20 Countries With Eccentric Traditions That Confuse Tourists

Published 6 months ago

In Denmark, it’s fairly common to come across parentless strollers left on pavements with napping babies inside them even in the middle of winter. While this might shock anyone from another country, it’s apparently accepted amongst the locals because everyone in the community looks out for each other. 

One Redditor got curious as to what similar cultural trends are indigenous to a nation and its people which foreigners may be stunned by. Folks responded with their observations on some of these unusual quirks that the locals wouldn’t bat an eye at. Scroll below to read some of these little distinctive oddities that you too may get to see if you travel to those specific countries. 

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#1 Throwing cheese down a hill then running after it

Image source: Seeyouyeah, Dave Farrance

#2 We let cheese melt, throw some schnaps in there and eat it with bread cubes on a long fork. Oh and if your bread falls off the fork you’ll have to do some silly stuff like sing a song or jump naked in the snow…

Image source: Skinnj, Juliano Mendes

#3 In the UK, its definitely how we treat our friends. At uni quite a few people, especially Americans got pissed at me for insulting them. That’s just how we act. Only worry when we’re being polite

Image source: anon

#4 In Canada, we put maple syrup on snow and wait for it to get all gooey then we eat it

Image source: chillphilsonthegrill, Sarah J

#5 The fact gum is illegal here in Singapore may be odd to foreigners, but there’s a reason for that. The reason being people constantly spitting gum onto the ground, sticking it on cars and elevator buttons, making everywhere you went covered in gum. And when the gum dried up, it would become very hard to remove.

Image source: Im_Tsuikyit, Quinn Dombrowski

#6 Colombia: Putting cheese in our hot chocolate. You put in a bit of cheese in the cup, it melts and you take it out with a spoon and eat it with bread. No, it doesn’t make your chocolate taste cheesy, it just melts in a nice way. The first time I did this with foreigners they were completely beside themselves.

Image source: molecularpoet, Quinn Comendant

#7 We have like a whole years worth of child leave here in Sweden and are encouraged to split between the parents, so there is lots of dads at the park with their kids. Heard an American ask what was up with all the ‘mannys’? -_-

Image source: ZaMiLoD

#8 Shabbat elevator service. In Israel, in a lot of places, the elevators are programmed to stop at every floor going up and down, so that the religious people don’t have to push buttons and therefore “operate machinery” on Shabbat. So, if you wanna get to your floor on time, just take the stairs.

Image source: anon, Jason Dent

#9 In Denmark our way of caring for our children baffles a lot of foreginers.
i.e. we find it natural to leave them unattended, they are left in their prams to nap basically everywhere, usually outside no matter what time of the year it is.

Image source: Zrina94, Josh Withers

#10 The friendlier the language the closer you are to a beating, the dirtier the language the more we like you.

Image source: anon, Kampus Production

#11 In Bulgaria we nod for No and shake for Yes. This doesn’t make us an impression but foreigners get really, really confused.

Tip: Listen to what we say, not how we move our head. :)

Image source: EasyDeezy

#12 In the U.S. we have dry counties where stores cannot sell alcohol, but if you drive 4 miles up the road you can buy all the booze you want. Like just sell me my damn booze.

Image source: nightcrawler_5, Paul Sableman

#13 Thanking the bus driver.

Image source: Madra_ruax, Csongor Kemény

#14 Apparently white gravy is a thing that’s not very common outside of southern America…

Image source: kawaiimoesugoidesu, WallyBooger

#15 We burn a Viking galley in January with a +-1000 men with burning torches walking around town all dressed up in anything you can imagine with one main squad dressed up in handmade Viking armour with weapons (diffrent each year), then we burn the boat in the town centre. Then we go to lots of town halls drink and dance for the whole night only to get home in the early hours usually worse for wear.

Image source: alex_sl92, Vicky Brock

#16 Sitting naked and silently in a hot and sweaty room with other people

Image source: Aapelus, Ron Lach

#17

Thirty days of confinement to a room in your house after having a baby and only leaving to go to the doctor.
Not sleeping by your significant other when they are going hunting the next day because you “have power” that will affect the kill.
Not stepping over things while pregnant to prevent the soul from leaving the baby.
Also, never touching meat while on “your time” because the “power” will spoil the meat.
Dancing for four days without water or food in the early summer to help the people…
I am on a reservation in the United States. The US has some 500+ tribes but many have the same beliefs and traditions.
So, there US you have something totally bizarre to you that is completely normal to us

Image source: nativehoneybaby, JÉSHOOTS

#18 We call flip-flops ‘thongs’ and erasers ‘rubbers’.

Image source: imnotavegan, betsy

#19 In Iran it is common to say no out of politeness when offered something. Only if the other person asks again will you say yes. Actually, you might even say no multiple times. Cab drivers will do this too for instance. You ask how much you owe them and they’ll say something along the lines of “oh don’t worry it’s worth nothing” to which you then reply by insisting on paying. Only then will they tell you the price and bla bla bla.

Image source: sunchild21, cottonbro studio

#20 In Singapore, when I go to a foodcourt/coffeeshop/foodhall, I can reserve a table or a seat by placing a packet of tissue/my handkerchief on the spot. No need to leave my bag or bottle or anything else to reserve the spot before I walk over to a food stall to buy food. I come back and my 20cents packet of tissue is still there. Basically, no one will dare steal your spot/tissue or move it away. Pretty convenient eh.

Image source: bluezebra1990, Sergiy Galyonkin

Shanilou Perera

Shanilou has always loved reading and learning about the world we live in. While she enjoys fictional books and stories just as much, since childhood she was especially fascinated by encyclopaedias and strangely enough, self-help books. As a kid, she spent most of her time consuming as much knowledge as she could get her hands on and could always be found at the library. Now, she still enjoys finding out about all the amazing things that surround us in our day-to-day lives and is blessed to be able to write about them to share with the whole world as a profession.

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bizarre, confused foreigners, Culture, foreigners, local traditions, odd, tourists, traditions, travel, weird
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