We all know that we don’t pat the back of a colleague in Korea to thank them for a “job well done”. Or eat with your left hand in India, or sip vodka in Russia. In many countries, these actions are harmless. But in others, they can give a wrong impression or cause offense.

In fact, whatever culture you’re from, it’s likely that you routinely do something that could cause offense somewhere else in the world. So here is:

A primer on how to avoid mistakes in Turkmenistan

Because of the nation’s history (past and current), Turkmen avoid talking politics, and you should too. Turkmens are notoriously xenophobic—not in a hostile way, but in a suspicious and wary way, no doubt a product of having had to stay guarded from any attention from the secret police over the past century. To win friends, it’s best to keep opinions to yourself, and let them take the lead in conversation, ideally complemented with a little Russian vodka.

Turkmenistan culture photo

Photo by Voyages Lambert

With this, you had the primer on key facts about Turkmenistan, and key facts on culture and customs. Another important part of the culture is the local food and the local drinks. Make sure you read our posts on Turkmenistan food and drinks:

Local food you should try in Turkmenistan and No miss drinks in Turkmenistan.

Other tips that you’d like to share on mistakes to avoid in Turkmenistan? Please comment below.