What is normal, anyway? Just think about it: in some countries, women are supposed to cover themselves from head to toe. In others, bikinis are pretty sufficient. And baskets? People carry them in their arms or on the head. Very rarely is there one right way to do anything. It's all relative.

Recently, we at Bored Panda stumbled upon two posts on Reddit by u/ojlol2 and u/monitonik that essentially ask the same thing: what's typical and common in your country but is considered weird in others?

To say they went viral would be an understatement. As of this article, the two questions have received a combined total of 53,000 comments, including plenty of eye-opening answers that are bound to expand your understanding of the world. Here are the ones that interested us the most.

#1

30 Peculiar Things That Seem Normal In Some Countries, But Not In The Rest Of The World Everyone rags on the US for using imperial, but can we talk for a second about how weird we are here in the UK for using both inconsistently?

You buy a pint of milk or beer, but a litre of coke and 25ml of whiskey

People know how many miles to the gallon their cars get, but you buy fuel at pence per litre.

You watch the weather forecast and the temperature is in Celsius but the wind speed is in miles per hour

Most people can tell you their weight in kilograms, and their height in feet, and if they can't give you kilograms they can probably give you stone instead, which is even older than pounds, which nobody uses as a unit of measurement, probably because of the confusion between lbs and £...

It's a glorious mess.

Koras , Charlotte May Report

Roxy Eastland
Community Member
1 month ago

It is a glorious mess, and I love how well we do it. When I'm buying meat or fruit and veg by weight I ask for the amount that's less words to say. If I want a certain amount I'll ask for 'a pound' because it's less effort to say than 'five hundred grammes' but if I want twice as much I'll ask for 'a kilo' because it's less effort to think about than 'two pounds'.

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One of the people who kick-started this discussion, u/monitonik, is known in real life as Monika Mazunaite, and she got interested in the topic when she was simply sitting in her room, browsing YouTube. "I was looking for something to watch and ended up scrolling through YouTube shorts, finding myself in a r/AskReddit wormhole, listening to different questions and answers," Monika told Bored Panda.

"Eventually, I got inspiration from other Redditors' questions, and the question I posted popped into my head randomly. My brain generated it in an instant and I didn't think it would get as much attention as it did. So I'm very happy with everyone's input!"

After going through the answers, she learned that people from all over the world have so many different traditions, they often don't even realize how unique their cultures are. "It was all really interesting. I think that countries in Asia and in Oceania have the most unique customs, such as going to the shops barefoot!"

#2

30 Peculiar Things That Seem Normal In Some Countries, But Not In The Rest Of The World Eating with our hands.

In 1969 (the same year the man landed on the moon), Miss Gloria Diaz coveted the Philippines' first Miss Universe Crown. During the preliminary Q&A, she was asked "Is it true that you Filipinos use your hand when you eat?" To which she replied "Why? Do you use your feet?" and went her way to winning the crown.

NorqMarash , Tim Samuel Report

Roxy Eastland
Community Member
1 month ago

I used to lodge with a Bangladeshi family and the elegance with which they could all eat a curry and rice with their hands was inspiring. So neatly done. I make more mess using cutlery (as my jumpers will bear out).

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#3

30 Peculiar Things That Seem Normal In Some Countries, But Not In The Rest Of The World I teach in Japan, but grew up in America. The other day my students asked me wide-eyed if Americans really wear their shoes inside. I told them yes and that sometimes my dad would cross his legs like this while we sat on the sofa and I could touch the bottom of his shoes. They were super grossed out. “Eew, why would you wear shoes inside! That’s so dirty!” These kids are 2nd graders so it starts pretty young.

coffeecatmint , cottonbro Report

Abhinc
Community Member
1 month ago

that IS gross indeed

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However, there are concerns that the efficiency and appeal of wireless communications, electronic commerce, popular culture, and international travel — globalization — have been making the human experience essentially the same wherever you look at it. But although homogenizing influences do exist, this is probably an overstatement and we're far, far away from creating anything akin to a single world culture.

