There is no denying that we should do as the Romans do when in Rome. This is an accumulated experience we inherit from our forefathers, and now it is still widely applied to our daily life. The old saying tells us vividly that wherever we are, we should do everything according to local customs.
The proverb has profound impact on our interactions with people from other cultures. As far as I am concerned, I have had the experience myself. Last year, my neighbor, Xiao Wang and I went to the U.S. to travel. One day we were lost and it seemed we would never find our way back to our hotel. Suddenly an elderly lady came near us. Excited and trying to be polite, Xiao Wang approached her and asked, “Excuse me, how old are you?” This polite opening remark in Chinese culture made the lady stare at him in surprise, because age is a taboo in Western cultures. Seeing the embarrassment, I asked, “Beautiful weather, isn’t it?” Of course the lady said “Yes” and happily told us the way to our hotel.
A lesson that can be drawn from the above example is obvious. Whether we know the local customs will play a crucial role in our relationship with others. More importantly, doing everything as the locals do will help us make more friends and avoid troubles.