Minding your manners around the world

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Traveling to another country is exciting, adventuresome, and sometimes rude – if you are not familiar with the culture, that is. To help travelers prepare for overseas trips, Nikko Hotels International has gathered etiquette tips from its staff around the world. Below are some lesser-known formalities in various countries.

United Arab Emirates
In the UAE, it is considered rude to show the sole of your foot or shoe when sitting at a gathering.

Mexico
Try not to leave your credit card or tip directly on the table, because this could be seen as rude. Place the card or tip into a bill holder or tip tray and hand it to a server directly.

Germany
Buy local, drink local. Germans prefer beer from their hometowns.

China
In China, loyalty to a business partner is often measured by the size of a gift, but be warned: giving a clock is considered taboo because its pronunciation is the same as the word “end” in Chinese. Also, as is common throughout Asia, it is very important to never do or say anything to cause your Chinese associates to “lose face.” A simple comment such as “you didn’t know that?” can cause someone to sever all relations.

Japan
Demonstrate that you know the proper way to eat Japanese cuisine. When you eat sushi, don’t dip the rice in soy sauce, only the fish portion.

Vietnam
Exchanging business cards follows a strict etiquette that is similar to other Asian countries. Your card must be presented with both hands. Read the card immediately and place it in front of you during the meeting.

Malaysia
It’s important to be aware of certain Malaysian dress formalities. The color yellow is reserved for royalty, so if one is attending a formal dinner with members of the royal family in attendance, it is best to avoid this color.