Top 10 places Americans get arrested overseas in 2006
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Polite gestures or bad form? Customs around the world

Top 10 places Americans get arrested overseas in 2006
Crossing legs
Crossing your legs in a way that shows the bottom of your shoes is a grave affront to Muslims, who see the foot as unclean. (Lori Shepler / Los Angeles Times)
Chopsticks
In Asia, you would never leave your chopsticks upright in your food. “It is a common Asian superstition that to place your chopsticks in such a way is bad luck and means that this meal is for the dead rather than the living,” says Chin-ning Chu, author of “The Asian Mind Game.” (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Churchill
The “V” for victory sign was immortalized by Winston Churchill in the early, dark days of World War II, and the proper form is with the palm facing outward. The palm-in V sign is the equivalent of the more infamous middle-digit salute. (Associated Press)
Naan
In India, reaching for food should never be done with the left hand. Indians eat with their hands, in particular their right; their left hands are reserved for other matters, including after-toilet cleansing, and are therefore unacceptable for use at the dining table. (Lalage Snow / AFP/Getty Images)
Clinking glasses at sunset
When drinking with others in Prague, Czech Republic, before the first sip, the Czechs deem it important to look your companions in the eye and lightly clink glasses. But less than 300 miles away in Budapest, Hungary, however, that identical gesture can get you deep in goulash. The clink is considered unpatriotic because it was once the signal for a coup. (Paul Morse)
white chrysanthemum
Flowers are perfectly acceptable to bring to hosts in Asia -- unless, of course, they’re white chrysanthemums (they’re used only for funerals) or you offer an odd number (considered unlucky in some cultures). (Descanso Gardens)
Taxi cab drivers in Australia consider it rude for passsengers to sit in the back.
Australian taxi drivers can be offended if passengers sit in the back seat, rather than up front next to them. This attitude is not uncommon, according to “Kiss, Bow or Shake Hands,” a book on business behavior, and stems from Australians’ disdain of class distinctions. (Carolyn Cole/ Los Angeles Times)
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