Difference between revisions of "Respect"
Revision as of 00:22, 18 May 2009
This article is a travel topic
Travellers usually wish to respect the people, culture and environment they are visiting. There are some general guidelines that help to show respect at most destinations. The general rules of respect mentioned here do not need to be repeated in the destination guides.
Many people are happy to talk about politics and religion and their viewpoints. But these topics must always be approached carefully. Many people just think it easier to avoid these subjects altogether.
Some people in all cultures find swearing offensive, and it usually varies between people at a destination. Sometimes it differs by region, sometimes by gender. Take your cues from the individuals you are talking to at the time, or simply don't swear to avoid the possibility of offence.
Racial jokes, jokes in bad taste, or about disasters or terrorist attacks are best avoided. You can often hear locals making jokes of this genre, but somehow the jokes aren't quite as funny and can be offensive when told be a visitor.
Some criticism of local government and other local institutions is common at most destinations. However, when this criticism comes from a visitor there is always the risk that the same criticism will be taken personally. Offence can occur even if all the visitor does is agree with the criticisms made by a resident.
Symbols of a country, such as the flag or head-of-state, or even the captain of the local sporting team, can be legitimate subject of discussion and derision for locals, but can cause offence if similar comments are made by a visitor.
Areas often have local sensitivities, due to historical conflicts, local rivalries. It can be insulting to refer to a smaller neighbouring independent country or region as part of a neighbouring one, best to be aware, and be accurate. Some regions have disputed territories, and even if the governments have reached agreement, people can have strong opinions.
Sacred places include constructed religious sites, cemeteries, tombs and memorials, and land significant to indigenous culture. Some of these sites are interesting destinations for travellers.
Access to some of these sacred places can be restricted entirely, or even restricted to people of a certain religion or gender, and these restrictions should be observed.
Conservative dress is usually appropriate. Hushed voices, or even silence while visiting. Appropriately acknowledging shrines or religious symbols.