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Aerial View of Old Town Tallinn, Estonia

What cultural faux pas should I try to avoid making in Estonia?

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We asked people in Estonia 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 Estonia. It is considered rude to be late for appointments, so it is important to arrive on time. It is also important to dress appropriately for the occasion, as Estonians tend to dress more formally than in other countries. It is also important to be aware of the local customs and traditions, and to respect them. It is also important to be aware of the local language, and to try to use it when possible. Finally, it is important to be aware of the local customs regarding alcohol consumption, and to drink responsibly," remarked another expat who made the move to Estonia.

"I thought I knew someone well enough to ask how they were doing. I also used to smile a lot in public and at strangers. I have messed up when speaking the language and said something different from what I wanted to say and the situation was weird and uncomfortable. My first year here was an embarrassing cultural blunder," explained one expat living in Tartu, Estonia.

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Other Questions:

What cultural faux pas should I try to avoid making in Estonia?

If you live in Estonia, newcomers to Estonia would love to hear your answer to this question.

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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

Aerial View of Old Town Tallinn, Estonia

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