142

Outside of a temple, or perhaps dinner with the Emperor, "itadakimasu" has zero religious connotations. A reasonable translation would be "thanks for the food" said to no one in particular. The after-dinner phrase is "gochisosama". No one in Japan will expect you to know the details, so you can just sit quietly and let the moment pass. Display expert use of ...


93

Unfortunately, going through customs, there is a risk that Muslims will be asked invasive questions unrelated to legitimate security concerns. Consider the following two recent stories about ordinary Canadian Muslims denied entry to the United States after having their cell phones searched. One of them was asked about her religious practices and what she ...


90

Itadakimasu means, literally, "[I humbly] receive". Yes, the origins of the phrase may be about giving thanks to the gods, but at this point it's about as divorced from that as telling someone "bless you" when they sneeze is about warding off evil spirits. In any case, a lot of Japanese people don't say it, and they certainly don't expect foreigners to ...


67

Yes, if aircraft safety or your personal safety requires it, you will be asked to sit down and close your safety belt. That is true for all aircraft and any time of the year. Maybe they will allow you a bit more leeway because they understand that prayer is important for you, but if you do not belt in when it is dangerous, they endanger all passengers, ...


59

Generally speaking, "yes". A BA aircraft is registered in the UK and therefore is covered by the UK laws. Under the UK law it's an offence not to obey the order of the flight crew while on the aircraft. Specifically, this is covered by the Air navigation order 2009, section 142(c): A person must not while in an aircraft ... (c) intentionally interfere ...


58

For whatever reason the subject comes up in context of the Bill introduced in New Zealand with respect to Maori. In addition to that the article also has specific information regading kirpan: The Sikh Centre brought to the select committee the need to be sensitive to the diverse cultures and beliefs of individuals passing through airport control to ...


56

I have met the "fruit sniffing" dog several times and am aware (from watching Border Security) of currency-sniffing and firearms-sniffing dogs in addition to the classic drug-sniffers. Generally, these dogs sniff people's bags more than people. (The Canadian beagle that met my flight from the Caribbean once sat [the dog's signal] about my bag, but the ...


56

It looks like it is a yearly thing, renewing the old one when the new one is up. In the church I read about it was done as part of the Epiphany Mass. It is a blessing to the house. 20 and 15 being the year, C (K), M, B being the initials of the traditional names of the wise men, Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar, they can also stand for Christus Mansionem ...


55

I have personal experience of walking around the mountains of Thiruvannamalai on a full moon day along with other devotees. Most of the devotees walk barefoot and so did I. The asphalt road is used not only by the devotees but also by other local peoples for transportation. So you will see many people wearing footwear on the asphalt road, who are not part of ...


54

Las Vegas has a wonderful (and inexpensive) sinless side. The costs of running it are subsidized by the gambling industry. You can wander around looking at beautiful buildings and imitations of the Eiffel Tower, pieces of Venice, a circular escalator, amazing fountains, a fake volcano with nighttime "eruptions", and so on. All free visit wildlife from ...


53

Yes, it is safe. I have lived in the USA for over 30 years and the Washington, DC area for over 20 years, and I've never seen anyone accosted for being Muslim or wearing Hijab. People are still wearing Hijab on the street. 99.9+% of Americans have no interest in persecuting anyone over religion. It's just not something we do here. The rare incidents that ...


50

To deal with your various questions: Yes you can bring your car into Amish country. While the area is home to many Amish families it is not run along Amish lines. There are roads and shops and all the usual things you would find. If you have actual business on an Amish farm then they are OK with you driving onto it, just as you would visiting any other ...


49

There have been Jews in India for 2500 years, and largely without experiencing anti-Semitism. Even if there was a sudden, historically unprecedented upswing in hostility or violence against Jews, it wouldn't affect you personally. While you may regard yourself as obviously Jewish, in a country with thousands of different ethnic and cultural groups, you ...


44

Cows are considered holy in Hindu religion, not India as a whole per se. North/East/West India are primarily Hindu-majority regions and thus you're highly unlikely to find any beef, except perhaps at dodgy places in Muslim-dominated parts of those towns. Dodgy places because in those three parts of India cow slaughter is frowned upon and you don't find ...


