Respect Foreign Cultures When Traveling Abroad

by Russell Irons ’19

Recently, American tourists have been in the news for all the wrong reasons. Social media star Logan Paul went to Japan, and recorded himself harassing locals. In Thailand, two Americans took ‘butt selfies’ with an ancient and sacred site. The issue of some Americans disregarding foreign culture and customs reflects poorly on the reputation of the United States.

The cause of the issue is partially the disparities between American culture and that of other nations. Our culture is unlike that of any other country. The United States is arguably the most diverse country in the world, and as a result, people are much more open. Social constructs, or lack thereof, allow people to express themselves how they want freely. This does not mean that all Americans are rude and bullish, but rather that certain expectancies fall flat on some.

A good deal of responsibility falls with the individual, and people from other countries make mistakes too. However, the issue is present and only adds to the negative connotations affiliated with Americans. To work on removing these stereotypes, people need to be more conscious of their surroundings and how they act abroad.