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Thread: Cultural confusion.. Vice versa..

  1. #1
    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    Cultural confusion.. Vice versa..

    We often have things we find inconsiderate when in another culture.. But it really does come down to just expectations..

    Bangkok Post article

    The Royal Thai Embassy in Tokyo has posted online a guide to proper manner for Thai tourists visiting Japan.

    The embassy said on its Facebook page that social media contained reports about inappropriate behaviour by Thai tourists. However, some of those people may not have understood why their actions were deemed unsuitable or strange to the Japanese, who place a high premium on polite manners.

    The embassy suggested that, when in doubt, the best rule to follow was to observe and mimic local customs.

    The embassy said that its tips were aimed at educating Thai tourists about practices in Japanese society so they could avoid pitfalls. But the embassy stressed that it wouldn't take a stand on which society was more polite.

    The embassy's 10 guidelines to follow are:

    1. Stand on the left of an escalator or walk on the right side in case of hurry. However, in some regions such as Kansai, the left side is for walking. Japanese people also clearly divides walking lane on the footpath.

    2. Refrain from using mobile phone while using public transportation, such as buses and trains, and the cell phone should be put on vibrate mode.

    3. Queuing is normal in Japan as service is provided on first-come, first-served basis, whether it is for public buses, toilets, buying food or other items. There will be no jump queue for either minors or the elderly.

    4. When using an elevator, the first person gets into the lift will hold the button to open the door for other passengers and being the last person leaving.

    5. Place money into a provided tray when paying for goods at a shop, as it will help reduce confusion on payment. Cashiers will also give change on the same tray.

    6. When wanting to get some service at a shop, Thai tourists should wait for an assistant to come to them, instead of calling those who may in the middle of providing service to other customers.

    7. Thai tourists should refrain from speaking in a loud voice in the public as the Japanese highly respect privacy and they think that public space is the common area used by all people. Therefore, train stations during morning and evening rush hours will be relatively quiet.

    8. Separate garbage and recyclables and put them in the appropriate bin. Normally, there are no garbage bins on sidewalks, except in front of convenience stores and train stations.

    9. Drive with consideration to pedestrians. Drivers must stop at zebra crossings and wait for all to cross the road with patience without honking the horn.

    10. Do not use own chopsticks to pick food for other persons. Receive food send by the other by using the plate, not the chopsticks.

    The embassy ended its guide by noting that Thai tourists should not worry too much about these manners, but as a visitor to foreign country, the humble personality of Thai people and their ability to observe behaviours in surrounding people will help them travel and have fun during their trip.
    Not sure how I feel about that.. as I think some are cultural.. Coins to a tray.. But others are simple consideration of others, staying out the way on an escalator.. Not shoving into a lift before others can exit..

    I had one the other day.. Limping around at the hospital.. Theres a chair maybe 5m from the elevator.. I am in pain, so sit down.. The lift comes, I stand up, a bunch of people get on.. I am limping closer, on crutches.. All 5 faces staring straight at me trying to get there.. I shout in Thai 'hold the door' (well 'open the door' as I dont know hold) and all 5 people just passively watched me get to within 10 ft of the door, as it closed, and they went off to another floor.. Not one of them thought, in a hospital, to just hold the door for one second, when all 5 saw me clearly struggling, in pain, trying to make it there..

    Fairly blew my mind. I guess thats cultural ?? Seems also self absorbed and lacking decency but either way it is what it is..

  2. #2
    Senior Member marc26's Avatar
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    On another note.........AO told me she heard Japan is going to revoke Thai's visa free status that they just recently got.
    She said there has been too many overstays and violations by Thais

    On cultural traits:
    I do believe that you should try and follow their traits as much as you can but as a tourist it is pretty hard to know them. Just be polite, not loud and people shouldn't get their noses bent.

    One I heard in my research for Japan.
    They say it I rude to walk and eat(which I actually don't like to do and hate seeing someone walking toward me with their mouth open taking a bite)
    But how locals think that tourists should know that is a bit much

  3. #3
    Senior Member Waharoa's Avatar
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    Blowing your nose into a hanky, in public in South Korea. Wouldn't have known not to do that unless told.

    Not holding the elevator door just seems selfish. But maybe fits in with the me-first culture? Do Thais wait for anyone?

  4. #4
    Senior Member kris-one's Avatar
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    Japanese have a hard on about biz cards too. We had some over at our company and were told to make sure you take it with both hands and read it carefully. Don't just take it and fling it on your desk or straight into the back pocket... or in the bin 555




  5. #5
    Senior Member marc26's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kris-one View Post
    Japanese have a hard on about biz cards too. We had some over at our company and were told to make sure you take it with both hands and read it carefully. Don't just take it and fling it on your desk or straight into the back pocket... or in the bin 555
    Although peculiar, those are people you are doing business with, you should be expected to know their customs

    But as a tourist, I think a small understanding and being polite is enough

  6. #6
    Senior Member WarProfiteer's Avatar
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    Why the focus on the Japanese? From what I can tell it's the Chinese who need some serious coaching on how to act...
    TLandHim and Dkdude like this.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    ^^ This was for Thais going to Japan..

