People on Reddit who have traveled to other countries were asked: "What was the biggest 'culture shock' you experienced?" These are some of the best answers.
1. When in Rome...
Originally from India, went to Finland on student exchange. First night there, I'm at a party and everyone is going to a sauna. I'm prepared with my bathing suit and all, and then bam - find myself in a mixed gendered sauna, with all the people I've been hanging out with all evening, butt naked.
Then after 30 minutes of sweating, they all went rolling naked in the snow. Took me a while to deal with it, and finally get my swimsuit off.
2. Just stay still!
In India, they do this head-bob that's part nod, part head shake. After 3 months of living there I still had trouble deciphering it. Sometimes it means yes, sometimes it means no, and sometimes it means "I don't have enough information to give you a reasonable answer at this time."
3. Truly a different world
I'm a current Peace Corps volunteer in Ethiopia and am having a hard time pin-pointing the biggest culture shock I've experienced. However one of the first memories that comes to mind is the first night I spent sleeping in my host family's home. They made me a dinner of white rice with an overwhelming amount of salt (they heard American's like salt) and then all six of them tucked me into bed at 7pm telling me they loved me and were so happy I was there.
That was when I first realized how close families are there and the importance of family time.
4. Moving here ASAP
Went to Italy in 2011 and had no idea that some people just took an hour or two off of work in the afternoon. It dawned on me that those people were living the life.
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