What we do see is the emergence of global subcultures. Arguments have been put forth that a rudimentary version of world culture is taking shape among certain individuals who share similar values, aspirations, or lifestyles. The result, according to these comments, is a collection of elite groups whose unifying ideals transcend geographical limitations.

According to The Clash of Civilizations (1998) by political scientist Samuel Huntington, the "Davos" culture is a perfect example of this phenomenon. It comprises of an elite group of highly educated people who operate in the rarefied domains of international finance, media, and diplomacy, and these insiders share common beliefs about individualism, democracy, and market economics. They are said to follow a recognizable lifestyle, are instantly identifiable anywhere in the world, and feel more comfortable in each other's presence than they are among their less sophisticated compatriots.

But supporters of globalization argue that it has the potential to make this world a better place to live in and solve some of the deep-seated problems like unemployment and poverty. I wonder, can we have the best of both worlds?

#4

30 Peculiar Things That Seem Normal In Some Countries, But Not In The Rest Of The World Scottish here. We deep-fry our pizzas. No even sorry. Tasty wee bastards.

MustardTigerPOW , Wikimedia.Commons Report

Daria B
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

The Italian side of my ethnicity feels sorry for that poor tortured pizza. u.u (Jokes aside, it might even taste good, but I don't think my stomach would survive this)

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#5

30 Peculiar Things That Seem Normal In Some Countries, But Not In The Rest Of The World United States.
The cracks that are just wide enough to be able to see in and out of public restroom stalls. I’ve heard it’s thought of as weird since many other countries enjoy the luxury of privacy.

B1yPhon3 , 36021787982 Report

Vicious Insect
Community Member
1 month ago

Yikes

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#6

30 Peculiar Things That Seem Normal In Some Countries, But Not In The Rest Of The World Norway.
Leaving your baby alone outside for their nap, even if it rains or snows.

e_ph , Marcin Jozwiak Report

btaglln
Community Member
1 month ago

That's how they grow cold-resistant ?

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#7

30 Peculiar Things That Seem Normal In Some Countries, But Not In The Rest Of The World US.
Taxes. We have this weird system where the government really kind of knows what we should pay, but they offer us an opportunity to guess and maybe pay the right thing, but if we don't pay the right thing, we get penalized. I remember listening to a podcast where people all over the world were super confused about how the US does taxes. Most other places the government sends you a bill, and you pay it, and you're done.

seanzorio , Karolina Grabowska Report

Q B F T
Community Member
1 month ago

I worked in the UK for a time. Tax was automatically taken from the monthly wage payment. Say what you want about that country, but that bit seemed pretty well put together.

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#8

30 Peculiar Things That Seem Normal In Some Countries, But Not In The Rest Of The World India.
We have matrimonial ads in newspapers and sites to find grooms and brides which I think don't happen in western countries and they find it strange. The ads are mostly published by parents. It's like tinder supervised by parents.

boss_bj , Roman Kraft Report

Sapna Sarfare
Community Member
1 month ago

They are the best source for amusement. The demands are amazing and quite specific.

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#9

30 Peculiar Things That Seem Normal In Some Countries, But Not In The Rest Of The World Direct democracy in Switzerland. It often baffles me when I read what the government can pull off in other countries without ever involving the population. Like...yea, you get to elect representatives but it often seems to me that those people then elect someone who elects someone who elects someone...is it really still democracy if you're about five steps removed from the actual decisions?

SyrusDrake , Edmond Dantès Report

Abhinc
Community Member
1 month ago

some countries can end up with the man who had less votes than his opponent as a president ... kinda weird indeed

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#10

30 Peculiar Things That Seem Normal In Some Countries, But Not In The Rest Of The World UK.
Whole restaurants cheering when a plate or glass is smashed. Once was in a Canadian bar/restaurant on holiday and a waiter dropped a tray of glasses, the local looked horrified when i was out of my seat screaming “wheyyyyyy”

owen-sksk , cottonbro Report

Foxxy (The Original)
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

We yell "Taxi" when that happens. It's a joke insinuating that someone has knocked a glass over coz they have drank too much so they need a taxi to get home.

