What cultural faux pas should I try to avoid making in Uruguay?
We asked people in Uruguay if they could share any humorous cultural blunders they commited. For new expats, keep in mind that these incidents are an inevitable part of expat life. Learning to laugh about them is the key!...
"It is important to be aware of cultural differences when visiting Uruguay. It is important to be respectful of local customs and traditions. It is considered rude to be late for appointments or social engagements. It is also important to dress modestly and avoid wearing revealing clothing. It is also important to be aware of the local language and to avoid speaking English in public. It is also important to be aware of the local customs regarding physical contact, as it is considered inappropriate to touch someone without their permission. Finally, it is important to be aware of the local customs regarding alcohol consumption, as it is considered inappropriate to drink in public," mentioned another expat when asked about moving to Uruguay.
"We were going through the process to obtain residency cards. This is fraught with confusion and contradictions. In a local office, a woman in authority in the immigration office told us a document had to be resubmitted, in contradiction to what we had been told. My wife made the mistake of correcting her and she got very angry. We had to call in the help of someone fluent in Spanish who had lived in Uruguay for many years. The cultural faux pas was that the woman could not be wrong, because if she were wrong she could get in trouble. So she had to be "right" even if she was actually wrong. A token correction had to be made to appease her. There are deep cultural differences when it comes to assertiveness and conflict and especially "customer service."," commented one expat who made the move to Piriapolis, Uruguay.
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What cultural faux pas should I try to avoid making in Uruguay?If you live in Uruguay, newcomers to Uruguay would love to hear your answer to this question.
About the Author
Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.
Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.