12 Surprising Customs From Around The World


Customs and traditions are what makes a culture so rich and vibrant and allow it to live on for generations to come but, as you travel the world, there are certain aspects of different cultures that either don’t translate into your own or that you may have never seen before. It is these variations in the human experience that makes as all so different and yet the same in our differences.

Here we look at a few customs that aren’t often found outside of their own cultures.

1. Pointing With Lips – Nicaragua

The Central American country may be a small one but its culture is as wide and as varied as any other and one of the unique things about it is that those in conversation will often point to something going on nearby by using their lips as a directional tool as opposed their fingers or thumb. Puckering up, people will then shift their lips up, down or side to side to signal the event in question.

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Not really used for giving directions, it is predominantly to draw attention to things close to hand but it still something rarely seen outside the isthmus although it has been noted in Colombian, Dominican and Native American communities as well.

2. Throwing Toilet Paper Away – Latin American

Whilst most developed countries are used to flushing away any matter after using the restroom facilities, in parts of Latin America it is not uncommon to find a bin next to the toilet for any used loo roll. This is because the plumbing systems in place are rarely capable of dealing with breaking down the paper down and it can cause septic blockages.


This practice is also found in certain European countries such as Greece or Turkey due to the same issues with the ancient plumbing systems.