Cambodian people greet each other by saying “Chum Reap Suor”, accompanied by a gesture of pressing their palms together in front of their face and slightly bowing forward, which is called ‘sampeah’. Your Cambodian hosts will be happily surprised to see you using the ‘sampeah’ to greet them. Shaking hands is now more and more acceptable, usually with men, and after a ‘sampeah’.
On the New Year Day ( first day of the new year in Lunar Calendar) , do not sweep the floor/ clean house. Vietnamese believe everybody/ every household has good luck on the first day of the new year. If we sweep / clean the house/ throw out the garbage, we will lose good luck.
A Khmer Belief is that People tie red cloths on their wrist, motor handles and other type of accessories because they believe that it will bring good luck and happiness to them.
People like wearing Red Clothes on Sunday because it is believed to give them more happiness.
Guarantee you will not see many Indonesian greets each other with a kiss on a cheek or a giant hug. Indonesians respect their elderly (or people they respect, generally) by salim, which is a revering handshake by touching the back of the hand to the forehead. For example, when shaking the hand with older persons, such as parents, grandparents and teachers, the younger people or students are expected to touch the back of the elder’s palm with the tip of their nose or forehead, this reflects a special respect from the young to the old. This salim gesture is similar to hand-kissing, with exception it is only tip of nose or forehead that touch the hand, not the lips. As for the meeting new people, a hand-shake is a very common thing to do.
It is a tradition in most part of Indonesia, to pierce the ears of a baby girl right after she is born or when she is still a baby. It is considered odd not to do it, since it is one main symbols of feminine applied to females. Baby girl without pierced ear will be often mistakenly considered as a baby boy.
When a woman is pregnant, she is not supposed to dislike or hate a person for whatever reason too deeply. It is believed that the baby will be born with a face (and or behavior) that really looks alike with the disliked person.
If you are a guest coming to somebody’s house, it is a polite thing not to take a seat before your host invites or offers you to have a seat. If it is in a house, guest should take the seat closest to the door facing the inside part of the house, while the host sit on the opposite facing out ward.
In Indonesia there is tradition of “stealing” a jasmine flower from a bride, which is believed to make the girl get married after her. The bride shall keep the flower inside her house for several days before the actual wedding ceremony. Then on the wedding day, she will be poured by 7 different kind of water and flowers, this will be done by her parents, then she and her husband need to ask for both of their parent’s permission, as they will leave their house and start a new life. It is like “Ridho” or a good pray for them.
Do Not Sit On Pillow Or You Will Get Boil On Your Butt. The (headrest) pillows which are commonly used when we sleep. According to Javanese custom it is inappropriate to sit on then with your buttocks. Since they are children, the Javanese people are taught to treat the head pillows appropriately. It is a taboo to sit on it. To make their kids obey the rule, the parents simply warn them that if they dare to break it or sit on it they will get boil on their ass. The myth is so entrenched and sometimes adults subconsciously believe it is so.
Taste any food that the host has offered even though only for a small amount. if you are visiting your friends or family and you are about to go back home but suddenly the host offers you a food or a dish, you have to taste it even though only for a small amount. If you don’t do that, they believe that you might get accident on the road.
Every time you visit a new place, family and friends expect you to bring souvenirs or popularly known as “pasalubong” from the place you visited, like food, shirts, keychains, etc. This makes them feel like they have also been to that place. This is also very common to Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) from whom families expect what is called “package” which could include international brands of shampoos, chocolates, or anything that could only be found in that foreign country. This is very common during Christmas season and New Year.
Never go straight home when coming from a wake/funeral. It is believed that if you go straight home the spirit of the deceased will follow you and torment you. We do what is called “pagpag”, we go another place before going home to ward off the spirit.