Etiquette Rules You May Not Know
Safe to say most tourists aren’t going to crash drones into national parks, or kill swans and destroy 126-year-old statues to get a selfie. If you’re polite and sincere about apologizing for unwitting cultural faux pas, most locals won’t hold it against you. But some rules may not be intuitive.
Japan: Don’t Stick Your Chopsticks
It’s called Tsukitate-bashi and it is incredibly taboo because it’s a funeral ritual.
Other things you shouldn’t do with chopsticks:
- Pass food from one set of chopsticks to another, because of a funeral ritual where family members pass bones of the deceased
- Stab food
- Point at someone
Korea: Be Prepared to Sing at Social Gatherings
At parties, the most honored person sings first and then other people get a turn.
Other social rules:
- No hugging; you greet people by bowing, and the more elder or respected the person is, the deeper the bow.
- Take off your shoes before entering a Korean home. Put them in a closet near the door or just leave them by the entrance.