G20: SHAPING AN INTERCONNECTED WORLD (2017 | Issue 2)

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SURVIVAL KIT

Survival Kit

What’s Up, Germany? brings you fascinating cultural quirks from around the world! Enjoy!

ARGENTINA: SALT ALERT!

Argentinians refuse to accept a salt shaker if you pass it by hand, since that means you’ll end up fighting in the near future. So always place the salt on the table.

AUSTRALIA: PIN IT DOWN UNDER

Aussies believe if you see a pin lying around and don’t pick it up, you’ll invite bad luck!

BRAZIL: WHITE THREADS

In Brazil it is considered auspicious to wear white clothes on Fridays.

CANADA: DISH IT OUT!

In the Canadian prairies, if your neighbour brings you a plate of food, make sure to return the empty plate without washing it or you’ll have bad luck!

CHINA: YUMMY TUNES

In China burping at the dinner table is not considered rude. On the contrary, it’s the best compliment you can pay your host!

FRANCE: BREAD UP!

The French believe that placing a loaf of bread upside down on the table will bring poverty and hunger.

GERMANY: PROST TIME

If you don’t look someone in the eye while saying cheers, not only are you being rude, you’ll also have seven years of bad luck in bed, say the Germans!

INDIA: ACHTUNG SHOE!

Indians think that if one of your shoes is lying upside down on the floor, there will be a misunderstanding with someone. If you find one shoe on top of the other, that means you’ll travel soon!

INDONESIA: RUDE CUE

While in Indonesia, never use your index finger to gesture or point at something. Using your right thumb or palm is the right thing to do.

ITALY: GO THIRTEEN!

Italians love the number 13! It is associated with the goddess of fertility and is thought to bring prosperity and abundance. But the number 17 invites all things bad.

Cultural Quirks

Survival Kit

JAPAN: DEAD SERIOUS!

Writing someone’s name in the colour red is a big no-no. Doing so would mean that they will die soon or that you’d like to see them dead!

MEXICO: TALK IT OUT

While speaking with Mexicans, don’t be shocked if they start telling you all about their nightmares. They believe that nightmares come true if they don’t share them with someone. On
the flip side, good dreams are meant to be kept to oneself!

RUSSIA: SILENT REPOSE

Before leaving for a trip, Russian families usually sit down together quietly for a minute or two to ward off bad luck.

SAUDI ARABIA: BLESS THIS MESS!

Accidentally spilling coffee is considered good luck! It is a blessing for the one who spilt it as well as the place where it was spilt. But if a bottle of olive oil tips over, watch out. That’s bad news!

SOUTH AFRICA: WALK OFF!

South African men are warned against gifting their wives shoes. The belief is, the wife will wear those very shoes and walk out of the man’s life!

SOUTH KOREA: A LEGGY AFFAIR

In Korean culture, legs symbolise wealth and prosperity. So, if you constantly shake your legs, you’re basically shaking away your good fortune.

TURKEY: WATER FOR LUCK

Turks pour a glass of water on the road when someone they love is travelling far from home to ensure that their journey will be smooth and “flow like water”.

UNITED KINGDOM: SHOOING THE DEVIL

The British recommend pushing your spoon through the bottom of an eggshell after you have finished eating your boiled egg to let the devil out!

UNITED STATES: OWL HOWL

According to Native Americans, if someone hears an owl hoot, they’re going to die soon.

“The earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth… Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.”
— Chief Seattle, Native American chief