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#11

30 Peculiar Things That Seem Normal In Some Countries, But Not In The Rest Of The World Poland.
In my friend's country, Easter is when gangs of boys roam the countryside, pouring water over girls and beating them (gently) with sticks. The girls then have to thank them for it.

I thought that was pretty weird.

himit , Wikimedia.Commons Report

Paweł Wojtaszko
Community Member
1 month ago

Pole here. It's a tradition that symbolises washing off dirt, diseases and sins at the end of winter time, when spring comes around. Nowadays, the tradition is mostly gone, and instead pouring water on girls, they are sprinkled with perfume.

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#12

30 Peculiar Things That Seem Normal In Some Countries, But Not In The Rest Of The World Moldova.
A short while ago they stopped selling alcohol after 10pm. At some stores you couldn't even get non-alcoholic beer. What's weird tho is that wine is not considered alcoholic drink so you can buy it anytime. Welcome to Moldova

SergiuNegara , Breakingpic Report

Scagsy
Community Member
1 month ago

And in Iceland alcohol was banned between 1915 and 1989. Apparently all the elves were getting rowdy and boisterous when they'd had a drink. And that just had to stop.

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#13

30 Peculiar Things That Seem Normal In Some Countries, But Not In The Rest Of The World There's this sport in Finland called eukonkanto, where men participate in running a specific distance, all while carrying their wife or girlfriend. Winner gets their woman's weight in beer.

VenenoG , Steve Jurvetson Report

Vicious Insect
Community Member
1 month ago

Don't forget nokia phone throwing and swamp football (or soccer)

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#14

30 Peculiar Things That Seem Normal In Some Countries, But Not In The Rest Of The World South Africa.
Being middle-class with a property having a 6' wall, electric fencing linked to an alarm, automated gate and garage doors (with security clamps over the gate motor to prevent theft of the motor), security gates over every door, burglar bars, and a house alarm system with infra-red sensors linked to armed response with a reaction time of under 3-4 minutes.

Claidheamhmor , https://www.pexels.com/photo/silver-security-camera-207574/ Report

Attila Ángyán
Community Member
1 month ago

Thats just sad

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#15

30 Peculiar Things That Seem Normal In Some Countries, But Not In The Rest Of The World Germany.
Legal drinking age of beer and wine is 16

Pablomablo1 , BENCE BOROS Report

btaglln
Community Member
1 month ago

Same in Belgium

Piet Puk
Community Member
1 month ago

Holland has joined the chat. Proost!

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Nugua Nugua
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

Sorry, but this is simply wrong. It's not the legal drinking age, it's the age where it's legal for you to BUY beer and wine. It's perfectly legal to drink it earlier, if for example your parents allow you to.

anaona
Community Member
1 month ago

That's not weird at all. What's weird is the puritanical USA making people wait to 21 when you can get a gun and join the army at 18 but you can't have a beer?

RaroaRaroa
Community Member
1 month ago

Not to mention some states still allowing marriage at 14!

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Will Fenton
Community Member
1 month ago

Speaking as a UK teacher, this is a nightmare for managing school trips! We used to do an annual Berlin trip. After a few years of trying to police the kids, I simply gave up and said "I can't stop you drinking, but please note we WILL be leaving the hostel tomorrow at 8am, and you WILL be doing all the day's activities even if you're throwing up in every trash can across Berlin throughout the morning." They learnt their lesson quite quickly.

Anja Schmidt
Community Member
1 month ago

XD nice story! We have been to holland with our teachers and they took us by mistake on a "short cut" through the red light district, a stabbing included XD I personally didn´t like the string bodies of the ladies there XD but after all loved to have stories in the pocket ;-)

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Jo Choto
Community Member
1 month ago

Lots of places allow consumption of some alcohol at 16, and any age at home, at the discretion of parents/guardians.

