7 of the most Bizarre Asian cultural habits

Posted on March 22, 2009 by

It all started when Alberto began asking me questions, on why Asians always eat with our mouths full, or why we never bother asking ‘how are you?’. I was always intrigued by how he saw us as Asians. Even as a foreigner who’s been throttling in and out of Asia for the past 5 years, he is still amazed by the stark differences and just how odd some of our behavior would be deemed in the western world. This article is basically inspired by him, to showcase some of our most Bizarre cultural habits.

Japanese slurping noodles

Anyone who’s been to China would have seen the locals spitting openly on the streets, or even indoors in nice restaurants. It’s quite a hideous sight, and you just can’t stop wondering why they incessantly do that.


In many Asian countries, it is typical for people to grow long fingernails, especially on their small pinkie. Wanna know why? Read my article here.

And from Japan to India, it is a standard practice to remove shoes at home in most of the Asian countries. Again, there are always some cultural beliefs that lead to such practices.


From the Japanese’ habit of slurping noodles loudly, to the Chinese’s spitting habit along the streets, I bring you on a journey through the weird and bizarre Asian customs that might just make you feel, tad bit, odd.

Read my full article on the 7 most Bizarre Asian Cultural Habits here.

Additional photo credits:
Noodle slurping: Wootang01 on Flickr , Removing shoes: Amirjina, No Spitting.


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About Nellie Huang

Nellie Huang is a professional travel writer and blogger with a special interest in off-grid destinations and adventure travel. Her mission is to visit every country in the world. In her quest, she's climbed an active volcano in Iceland, swam with sealions in the Galapagos, built a school in Tanzania, waddled with penguins in Antarctica, crossed into North Korea and drank beer in Palestine.

10 Responses to “7 of the most Bizarre Asian cultural habits”

  1. ian January 3, 2010 1:20 pm

    I wonder why the chinese likes to spit. I'm chinese living abroad, but don't like to spit

  2. Migration Mark January 10, 2010 5:15 pm

    I am 1/2 Chinese American and I have an addiction to spitting, but I like to think of it as a better addiction than smoking. Great post about some interesting habits!

  3. Nellie January 17, 2010 7:59 pm

    Thanks Mark for the kind words! It's quite an interesting habit, especially from the perspective of foreigners.

  4. Thailand Breeze March 31, 2010 11:13 am

    Being in a different culture can be both interesting and frustrating.

    By observing without adding any judgments and opinions, I learn accept foreign values and beliefs the way they are. Anyway, in any place that's international, I believe that international standard should be applied.

  5. Ariel May 31, 2010 5:18 am

    Fantastic interpretation of some of Asians different habits. I have been fortunate to live in Asia for some years and this is fact. What does annoy me is that foreigners do tend to have a view that this is disgusting. When it is just another way of behaving. Well done.

    • admin May 31, 2010 4:39 pm

      I second that! Most people tend to look at it as disgusting, especially if they don’t have much contact with the locals. While these habits are bizarre, they’re part of the Asian culture and are just a different way of being. Thanks for point that out.

  6. Mathieu May 10, 2011 4:10 pm

    I’d have to agree that some Asians really have some bizarre habits. And most of those mentioned here can be found in mainland China. If you ever visit those cities, check out their signboards in English, they are atrociously hilarious.


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