Etiquette & useful tips
ETIQUETTE & USEFUL TIPS
The people of Sumatra have in general strong traditions and religions. They very much appreciate visitors that respect their way of life. Small changes in your western behavior can make a big difference. Here are some tips for you on how to "behave":
* Placing hands on the hips is a sign of anger or arrogance.
* It is rude to place one's feet in a way that the soles are facing another person.
* Don't throw things to anyone. It is more polite to hand it over directly, even if it involves moving yourself a bit.
* Men touching men and women touching women are common and completely normal; but touching between the sexes is rarely done in public.
* Western style swimsuits are considered outrageous in less touristy areas. Near villages and when locals are around, please be modest. You can always ask a local if you are unsure.
* When visiting a home, don't forget to take off your shoes.
* Avoid visiting Muslim homes at prayer times.
* Always use your right hand when receiving and giving things.
* Use only the right hand to eat food.
* In Indonesia you will be treated according to how you dress.
* If you visit a Government office, "dress up". Use long trousers, shirt with a collar and shoes. You will gain a lot in respect and service.