Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Wael Hneini
These 5 Laws and Customs May Be Unusual To Tourists
When traveling, it’s a good rule of thumb to respect the culture. While some countries are permissive, others take a more conservative approach to how one should behave. To avoid unnecessary problems, familiarize yourself with what’s culturally acceptable and what isn’t.
The following destinations have laws and customs that some tourists may find strange.
Dubai – No Public Swearing or Shouting Allowed
Visitors to Dubai may be surprised by the conservatism. For all its flashiness, it values modesty and decorum.
Be mindful of your volume. In July, an American tourist was detained in Dubai for screaming in public.
If you slip up by accident, you potentially can risk fines and jail time.
North Korea – No Dissenting Political Opinions
As a totalitarian state, North Korea will not abide dissent. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, keep your opinions about the government to yourself. Anything you say or write that can be construed as a criticism of the current leader can result in severe punishment.
France – Refrain From Small Talk With Strangers and Smiling at Them
If you walk into a shop during the day, it’s customary to say “bonjour” to the shopkeeper, and thank them for any help they provide. However, asking a stranger how they are can be construed as invasive.
Some Americans visiting France get themselves in trouble. Since the U.S. is a melting pot of cultures, smiling and chatting with strangers is almost second nature.
Jamaica – “Soon Come,” Means Anything But Soon
If you like immediacy, you’ll need to put that on the back burner in Jamaica. The pace of life is slower and that won’t change any time soon. In restaurants and other establishments, you should expect to wait longer than you may be used to.
Singapore – Not A Fan of Gum
If you are going to Singapore, leave the Juicyfruit and Big Red at home.
Cleanliness and order are paramount. For a time, there was an issue with people sticking chewed gum under bus seats and in other places. Singapore decided to take decisive action. Advertising or selling gum can be met with steep fines. However, exceptions are made for nicotine and dental gums.