Kathryn Jackson
Community Member
1 month ago

In the UK you can drink from the age of 5 if it's in your own home.

Delboy
Community Member
1 month ago

only with your parents (guardians) consent, although you can order beer and I believe wine with a meal at 16 in the UK

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Wistiti
Community Member
1 month ago

In France, you can't sell alcohol to minors (under 18).... but that doesn't really stop them from drinking it.

Miss Frankfurter
Community Member
1 month ago

My grandmother was from France. Around 9 years old, you were allowed to have a tiny glass of wine with dinner to sip slowly. Not enough to make you giggle too much. Not dizzy when you stood up. I was raised the same. Before everyone goes nuts, for me when I became of legal age I didn't go overboard about it. Oh gee. Now I can do that in public? Oh. Ok. No big deal. That's the way everyone in my mother's family was raised. My cousins were raised. No one went overboard at legal age. It was no big deal.

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Anja Schmidt
Community Member
1 month ago

Germany: You know what: I think it´s better, to make drug experience before being allowed to drive a car. Kids at the age of 16 have 2 full years in their life to get to know themselves in every direction before reaching officially adulthood at 18. And from the beginning - having a driver´s license - they easily can loose it, when an accident happens to them. There are 2 years sort of test years, where driving beginners have to be so precise in the traffic, otherwise you have to pay a fee as punishment, get "bad points at archive flensburg" and have to take more lessons and another 2 test years start again ... and in adition, people are only allowed to drink a certain amount of alcohol to be still allowed to drive a car. Round about maximum 1 normal beer or 2 beer mixed with sparkling soda.

Daniele Tigli
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

Here in Italy there's no legal age for drinking. it is just illegal to SELL alcohol to anyone under 16.

RoseTheMad
Community Member
1 month ago

Here in the UK you can drink at 16 in a restaurant as long as you're accompanied by an adult, as the adult must purchase it. Pretty weird.

Leo Domitrix
Community Member
1 month ago

Unofficially, same in US, if we're realistic... ;-P

Kathryn Baylis
Community Member
1 month ago

When can you get a driver’s license? In the US it’s 16. Then beer and wine at 18, and alcohol at 21.

Karina Henschel
Community Member
1 month ago

In Germany? Drivers Licence at 18, or now some kind of pre licence when you're 17. I had my wild time with alcohol when I was 15/16, so by the time I could drive I was a perfectly reasonable driver. and on the other hand some people from bigger cities like Berlin do not have a drivers licence at all. Public transport is just too good and parking space not as available as you'd like it

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bonnyatlast
Community Member
1 month ago

And yet all ages drank beer or wine when the Mayflower came over to America. There was no water purification system and water would go stale quickly out at sea. It was used to purify the water. All ages drank it. No problem. I assume it was that way all over Europe.

Thalia Lovering
Community Member
1 month ago

That's not weird.

Tiny Dynamine
Community Member
1 month ago

Isn't it 5 in France? I think that's in the family home, which I now think is similar in other places.

Robert T
Community Member
1 month ago

It's not illegal for children to drink in the family home or even in a restaurant in the UK if it is purchased by an adult. I think the only prerequisite is that it must be to accompany a meal. I used to regularly have a very small glass of wine with my meal from the age of about 8. Not every day mind, but Sunday dinner or a special occasion at a restaurant.

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chi-wei shen
Community Member
1 month ago

If a minor is at a restaurant together with a custodial parent and this parent accepts, the legal age for beer is 14.

ZAPanda
Community Member
1 month ago

which country?

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Stella Southwick
Community Member
1 month ago

But you also can't just leave a job without permission

AnimeObsessedTeenager
Community Member
1 month ago

Same in Scotland

backatya
Community Member
1 month ago

and that's how you get a bunch of drunks in your country.

