Faces of the world and the many different cultures
Below are two photo gallery sliders: Faces of Africa and Faces of the rest of the world.
In the 45 years we have been travelling around the world to-date ( Permanent in our Motorhome since 2004) we have met so many different people, cultures and people with complete different habits, custom, laws, dress, social standards, religious beliefs, traditions and architectural style.
The population of the world is incredible diverse and made up of tribes, people of many social and ethnic groups, some are just a few thousand and in some cases a lot less, while others consist of millions of people. Each group has its own language and culture.
We have communities, this can be neighbourhoods, national communities or even international communities
People this could be Dutch, Germans, Indians, Australians,Pakistani, Jews, Muslims or any other nationality or religion.
Ethnic Groups, this are groups who share cultural heritage, ancestry, origin, history or dialects
Funny habits to us living in Australia
- Toilet paper in the bin next to the toilet: We toss the toilet paper into the toilet and flush . In some other countries (South America, Asia and Africa) this is not the case and toilet paper is placed in the trash can next to the toilet. Main reason as we understand it is that this way it does not block the pipes to the septic
- Leisure day at the cemetery (Denmark): In Denmark they use the cemetery to socialize on nice sunny days
- September 12th day in Russia (Day of Conception)This is a public holiday in Russia to allow couples to have sex hoping it will result in pregnancy. If your baby is born exactly nine months later, you even can win a prize.
- Burping and Slurping: We taught from a very young age not to burp or slurp at the table while eating. In China these sounds are considered compliments to the host. The slurping sound while eating soup or noodles is a compliment to the chef and burping after the meal means the meal was very good.
- Tipping (USA): Many countries do not tip at all or just a small amount due to the high wages being paid. the USA is rather mandatory in most restaurants to tip up to 20% as legal wages are very low and wait/bar staff relies on the tip. The upside of the low wages and tipping culture are lower restaurant prices for the consumer and it gives a great incentive to the wait and bar staff to give great service.
- Kissing: Every culture has its own rituals. In South America you kiss new friends and loved ones on the cheek, the Dutch give 3 kisses to the people they know. Some cultures do not kiss, others have a strict rule where the son never kisses the father (Dogon people in Mali)
- Spitting on the Bride? (Greece): Not sure if this is still practised today but this was the case in Greece and it as a superstitious measure to ward of evil.
- Pointing your thumb (Malaysia and Indonesia): In most countries this is a sign of well done, In Malaysia and Indonesia this gesture is looked upon as incredible offensive
- Slurping (Japan): In Japan making slurping sounds while eating noodles is a way of telling others you are really enjoying them, some believe it even increases the noodle flavour?
- Greeting in Nigeria (Yoruba people): When greeting an adult, the youths must drop to their knees (woman) and men lie prostrate. This is a sign of respect for the elders.
- Using your left hand: In Islamic countries and for those who do not use toilet paper using your left hand for eating is considered rude and insulting. This is because they are using the left hand for cleaning themselves after using the toilet. This rule also applies in India. To play it safe always greet and touch things with your right hand.
- Greetings in the Dogon area (Mali):
I am unable to remember the exact reasons and length of the greeting but Ogo who took us to his family in the Dogon did explain. Below I copied from another site
A typical exchange goes something like this:
YOU Ohh seh-weh mah (How are you)
Response She-weh ( I am well)
YOU Ohh mara she-weh mah (how is your family)
Response She Wey (they are well)
YOU Ohh she-weh dege-mah (How was your day)
Response She weh (good thanks)
YOU Ohh mara she dege-mah (How was your family’s day)
Response She Weh (good thanks)
Often this greeting goes on so long that you end up shouting at the person you’re greeting, who’s now a kilometre behind you, a dot fading into the distance yelling ‘Seh-weh‘ in answer.