In Japan, making slurping sounds when eating is a way of telling your host you’re enjoying your food. Image Credit: Pexels/Cottonbro

We humans love our rituals. Whether it’s related to our greetings, the way we eat, our beauty routines or how we celebrate festivals, we have a propensity to create customs that are passed on from one generation to the next.

Click start to play today’s Spell It, where the word “etiquette” gives you an insight into world cultures and their traditions.

But just as there over 150 nations on Earth, there are diverse rules and customs that form the cultural norm of every country. Here, we share three interesting customs from around the world:

1. Pointing with lips

Hand gestures are customarily used to direct or indicate an object or path in cultures around the world. But have you ever heard of using your lips to point? In Nicaragua, you have to pucker up and direct your lips forward or side to side, to indicate the direction you want the other person to note. This kind of gesture is generally used in conversation to indicate something that’s occurring close by.

2. Socialising in cemeteries

Although graveyards are considered to be unnerving, spooky places in most cultures, it’s a place of recreation in Denmark. The nation’s cemeteries are usually well manicured and receive plenty of visitors in the summer, who lounge on picnic blankets, go for walks or play with frisbees. The sprawling sites have plenty of space, so it’s considered to be a pragmatic use of the land.

3. Slurping

In Western cultures, consuming food noisily is considered to be a huge no-no. But in Japan, making slurping sounds when eating is a way of telling your host you’re enjoying your food. This may have to do with the way noodles are eaten – while in the West, you would twirl them around your fork or spoon, the Japanese prefer to slurp them up without twisting overly twisting them. According to Culture Trip, some scientists even argue that slurping allows air into the palate and actually enhances the flavour of the noodles!

Which custom or tradition seems most unusual to you? Play today’s Spell It and tell us at