Nooberton
Community Member
1 month ago

Like it should be

debrina blackmoon
Community Member
1 month ago

Whaaat?

kiwitheparrotlet
Community Member
1 month ago

Moving to germany

HellVetios
Community Member
1 month ago

Switzerland too.

julien
Community Member
1 month ago

same in France

Keerthi Vardhan
Community Member
1 month ago

Damn...I wasted 2 years.

Thomas E S Thomas
Community Member
1 month ago

Sure, but it's Germany. It's cold and wet 9 months out of the year, has cold long nights half the year and doesn't see true night the other half. (Berlin and Calgary are at the same latitude). Traffic is bad because tourists clog the arterials and all the other roads were built almost a century ago. It's not all that great but hey, that's why my ancestors left in the 1800s.

pebs
Community Member
1 month ago

Same in Italy.

Michelle Raun
Community Member
1 month ago

In Denmark you can buy beer and wine in stores but not get served at a restaurant until 18.

Jess Thompson
Community Member
1 month ago

14 if you have a fake ID 😃

Gehtdich Nixan
Community Member
1 month ago

Same in a lot of European countries.

M
Community Member
1 month ago

Isn't that, like...super bad for you?? Your brain only finishes developing at 25!

Logic and Reason
Community Member
1 month ago

It can be harmful, yes.

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Vicky Zar
Community Member
1 month ago

And when your parent is with you and allows it, you may drink it at age 14

Mazer
Community Member
1 month ago

My friends son learned to swallow a entire pint of beer in one swallow when he was in Germany for school.

Helmut Kok
Community Member
1 month ago

16 for beer and wine (under 18%) in Denmark to

SCamp
Community Member
1 month ago

And the driving age is?

Yvonne Dauwalder Balsiger
Community Member
1 month ago

18 pretty much all-over Europe

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Steve Barnett
Community Member
1 month ago

Legal consumption of alcohol in the UK is too, probably.

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#16

30 Peculiar Things That Seem Normal In Some Countries, But Not In The Rest Of The World In Japan, there are public toilets in a few places where after urinating, you can opt to view a general health assessment report.

Family-456 , Buchen WANG Report

MagicalUnicorn
Community Member
1 month ago

now i kinda wanna try that..

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#17

30 Peculiar Things That Seem Normal In Some Countries, But Not In The Rest Of The World Latin America.
Putting broken glass bottles on the walls around your house so burglars cant jump it and rob you. I moved to Canada and they don't even have walls around the houses!

jvcscasio , shep45612 Report

Roxy Eastland
Community Member
1 month ago

This isn't allowed in the UK anymore. While the right wing press like to whinge about burglars having too many human rights, it's basically because anyone might need to, or actually, vault that wall, such as the emergency services or a passerby being a good Samaritan, and it isn't the luxury of anyone to cause that level of injury.

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#18

30 Peculiar Things That Seem Normal In Some Countries, But Not In The Rest Of The World UK.
A teeny tiny nation with atleast 50 different accents.

sereneskys , mentatdgt Report

Kira Okah
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

Um, England alone has over 100 English dialects and several languages that each have their own way of speaking. 50 accents doesn't even cover half of England let alone Scotland, Wales, and NI (who also have multiple dialects and accents themselves).

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#19

30 Peculiar Things That Seem Normal In Some Countries, But Not In The Rest Of The World NZ, going to the shops without shoes

Taneatua , mhrezaa Report

RCK
Community Member
1 month ago

Tricksy shoeless hobbitses.

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#20

30 Peculiar Things That Seem Normal In Some Countries, But Not In The Rest Of The World US.
Cheese in a spray can

lukeyellow , Wikimedia Commons Report

Abhinc
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

as a French man i feel personally offended. you CAN'T call that thing cheese

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#21

30 Peculiar Things That Seem Normal In Some Countries, But Not In The Rest Of The World Canada.
No fences between houses. It's almost considered rude to put up a fence.

tandoori_taco_cat , Snapwire Report

Klara Vodnanska
Community Member
1 month ago

what if you have a dog?

