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Things you must not do in Muslim countries

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Muslim Country

Globalization is prevalent in this era. Gone is the time when people would restrict themselves or their business to their own country. Now they believe in expanding it worldwide. Thus they need to travel. Business is not the only reason to travel; planning vacations abroad has also become a trend everywhere. People from all communities have their own reasons to visit Muslim countries. After all apart from business there is vast amount of history to explore, traditional culture, art, food, beautiful beaches, different landscapes, and undoubtedly hospitality & warmth of its natives.

No one would like to get into trouble hence it is advisable to go through “not to do list” of the place you are planning to travel. These regulations vary from one nation to another. Touring without knowledge of “regulations for tourists” can cost you a big deal sometimes. It is a must follow suit in case if you are planning to travel a Muslim country. Some of Islamic countries are quite conservative & have very strict regulations for females of their own nation. Hence tourists at such destinations are also expected to understand the culture & abide by the regulations meant for them to have a nice experience overall.

Breaking stereotypes, we need to understand & respect their culture before we visit their land. One can have the terrific experience by just following certain regulations. On the other hand ignoring them can put you in unexpected troubles. Many Islamic countries have become popular amongst tourists as hub of shopping, their cuisines, culture etc. People from throughout the world are travelling to have all in one, which very clearly tells that Muslim countries welcome their guests. A fair ratio of Muslim countries population is expatriate, living there for work purpose.

Some nations have strict set of rules whereas the others have fluidity in their regulations to accommodate tourists. Here are some guidelines to make your stay safe & comfortable in these countries.

Dressing Style
In many Muslim conservative countries like Iran, Oman, Jordon, Saudi Arabia etc., it is mandate for native women to dress up in a modest & conventional way when they are out at public places. It actually means wearing sufficient attires to cover at least half of your arms, shoulders, breast, and legs or in other terms clothing with least visible flesh. Native women at such places generally keep themselves covered from head to feet wearing “Abaya” a long robe. At other countries which are accepting more liberal ways of living allow their women to wear a little more comfortable attires like in Turkey.

Image result for muslim family Dressing Style

While visiting any Mosque, it is advisable to dress up decently, keep a scarf always handy, in case you might be asked to keep your head covered. If females are not allowed to enter without their whole body covered, mosque sometimes may provide them with Abaya.

Actually there are not any defined or carved on stone set of rules for expats & tourists. For men it is more or less same they wear in their own country. At places like Morocco along with females, males are also supposed to cover their knees & shoulders. Females can choose smart dresses to look trendy and simultaneously not hurting the feelings of Muslim religion. They can opt for full length dresses much in trend, which are airy & comfortable along with keeping them covered.
A little research is always mandate for the particular country before you pack your bags for. Like skin tights are not allowed at many places, actually considering the hot weather of these places, one should actually not opt for them.

To avoid unwanted attention & have the respect for you, in the eyes of its natives, it is very important to avoid indecent exposure in conservative countries.

Social Mixing

Each Muslim country’s behavioral code of conduct varies. If some countries have conservative approach the others are getting liberal in their lifestyles.
Kissing at public places is not at all advisable. It can lead to prosecution against you in the form of fine or could throw you behind the bars for months. These countries are generally male dominating where a female is not even expected to first extend her hand to shake with a male at times.

Image result for muslim Social Mixing kissing hand shake

Sex before marriage is a punishable offence. It could be even up to six years. Couples have been prosecuted for getting involved in their cars at public places. We can easily find ample of such cases where couples had to undergo long legal formalities. One can easily find such details on a little research.
It is always better to adapt ourselves as soon as we enter any Muslim country according to their code of conduct.

Alcohol
Alcohol is prohibited in Islam. Liberty to have alcohol in hotels, only indoors, out in any restaurant varies in different Islamic nations. It may be allowed only at licensed venues only. It is advised if any hotel is not serving it, its always better not to ask for it. Some Islamic countries have amazing night life whereas a few more are also adapting as per the demands of tourists.

Food
Pork (pig meat) or Pork products are forbidden in Muslim countries. It is even illegal to import or sell it.
They believe in consuming halal food, which involves a particular process from the very beginning in its preparation.

Image result for muslim traditional food

Eating with your left hand is not considered good. They have their own religious reasons behind it. If you are visiting during Ramadan, you are not supposed to eat or drink publically. All Muslims fast in Ramadan. City life is entirely different in these days. Fasting periods follows from sunrise to sunset. Muslims break their fast at sunset & take “Iftar” in community. It is an overwhelming experience with scrumptious food served to all near & dear ones together.

Swimming
Islamic countries having very strict rules for women, either don’t allow their women in bikinis or they have women-only pools. This prohibition or liberty also varies from nation to nation. In some countries shorts, bikinis are restricted to beach area only. Being a tourist or expat one should act according to their surroundings. If you do not see women in bikinis, do not dare to take bold steps. Keep yourself covered.

