5 Things to Consider When Traveling to the Middle-East
This guest blog post was curated for Bucky by Clara Decker.
It is quite an undeniable fact that cultural standards usually vary from country to country. When it comes to the Middle-East, the culture is predominantly dominated by Islam. That being said, we need to be conscious of their customs and culture to avoid any unwanted attention and avoid disrespecting the culture of the people around you. Here are some things you should consider while exploring the Middle-East.
The way you dress is the first thing you should consider. You may not give your outfit a second thought while traveling around the United States, but it is important to consider the culture when getting dressed. Wearing shorts and a crop top could fetch some unwanted eyes goggling at you. This goes for both men and women. To be on the safe side, make sure that you are fully dressed whenever you go out.
Don’t say “no” to coffee
In most places, it’s not uncommon to say “no” when offered something you don’t want. However, when in the Middle-East, it is considered as rude to refuse coffee in any store or market. Even though it may not be exactly what you want, be polite and accept coffee when it is offered to you.
Get ready to skip the bacon and alcohol
The Islamic religion forbids both the preparation and consumption of pork. So, if you are a fan of bacon then you have to adjust your taste buds for the duration of the trip. Another absence that you would certainly notice would be the lack of alcohol. Islam has strong rules about the consumption of alcohol. Don’t go looking for a hotel bar. Opt for exploring local markets or seeing the sights.
"Baksheesh" is a common concept
If you are going to fly to any of the Middle-Eastern countries then you will certainly hear the word ‘Baksheesh’ often. It is the equivalent of “tips” in English. It is common for people to ask for tips from people when providing a service.
Of course, you are not required to tip if you are dissatisfied with the service. However, it is widely expected that workers in the hospitality industry like hotel maids, bellhops, restaurant wait staff, valets should be tipped.
Greet people formally
If you are an American, then you might pride yourself on your informality and easygoing attitude. When it comes to visiting Middle-East the scenario shouldn’t be the same. You should address people by their title and last name.
Keep in mind that you are not supposed to call someone by their first name if you are not directly permitted by the person to do so. Also, don’t think that hugs, affectionate slaps on shoulders, high fives will be accepted positively until you know the person really well.
The things mentioned above are definitely not written with an intention to scare you by any means! As long as you are conscious of the culture you are in and try your best to be respectful. So, what are you waiting for? Go book your tickets and explore the gorgeous sights and amazing food the Middle-East has to offer.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Clara Decker is the marketing manager at CouponsMonk.com, a deals and discounts provider company. She is passionate about money savings, investment and children psychology, and relationship. In addition, Clara also supports non-profit agencies that provide healthcare solutions to handicapped and disabled people.