– VIVE LA DIFFERENCE! –
There are more than 150 countries in the world. Some of them are very big, with millions of people. Others are smaller than some cities, with only a few thousand people. People in different countries have their own customs (i.e. social habits), traditions, languages and beliefs.
There are, of course, very obvious differences. A visitor immediately sees what people look like, the different money they use and the different food they eat.
However, there are some differences you cannot see immediately. You learn about these when you get to know the people of the country well. One difference between different countries is the way people greet their friends.
In France, for example, people kiss one another on both cheeks. In Britain, people usually only kiss close friends and relatives, and only shake hands with people they meet for the first time. There are also a lot of different customs linked with eating.
For instance, in many countries people say something to each other before they start eating, such as ‘Guten Appetit’, but in Britain this is not the custom. In the United States people cut their meat into small pieces before they start to eat, and then they eat only with a fork.
In Germany, it is impolite to cut potatoes with a knife, and in many countries people don’t eat with knives or forks at all. What people do in their spare time in the evening or at the weekend can also be very different.
Sport is an example of this. Cricket is a popular sport in Britain but not in the rest of Europe. People race camels in Saudi Arabia and watch Sumo wrestling in Japan. All these differences between countries make travel interesting.