I don’t know about you, but every time someone uses the term ‘taboo’ I question the meaning or whether the scenario or thing mentioned is taboo, to begin with. So to be sure, let’s go through this together, shall we…
Taboo is defined as something that is prohibited or restricted by social custom. So when something is taboo it’s not necessarily illegal, but rather the things people are usually uncomfortable speaking about. In this article, AskReddit users respond to the question, “What is something that is considered taboo in America but normal in other places?” and “Americans: what is a no-no when visiting your country?”
If you’re interested peep the original threads at the end of the article.
Don’t instinctively try to bribe law enforcement. You’ll immediately get arrested versus getting a warning or ticket.
Our Plumbing is great! There is no need to toss your used toilet paper in the trash can.
Sex in movies. Male nudity, in particular, it’s always played for laughs. When it’s in a drama the movie gets slapped NC-17.
Underage drinking is pretty much normal in Italy for younger children. Drinking wine and more traditional alcoholic beverages and what’s considered acceptable in regards to drinking for over 21-year-olds in America (i.e purchasing alcohol and drinking more potent alcoholic beverages) is considered ok starting at your mid-teens in Italy.
When I visited U.S, I was told by my family that people call cats “Cats” not “P*ssy” which means something else. Go figure.
Addressing police officers and judges without honorifics (ex. “Officer”, “Your Honor”).
In America, children running around naked. My nieces are 3 and 4 now and play naked in the garden in summer and at the local public pool where I’m from and nobody cares.
At the pool they usually wear bottoms but not those ridiculous girl bikinis when they basically look like boys on top anyways.
Not tipping. In the USA it’s rude and basically, tip any less than 20% is not done. In most other countries that I have been to 20% is an amazing tip.
Calling people c*nts. The word offends more here than it does in Australia.
Lots of people have told me that the c-word is the worst word they ever heard and lots have been telling me they like it and wish they could say it more without the stigma. I didn’t realize there was that much diversity in opinions on the subject.
Public Breastfeeding. It’s gaining more support but still pretty taboo in most places.
Sex in general. It’s soo taboo and that’s bizarre.
Don’t touch a kid that isn’t your own. Doesn’t matter if they are adorable. Exceptions include lost children and injury. Other than that, if it’s not yours, do not interact.
Americans have a much bigger ‘personal space’ than many other foreign countries. A handshake will suffice when meeting a new friend. A hug will be extremely awkward for them. Engaging in conversation takes place within a 4-foot berth. Standing very close to someone who otherwise considers you a stranger will make them uneasy.
The idea that religion has no place in politics.
TAMPONS! In America, tampons come with applicators, in case you should accidentally touch your own filthy vagina with your own hands. I come from a first world developed country and I’d never seen one before.
Stopping at a red light at an empty intersection, seeing that there is clearly no one around, and then continuing through the intersection without waiting for the light to change.
Leaving your child (especially an infant) unattended in an automobile.
Even if you are only going to be away for a few minutes (and even if there is no apparent danger from the heat that day), it is still considered very seriously by the authorities and you may face criminal charges and be separated from your child during the investigation.
Part of the reason for this is that in most parts of the U.S. for much of the year it is physically dangerous to leave a child in a car due to the car heating from the sun (much more than in much of Europe, for example), and even when that’s not the case, Americans assume that any child left unattended will be immediately kidnapped (this is actually quite unlikely, but we have been taught that it is likely nonetheless).
Asking how much someone weighs.
Universal health care.
Girls asking guys out. I don’t understand why this is so frowned upon, I would honestly love this being a man of low self-confidence.
Sending your 12-year-old daughter to marry a 30-year-old man. Or just arranged marriages in general.
Taking off your shoes when you enter a home.
Dating your cousins.