5 Cultural “Faux-Pas” Things to Avoid When Relocating

In each country, with each culture, there are different social faux-pas. In Canada, it is considered rude to bump into someone and not apologize. Here are some things you should not do, when relocating abroad.

5. Armenia

Don’t: Empty the rest of a bottle of wine into someone else’s glass.

Why: In this culture, whoever finishes the bottle of wine, buys the next bottle. Therefore, if you empty the bottle into someone else’s glass, it suggests that they should buy the next bottle, which is considered extremely rude.


4. Egypt

Don’t: Add salt to your meal.

Why: By adding salt to your meal, you are implying that the food is not perfect or that it needs extra salt to be edible. This is a great insult to the chef.



3. Russia

 Don’t: Refuse a shot of Vodka.

Why: In Russia, offering a shot of Vodka is the equivalent to offering a handshake. Therefore, the refusal of the former is just as offensive as the refusal of the latter.




2. France

Don’t: Give someone an OK sign.

Why: This gesture of placing your index finger and thumb together to make a circle does not mean OK in France. Instead it signifies to the individual that you believe they are worthless.




1. Iran

Don’t: Give someone a thumbs-up.

Why: In Iran, this gesture is equivalent to the North American “middle finger” and is therefore very insulting.

Always be mindful of the culture of the countries you visit or plan to relocate to. If you are relocating to a different country, TransferEASE can help. At TransferEASE our knowledgeable relocation experts can help guide you, or your relocating employees, from start to finish and will disclose all social faux-pas present at the destination. This way you can avoid serving 10 years in jail for insulting the King in Thailand.  Call us today to speak to a representative.