When I travel, I like to learn about that country’s culture and traditions. For me traveling is more than seeing a place or tasting a meal. It’s about embracing and respecting their culture.
I remember my trip to Dubai. The Emirates rules are based on Islamic tradition. Therefore, women should try to dress in a manner that can’t be seen as provocative, and under no circumstances should one take pictures of Emirati women (it’s considered illegal).
For example, it’s polite always to stand when someone enters a room. Alcohol sales are limited, and most Emirate locals do not drink, so don’t ever get drunk in Dubai. If you do, you are disrespecting their culture, and most likely, you will end up in jail.
I was told not to show affection in public. Even though I was with my husband, we never held hands. While at the hotel in Dubai, I read in the local newspaper about a British couple that kissed while in a taxi, and the taxi driver felt offended and contacted the police. The couple was charged with an “offense to public decency,” and they went to jail for a week and were deported.
When I went to Singapore, I was told not to chew gum (which I love to do). If you do, you will face a steep fine for spitting the chewed gum and leaving it as litter.
The sale of chewing gum in Singapore has been illegal since 1992 (with a few exceptions). The ban remains one of the best-known aspects of life in Singapore, along with the country’s laws against litter, graffiti, jaywalking, spitting, expelling “mucus from the nose,” and urinating anywhere but in a toilet. (Source: www.bbc.com/news/magazine-32090420 )
Don’t let these rules stop you from visiting these beautiful countries. Get prepared and educated before traveling so you can have a pleasant experience and enjoy their way of living.
By Cinthia Kettering