Tips When Visiting Places With Strong Religious Ties
Traveling the world is exciting since it allows you to discover people’s rich cultures and traditions. In some countries, the locals have strong religious ties. Their faith is reflected in architecture, fashion, and day-to-day activities. If you’re unfamiliar of the religion followed by the locals, you might feel somewhat surprised. Despite that, you have to remain respectful. These tips can help.
Research before visiting the country
Before you go to another country, you have to research about it first. Make sure you understand the cultural practices related to religious beliefs. For instance, in some countries, people are expected to be more modest when dressing up. Women might even be asked to wear a head dress in some instances. If you’re uncomfortable, you can decide to postpone your plans.
Respect the places of worship
If you decide to visit places of worship, you have to realize that they’re not necessarily a tourist destination. Sure, in some countries, they were promoted as an attraction because of the architectural styles. However, in many others number of these places are sacred. Ask for permission first before taking photos. Wear appropriate clothing. Avoid making loud noise especially when there are religious events going on.
Never argue about religion
If you decide to interact with the locals, you have to be friendly. Avoid bringing up religion as a subject of the conversation. It’s a generally divisive topic. You already know that these people are religious, and there’s no point in questioning their beliefs. There are different avenues to raise your concerns, and a conversation with the locals isn’t one of them. Remember that you visit the country as a tourist, and not to advocate for your ideals.
Don’t make fun of symbols
In some religions, there are symbols of faith. For the followers, they mean a lot. Their representative of a higher being that they believe in. Therefore, you shouldn’t make fun of them. It doesn’t matter if you find them funny. You could be in trouble for doing so.
Embrace some rituals
If you’re open-minded, you can try to embrace some rituals. Participate in the process. You don’t need to have the same beliefs, but they’re worth trying. Besides, it won’t kill you to give them a shot. Lighting candles or wearing costumes can also be a part of the tradition you can embrace during your visit. If you don’t want to do it, you can stay at the back and watch. Respectfully look at people doing these practices. You can take photos if allowed. You will learn in the process and take the experience home with you.
Reconsider your plans
If you don’t feel comfortable following these rules, or you have a lot of issues with the religion, you can decide to postpone your plans. There are other places worth visiting that might not violate your personal beliefs. There’s no point in going to countries if you feel that they’re not representative of your values.
1st and featured image from https://nepaltraveller.com/images/main/1560840781.jpg
2nd image from https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/maps-and-graphics/most-religious-countries-in-the-world/