44

The United Arab Emirates (Dubai) does not care about your religion: it's not even asked on your landing card, because there isn't one! I've visited/passed through a dozen times and never been asked, and neither have I ever heard of anybody being asked. The only country in the region that I'm aware of asking for your religion is Saudi Arabia, where you need ...


41

Here how it goes: After you pass the passport control desk, you will pass the customs desk. The guys at the customs desk will scan the luggage, if they found books or CDs they might ask you to show them. If they do not like them from the cover, they will take the books and/or CDs and give you a slip. The books will be sent to a department where they will ...


41

I also posted an answer in the linked thread, though your case is slightly different. For reference, I lived in Java and now in Bali. It's not impossible that there are some hotels that will give you trouble, though I find it highly unlikely with neither of you actually being Indonesian. As usual, money speaks and most places would rather make money than ...


38

There is absolutely no reason to need to pretend to be Christian while visiting the US. The US doesn't have an official religion and is a very diverse nation where people travel often. It is also a very large nation, and unfortunately some people do commit crimes against people for their religion/lack of religion. This is like any other diverse nation. ...


36

There are no such temples in Saudi Arabia - source: 26+ years of living there. There are way more Christians in Saudi Arabia than Buddhists - but there are no churches in Saudi Arabia either. It is enshrined in the law - which states that all people are free to practice their religion in private only. Public houses of worship for other religions are not ...


36

It is almost certainly safe no matter where you go. You may be more likely to get looks and snide remarks in right-leaning areas that voted for Trump, but overall most people in this country aren't like that. Pretty much any major city in the country is liberal leaning to moderate and would be statistically less likely to have people supporting the ...


35

Do you need to be religious active to walk to Santiago or do any other traditional pilgrimage? Most people I have heard of who have completed a large part of the Santiago route by walking or cycling were not religiously active; and even those who were practicing Roman Catholics (RC) have never made another pilgrimage. So you will not be an exception, ...


34

It is a christian tradition also of Austria and South Tyrol (where I live in, which is a province of northern Italy near the Austrian border, and which was Austrian territory before WWI). Usually kids roam the streets (especially in little towns or villages) during the Christmas period and ring the doorbells asking for some offerings (usually for their ...


34

Probably not. It seems very unlikely. First of all, India is quite a multicultural society with hundreds of various creeds and lots of religions. There is a longstanding tradition of being tolerant to other religions. Also, there is very little antisemitism in India, see the quote at the bottom of this answer. Moreover, I don't think many people would ...


30

It's on the northwest tower of the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, DC. There's an informative page about it on the cathedral's website: You can see it from ground level, but they advise binoculars. As for why it's there: Washington National Cathedral held a decorative sculpture competition for children... The third-place winner was ...


29

You have named some of the finest such buildings in the world. San Francisco has some attractive religious institutions to be sure, but nothing I would consider truly world class or on the same scale as a church that has been under construction for 134 years. That said, here are a few sights of interest though (inspired partially by this list, which has ...


29

Walking barefoot probably won't be as bad as you expect. For one thing, that trail is walked barefoot by a lot of people, all the time. A lot of the things that make barefoot walking painful are likely to be accounted for - the will brush the path for small stones or sharp bits that would hurt to step on. For walking on the road, it might be wisest to ...


28

Karlson beautifully took care of the international aspect of this situation wherein unfortunately you cannot carry a kirpan as carry-on on yourself. But, since Mr.Sardarji is a religious person and it is possible that he would like to make his family happy without making sacrifices with his beliefs I would like to provide more information with regard to the ...


28

Other answers have pointed out that simply not saying it, as an obvious foreigner, will probably go unremarked, as they wouldn't necessarily expect you to have memorized all the customs. (Nor will most Japanese people say anything to your face even if they do find your behavior as a foreigner shocking.) But you specifically asked about refusing to say ...


27

Vatican City is certainly open to visit for tourists at large; as you perhaps know, there is no actual boundary between Rome and Vatican City, meaning that nobody checks the papers of those who move from one to the other. However, when I first read your question, I thought that you meant St. Peter's Cathedral, which takes up so much of Vatican City and ...


27

(Full resolution) Traditional Islamic law is known as Sharia. By and large, countries following it or having a dual system of civil law as well as Sharia is depicted in this map. As a traveller, this is something you need to watch out for as a country you're visiting may have laws not commonly found in civil law found in most other countries. What makes it ...


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