International Faux Pas

International Faux Pas

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International Faux Pas

Culture refers to customs, social interactions and arts of a particular people, nation or any other social group.There are certain behaviors that are considered inappropriate in some communities and calls for punishment when committed while in others, practicing the same behavior has got no harm. These behaviors are considered inappropriate and uncouthin many cultures but considered appropriate in only one culture (Colleens, 2004). Examples of these behaviors are as follows.

When we consider the behavior of tipping, you find that, it is allowed in U.S.A which is the easiest way of one becoming the least popular person in bars or even in restaurants while according to Japan culture, tipping at restaurants is termed to be a very rude act. Whistling is another behavior in U.S.A is interpreted to mean half a glass of water but in Haiti, this behavior of whistling is happens when one is sitting cross-legged while making a direct eye contact and standing with one’s hands sideways to show that things should never be done near elders.

Showing up in time is a practiced behavior in U.S.A which is generally considered to be bad to keep people waiting especially where the events are scheduled to take place at night or are time-sensitive. According to Argentine culture, showing up on time is discouraged since one would risk finding the host in the process of preparation. Still in America, opening a gift in front of the gift presenter is considered to be alright since it is a sign of great appreciation. This act is the contrary to many Asian countries such as China and India since to them that act is considered as a very poor form which shows that one is greedy and lacks suspense.

According to my cultural setting, if one does these practices which are unacceptable he or she would end up getting in trouble such as being punished. Punishment begins at home and if one does these unacceptable behaviors in front of the parents, he or she would receive some beating or counselling (Michael, 2001). The culture which is most difficult for me to live in because of their faux pas is the one for Japan whereby, you are supposed to wait to be introduced. There traditional and the accepted form of greeting there is bowing and according to them, the deeper you bow the more respect you show. It is true that people from other cultures may find it difficult to adjust into a culture they are not used to since they have grown with values that are different compared to the culture that is new (Maurice, 2002). Therefore these people are allowed to greet those people they meet according to the way they know as they slowly adapt to the new culture.


Colleen, R (2004): Be on Your Best Business Behavior: How to Avoid Social and Professional

Faux Pas. Brown Books Publishers.

Michael, S (2001): On the Self-Regulation of Behavior. Cambridge University Press Publishers.

Maurice, B (2002): Faux Pas. Stanford University Press.