Travel Tips: Do’s and Don’ts of Traveling at Religious SitesJuly 7, 2011 No Comments
Travel Tips: Do’s and Don’ts of Traveling at Religious Sites
Tourists usually have their own favorite travel theme. One may prefer historical tour, ecotourism tour, cultural, outdoorPlace of the day: Metéora, Greece, a Combination of Peaceful and Breathtaking Views of Nature. Read more ... » and natureBest Gardens in The World. Read more ... », you name it! Traveling to different countries is not complete if we don’t see local cultural sites, as well as religiousPlace of the day: Metéora, Greece, a Combination of Peaceful and Breathtaking Views of Nature. Read more ... » sites which brings us back to the past and gives us the ideas of how local people worship their gods.
- Before entering the area, take off your shoes and hats (especially in Buddhist and Hindu temples, Ethiopian churches). Some religious sites don’t allow it and warn tourists before entering the area. If you come during summer, you can replace hats with wearing shawl or scarf. If you are man and visiting Jewish synagogue, wear yarmulke, a circular cap which is usually available at the entrance.
- Dress properly (or at least properly) by wearing clothing that covers your shoulders and legs. For women, avoid tight clothing. Why? It is a religious site, and they consider it improper by wearing clothing that “shows”.
- Use right hand when donating or giving something to local people. Why? Locals consider it as an insult using left hand while donating or giving.
- Ask permission to take photos. Some of Italian churches are not permitting tourists to use camera as well as Jewish synagogues prohibiting camera at Sabbath day, Friday nights and Saturday mornings. If camera is allowed, ask when not to take photos (for example only during prayers prohibited).
- Pay attention if religious site is separating entrance gate and seating of men from women. This can be done by noticing if men and women gather on different sides. Some Jewish synagogues, Orthodox synagogues, and Muslim mosques do this.
- Don’t touch, don’t climb, and don’t do anything extreme to the statuesLeshan Giant Buddha, The World's Tallest Stone-carved Buddha Site | China. Read more ... » in religious sites, whatever the act is. If you travel with kidsTravel Tips: Travel with Kids Travel Tips. Read more ... », remind them not to do these.
- If you come to Buddhist’ temple, a woman should not hand items to monks. Why? According to the religion, women but men are not supposed to hand items to monks.
- In Buddhist’ temple, don’t turn your back to the statues. You may see people walking backward away from the statue until some feet away from it, to show their respect to statues. This also happens at the Western Wall in Old City of Jerusalem.
- Don’t cross your legs while sitting in Greek Orthodox churches.
Different places have different rules. Wherever you go, paying attention to these rules show you are a respectful tourist. Have fun traveling!
Photo by Steve McCurry via Flickr
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