes long.”
3. Gotta be Finland.
“We sit fully naked in a wet, hot room with either friends, family or strangers and whip each other with bath brooms (basically birch branches tied together, called “vihta”s).
Simultaneously, we’re often described as stereotypically socially awkward and reserved people.”
4. Breaking for good luck!
“Throwing porcelain, ceramic pots, and other things in front of the bride to be’s house a day or two before the wedding in order to break them into shards.
It is said that these shards bring luck. Anything that breaks can be thrown, except for mirrors, as breaking a mirror brings 7 years of bad luck according to superstition.
Calling people out if they don’t maintain eye contact when clinking glasses. It is said that people who look away will have 7 years of bad s**.”
5. Waste of money.
“I’m Spanish but studied my Bachelor degree in the UK. This is more an anecdote on what is considered “strange” in my country but totally “normal” for me.
After inviting a few Uni friends to my hometown in Spain, a baffled former British friend said it was “really strange that Spanish people drank during lunchtime and dinner just for the pleasure of it rather than to get drunk”.
She thought it was a “waste of money” to drink without actually getting dr**k. She was dead serious.
That was a real cultural turning point for me.”
6. Never thought of that.
“United States here.
Ads for prescription drugs always comes to mind when this gets asked.
No reason Joe Nobody sitting on his couch watching a commercial with some dude playing with his dogs and climbing a mountain should be telling his doctor what to prescribe, whether for herpes or MS.”
7. Don’t talk to me.
“I have no idea if this is common anywhere else, but in Norway talking to anyone in the public (on buses, on streets, etc.) is avoided as much as possible, and we avoid strangers as much as we can.
If we’re on the bus, whenever a new passenger comes in, we pray to God that they don’t sit next to us, because we enjoy our privacy.
We want to sit alone and enjoy music / movie / staring out the window, knowing that the presence of another person is non-existent.”
“In the Philippines, we sometimes point with our lips.
Also we put hotdogs in our Spaghetti, which is also different because ours is a bit sweeter than the traditional spaghetti.”
Americans thought I was messing with them the first time I mentioned it.”
10. I like that!
“We call a traffic light a robot in South Africa.
I really don’t know why.”
11. Taking it seriously.
“If you ever find yourself surrounded by three or more Spaniards and want to start a mini civil war, you only have to ask “With or without onion?”.
You don’t need to specify what; they’ll all know instantly what you’re talking about. In the highly unlikely event that they all were in agreement, there is a follow-up question guaranteed to succeed where the former one failed: “Raw egg, or fully cooked?” (although the degenerates who like their egg raw refer to it as being “juicy” or “Galician”).
You’ll have a massive argument going on in no time!
What can I say, we take potato omelettes very seriously.”
12. I want this!
“Going to the hardware store in Australia and leaving with a sausage sizzle.”
13. Well, how about that?!?!
“In Denmark, if you haven’t gotten married before the age of 25, you’ll get tied to a streetlight and get showered with cinnamon.
It’s common to see big orange spots on the ground around streetlights.
It’s a very old tradition and we don’t actually expect people to get married before 25, but the tradition still goes on.”
“Touching the feet of our elders is very common in India.
I doubt if it’s practiced anywhere else.”
15. Coming and going.
“In the UK, it’s normal for cats to be able to come and go from the house as they please, outside of dense city centers.
Generally, we’d feel sorry for a cat that was always kept inside for being trapped and unable to roam like cats naturally do.
There have been TV shows about domestic cats’ habits and they regularly have a mile wide territory in the suburbs, and five miles or more in the countryside.
This is changing a bit with time and ‘indoor cats’ are slowly becoming more common, particularly with apartment living in densely urban areas, but when I was a kid, an indoor cat was virtually unheard of.”
16. On May 1.
“May the 1st, the young lads will carry a birch tree, that’s adorned with colorful paper and the name of the girl they want to woe, through the city with their friends and put it up at said girls window, and have to defend the tree the night over, for other suitors or opportunists might take it down, otherwise.
The tree stays up for one month. When the guys show up again, to take the tree with them (sadly, nowadays many guys seem to forget this part of the tradition), if the girls likes them, they are repaid with an invitation to dinner and a crate of beer.
The beer is usually seen as a “payment” for friends of the suitor, who helped carrying and defending the tree.”
17. Sounds fun.
“Breaking plates and glasses when someone is dancing or when they’re dr**k and full of joy.
Throwing flowers at singers.”
18. Name the country!
“If you want it not to rain stab the dirt and leave the knife there.
Not in all our country but theres a state where once a year we take out our dead relatives from the grave to clean the bones.
If you make a petition to a saint you can put if upside down for it to be done.
We do not celebrate easter with eggs and bunnies, our grandmas and moms would scold us because “christ is suffering you should be praying” (great grandma used to turn off everything) and if it gets cloudy they’d say something like “by this time Christ d**d” and keep on praying.
We have people at gas stations that fill our tanks for us.
Theres always people on the red lights either making a show or cleaning your windshield.
Our “candy” are actually spicy.”
19. No thanks.
“Leaving the head on a roast chicken.
I live in Vietnam, and the first time I was served roast chicken I had to stare at the half-open eyes on the actual FACE of a chicken while eating it.
20. Sugar overload.
“In America eating extremely sugary deserts for breakfast.
Doughnuts, most cereals, pop tarts, all contain huge amounts of sugar and often little nutrition.
There is literally Oreo cookie cereal kids eat for breakfast.”
21. Time for pork.
“Sacrificing a pig in December to have fresh pork meat for Christmas.
Lots of Romanians from countryside do this, they grow the pig half a year for this.
Authorities implemented some legal interdictions, but the tradition is dying hard.
I remember my grandparents doing this and yes, the meat was excellent, nothing to compare with the one from today stores.”
22. Lights out.
“Having your electricity just gone. Nowhere in thee world do they just shut down electricity for literally no reason, except in Serbia.
I have 2 things that cant go an hour without electricity and every day the turn it off for just about that much. And those are not any machines, nonono, those keep the chickens warm, breeder wet, and pigs warm too.
Last time 3 chickens d**d, this time 5, and if this keeps going I dont think I will be able to continue.”
“In Northern Ireland, renowned drug dealers will get s**t in both knees by organized criminal groups.”
24. Take it outside.
“My Indian/Hindu friend told me that I can’t clip nails inside the house.
It had to be done outside so I had go out onto the balcony.”
“In China, a lot of bathrooms don’t have toilet paper because they don’t want people to steal it.
You have to bring your own.
A lot of toilets are also squatting toilets (no actual seat).”
“Women almost always move in with their in laws after marriage.
60% of the population engages in cousin marriages
Having guards, maids and chefs is something a lot of people have especially middle class households.”
How about where you live?
Fill us in, por favor!
Do it in the comments! Thanks!