It is advisable to read about the local culture they intend to explore to avoid cultural ‘gaffes.’ Such information would increase their ability to be at ease with the people they meet and even be comfortable doing certain things both in public and private without the fear of affecting others. Another approach is to talk with people who understand the culture in question. Details that are missing from reading material may be pointed out in a one-to-one conversation. The third suggestion is to be aware of the reactions of people to action. Lastly, it is advisable to watch how people behave in different situations.
Two of the suggestions stand out among the four; being aware and watching the reactions of others towards my character. I will have to alter mycharacter to match that of the hosts. Consequently, evaluating my character is an excellent way to avoid cultural ‘gaffes.’ Another
suggestion is to be open to new experiences. Learning about a new culture might point to the right direction to avoiding complications and issues related to cultural ‘gaffes.’ However, the willingness to be flexible to these new experiences is crucial in ensuring that these ‘gaffes’ are avoided.
One time I visited a friend of the Saudi Arabian descent. I was not aware of the practice of pious men not being allowed to shake hands with women, and some women being allowed only to shake hands with close family members. Therefore, I extended my hand to one of the women in the congregation who hid her hands behind her back instead of shaking my hand. I thought it was rude of her and inquired about the matter. I was informed that I had been socially inappropriate and told about the tradition. Had I been informed about the tradition, the awkward encounter would not have happened.