Gestures

Instead of pointing with your hand or finger, it’s polite to point with your chin in Bangladesh.  You would tilt your head to one side if you were agreeing with someone.  If your foot touches a book, you would apologize by touching the book with your right hand’s finger tips, then touch your chest, then your lips.  Personal space between friends is small but bigger between people more superior than you.

Picture: In the US, the gesture means 'good going', but in Bangladesh it's equivilant to the upraised middle finger.


Taboos

Beckoning with the index finger and whistling or winking in public is considered very rude.  It’s also impolite to cross your legs or smoke in the presence of an elder.  Pointing the bottom of your shoe at someone lowers their worth.

Manners

When you meet someone you say, “Salaam Aley Kum” (Peace be upon you).  The other person replies, “Wa Aleykum As-Salaam” (Unto you also peace).  All visitors are expected to stay for a glass of water, spoonful of molasses, piece of betel nut (areca nut), or be offered a pipe using for smoking tobacco called a “hukka”.  Peers of the same sex show sincerity by looking people in the eyes while talking to them.  You would look down to show respect for someone who’s older or of higher social standing.