    I just used it to emphasize the issue that it cuts both ways.. They are as mystified that they should stand to one side on an escalator as I am mystified they dont perceive they are in the way..

    And I admit.. The elevator door thing was me having a vent.. Properly blew my mind that in a hospital that 5 people not one held the door for a person struggling on crutches. With me even asking them to, in Thai.

  8. #8
    Senior Member soupdragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LivinLOS View Post
    And I admit.. The elevator door thing was me having a vent.. Properly blew my mind that in a hospital that 5 people not one held the door for a person struggling on crutches. With me even asking them to, in Thai.
    Could that be a 'face' thing, with all five recognizing it was the right thing to do but expecting one of the others to do it ?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by LivinLOS View Post
    We often have things we find inconsiderate when in another culture.. But it really does come down to just expectations..

    Bangkok Post article



    Not sure how I feel about that.. as I think some are cultural.. Coins to a tray.. But others are simple consideration of others, staying out the way on an escalator.. Not shoving into a lift before others can exit..

    I had one the other day.. Limping around at the hospital.. Theres a chair maybe 5m from the elevator.. I am in pain, so sit down.. The lift comes, I stand up, a bunch of people get on.. I am limping closer, on crutches.. All 5 faces staring straight at me trying to get there.. I shout in Thai 'hold the door' (well 'open the door' as I dont know hold) and all 5 people just passively watched me get to within 10 ft of the door, as it closed, and they went off to another floor.. Not one of them thought, in a hospital, to just hold the door for one second, when all 5 saw me clearly struggling, in pain, trying to make it there..

    Fairly blew my mind. I guess thats cultural ?? Seems also self absorbed and lacking decency but either way it is what it is..
    They were probably saying....fucking farang when the lift was gone5555.
    Agree most of it is common decency. I guess some Thais need it as they lack it.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by WarProfiteer View Post
    Why the focus on the Japanese? From what I can tell it's the Chinese who need some serious coaching on how to act...
    Wouldn't be a short list either:

    1 Hawking big grollies out the back of your throat is pretty gross; save that shit for the bedroom!

    2 Weirdly, other cultures have this concept of 'waiting your turn'; give it a try whilst abroad!

    3 Making a noise like a hog at a trough whilst eating is often seen as bad form. Try eating with your mouth closed, you may even get to like it.

    4 Similarly, spitting bones all over the dinner table can make those touchy foreigners a bit queezy. How about not putting stuff you can't swallow in your mouth?



    Edit: I will be back to add more, dinner time here and I don't want Chinese table manners in my head.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waharoa View Post
    Blowing your nose into a hanky, in public in South Korea. Wouldn't have known not to do that unless told.
    So what is the correct way of dealing with South Korean snotty noses?? Let 'em run?

  12. #12
    Senior Member Pablo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve@thaib View Post
    So what is the correct way of dealing with South Korean snotty noses?? Let 'em run?
    The widely accepted method is to block one nostril with a forefinger and blow the snot out onto the ground...then do the same with the other nostril. (sometimes called a "snot rocket")

    As this video shows, it's a good idea to lean your head forward when utilizing this method. to avoid missing the ground.


    Last edited by Pablo; 6th February 2015 at 02:04.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member Waharoa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve@thaib View Post
    So what is the correct way of dealing with South Korean snotty noses?? Let 'em run?
    Go somewhere private and blow your nose.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Waharoa View Post
    Go somewhere private and blow your nose.
    Seriously? Who knew having a cold could be bad form? Good job I don't travel so much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pablo View Post
    The widely accepted method is to block one nostril with a forefinger and blow the snot out onto the ground...then do the same with the other nostril. (sometimes called a "snot rocket")

    As this video shows, it's a good idea to lean your head forward when utilizing this method. to avoid missing the ground.
    I will pass on the video, thanks for the insight tho

  16. #16
    Senior Member Waharoa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve@thaib View Post
    Seriously? Who knew having a cold could be bad form? Good job I don't travel so much.
    I only know this because my sister lived there for 6 months and found out the hard way... she was pretty gobsmacked at first, but said by the end of her 6 months living there she found it strange seeing people blowing their nose back home... 55

  17. #17
    Senior Member Pablo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve@thaib View Post
    I will pass on the video, thanks for the insight tho
    5555555555!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pablo View Post
    5555555555!
    Tried the 'snot rocket' on the golf course this afternoon, not many South Koreans playing Fleetwood I can tell you...
    Waharoa and WarProfiteer like this.

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