VisitBritain.org Knows How to Make You Foreigners Comfortable

Britain’s tourism agency, VisitBritain, has come through with a list of handy stereo… I mean, tips, on how to handle the strange  foreign visitors that may stumble onto the shores of Airstrip One.  Choice cuts:

Do not be alarmed if South Africans announce that they were held up by robots.
To a South African the word robot means traffic lights. ‘’Takkies’’ means trainers, a barbecue is a ‘braai’, and ‘’howzit’’ is an informal way of saying hello. When in a social situation with a South African do not place your thumb between your forefinger and your second finger – it is an obscene gesture.

Avoid physical contact when first meeting someone from India.

Avoid saying ‘’thank you’’ to a Chinese compliment.
Instead, politely deny a compliment to show humility. If you compliment a Chinese person, expect a denial in reply. The Chinese are famous for communicating by “Saying it without saying it.” You will have to learn to read between the lines. Use only black and white materials for presentations, as colours have significant meanings in Chinese culture.

Never imply Poles drink excessively.
Despite stereotypes, Poles are not large consumers of alcohol and excessive drinking is frowned upon.

What, no “Americans are heavily armed at all times”?  Nothing about the Germans having a strip of LEDs running down their shinbone?  What are we learning here, really?

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