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#22

30 Peculiar Things That Seem Normal In Some Countries, But Not In The Rest Of The World Finland.
Strangers sitting totally naked skin to skin in a steamy room heated to +80 to +100C... and us having competitions on who can last the longest in there.

SinisterCheese , HUUM Report

Roxy Eastland
Community Member
1 month ago

I found the sauna culture really healthy for society when I was in Finland. It is very normal for young children to go into the sauna, for example at the swimming pool, and see naked adults of their sex of all ages, shapes and sizes. Amongst family and friends they are going to be comfortable around naked bodies of all sexes and experience everyone treated all shapes and sizes as perfectly normal and not worthy of comment. People don't care that their significant other was naked in a sauna with other people, and so on. Not saying Finland is perfect or there's no problems, but I found that part of the culture admirable.

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#23

US.
Pharmaceutical commercials

Pharmaceutical commercials Report

Robert T
Community Member
1 month ago

This is a bit vague. If you mean for prescription-only medicines, then USA. If you mean that the TV is full of ads for over-the-counter remedies, then Poland would be very high on that list. And they're not complete without someone in a white coat and a disclaimer that is in such tiny text you can't really read it and usually it is repeated by the world speed-talking champion!

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#24

UK.
Walking all over the countryside along ancient footpaths (as well as bridleways and byways, and a lot of disused railway tracks that have been designated as footpaths). These paths often go across privately owned land; the landowners are required by law to keep the paths clear, and if they put up a fence to provide a gate.

If you're walking with a dog, you're expected to keep it under control around livestock and when the path crosses a road, but otherwise it's just accepted that dogs are going to run around sniffing everything.

BillybobThistleton Report

Robert T
Community Member
1 month ago

I know where this is, but wondering if anyone not from there can actually identify it. It is something called "the right to roam".

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#25

30 Peculiar Things That Seem Normal In Some Countries, But Not In The Rest Of The World China.
Boiled Coca Cola with lemon and ginger.

Duraxyll , Robyn Lee Report

Auntriarch
Community Member
1 month ago

Not only am I going to try it, I'm going to use it to cook a ham

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#26

30 Peculiar Things That Seem Normal In Some Countries, But Not In The Rest Of The World South America.
Having dinner late.
Usually around 9 pm.

sorude27 , Jason Leung Report

eirini
Community Member
1 month ago

Same in Greece. And even later than that.

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#27

30 Peculiar Things That Seem Normal In Some Countries, But Not In The Rest Of The World In university we thump the tables to "applaud" our professors. Instead of actually applauding. Or doing nothing.

During my exchange semester everyone not from Germany was looking at me confused why I did this.

Toffelhunter , Pixabay Report

Pezor Zass
Community Member
1 month ago

why applaud professors?

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#28

30 Peculiar Things That Seem Normal In Some Countries, But Not In The Rest Of The World Saudi Arabia.
Until recently, no women drivers.

eromab , Dids Report

Q B F T
Community Member
1 month ago

And beheadings

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#29

30 Peculiar Things That Seem Normal In Some Countries, But Not In The Rest Of The World Australia.
Putting cable ties, branches, fake eyes etc on helmets, buckets and hats in spring time to scare away the birds. Magpies are vicious bastards

LostBetweenthePages , Wikimedia.Commons Report

Foxxy (The Original)
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

Only 10% of Australian Magpies swoop and for about 6 weeks every year during nesting season. They aren't vicious, they are protecting their chicks. They don't do it just to be assholes. It's not that common for people to put deterrents on their helmets/hats. They are extremely intelligent birds and are good at remembering people's faces. They also have beautiful sing song called carolling. And FYI that magpie pictured is NOT an Australian magpie.

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#30

30 Peculiar Things That Seem Normal In Some Countries, But Not In The Rest Of The World Bavaria.
Drinking beer before 12 o‘clock and seeing it as part of the culture

pflanzensindgeil , Hana Mara Report

Stimpy
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

Typical of Bavarians to consider themselves an independent county (the Texas of Germany, folks)!

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Note: this post originally had 49 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.