Image result for swimming in arab muslims men women

Language
There are many big scale industries like petroleum, construction, food, textile etc. Hence there are many foreign residents. Apart from this people from all over the world love to travel these countries. Arabic is the language of Qur’an. MSA (Modern Standard Arabic) is commonly understood as well as spoken by most of the Muslims. English, Pashto, Urdu and even Hindi are also used in some Muslim countries.
Law

If Islamic laws & regulations have been considered strict by many in the world, there are some individuals who believe them as the best way to incorporate zero crime in their nation. Still, certain points we better not to forget while visiting these countries are:

• Never dare to stare a woman.
• Never ever make fun of their rules, even if you do not believe in them.
• Do not try to judge any native or impose your thoughts on them.
• Importing Pork or its products is illegal.
• Be careful while clicking photographs of females & children. Take their permission first.
• Kissing, Adultery, Sex before marriage are major offence.
• Sometimes you may not be given an easy access to legal help hence an emergency help number and a copy of your passport should be in “always carry” list.
• Women should avoid travelling alone to Islamic countries. It is advisable either to travel with any blood relative or in a group.

Such restrictions never mean at all that people here are rude, harsh or are always ready with an eagle eye to catch any prey. My overall experience in Dubai was awesome. People were polite & always ready to help you whether it was hotel staff, Safari people or even a common man on road. In my country when someone is in a Luxurious car, thinks as if “sadak uske baap ki hai” or they own the road. In Dubai, whenever I had to cross the road, people used to stop their posh cars long ahead of us & waived us to cross safely. It was amazing, every time I felt honoured & safe. Nevertheless it is advisable to research behavioural code of conduct or the way we should interact with natives of the place we are visiting.

 

By : Ashima Munjal

(Ashima Munjal can be contacted on [email protected])

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Lifestyle

Tips to save while shopping online

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shopping-online

New Delhi, April 27: Love shopping online? There are many ways you can adopt to save money or get more benefit from the deal, say experts.

Ramakant Khandelwal, Chief Marketing Officer at PayBack India, and Abhishek Agarwal, CEO and Founder, Globepanda, suggest how to save money:

* Compare prices (automatically): You need to simply download a small robotic tool (in the form of chrome extension) which can instantaneously compare price of a product, that you are viewing at an e-commerce site, across most of the leading e-commerce merchants. It can confirm if the price you are seeing is the lowest across, or you should switch to another e-commerce merchant where it is the lowest. You can also set price alerts which will notify you at the right time when your desired product will be available online.

* Free shipping: Always keep an eye on e-commerce platform who offer free shipping facilities. But mostly they put a cap of minimum order value, which leaves you with no choice but to exceed your budget to avail it. To overcome this, you can either upgrade your membership for an annual fee or club your purchases or with your friends, so that your cart value is above the minimum amount.

* Read reviews about gifts, coupons, and discount: A lot of buyers are lured into buying from a particular site just because they offer free gifts, coupons and discounts. However, the gifts, cash backs and coupons may not really be a lucrative deal when you compare the after discount price of the product with the actual price on other sites. Moreover, the free gifts sometimes are really a thing you have no use for so read about it before you go ahead and order.

* Exchange offers: Many e-commerce merchants provide exchange offers to customers wherein they can exchange their old product with a brand new one and pay off the effective final price. Make sure that your product qualifies for the offer. One good way to track such offers is to get a newsletter subscription. Hence stay updated about the best exchange offers.

* Look for reward points: Reward point is a nice topping without any effort or cost. If you are only a little bit more aware you can easily earn extra points, offers and rewards on your online purchases. Sometimes, all it takes, is that you start your journey from an affiliate partner and get extra points. Points can be redeemed against attractive e-vouchers of several online portals ranging from fashion, gadgets and travel.

* Adopt a saving strategy: Sometimes people register on an affiliate network and buy all things from that account which gives cash back on nearly every deal. This is a great way to save money on every purchase. Also, sometimes the price of a product you are interested in is lower in the incognito window as the seller has a tool in place which inflates the price of things a customer is interested in and has searched online in the past.

* Additional offers: Most of the e-commerce merchants offer credit/debit card specific offers either in terms of discount or cashback, from time to time, which easily add to your savings. In addition to this, purchase via app can also get special deals, cashbacks and discounts.

IANS

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Fashion

Wearing black on date can get you mate

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date relationship couple

London, April 27: Planning to go on a date? Ditching the traditional red for black may help you find love and land a potential mate.

According to a study, black beats red as the colour of choice when it comes to finding new love.

The study suggests that red increases the perceived sexual receptivity of the wearer, while black increases how fashionable the person is thought to be.

“Red is traditionally seen as the colour of love but more recent research has shown that both black and red are perceived as equally attractive and that the two colours may simply increase attractiveness in different ways,” said lead researcher Robin Kramer, from Britain’s University of Lincoln.

“While red may increase perceived attractiveness through evolutionary mechanisms, dates appear to rely more heavily on black in order to attract a potential mate, suggesting that cultural and societal influences may play a much larger role in the way people dress than the use of evolutionary signals.”

The findings, published in the journal Evolutionary Psychology, are based on the British TV series “First Dates”, which shows that single people wear more of the darker hue when meeting a potential partner for the first time.

The study examined the dressing habits of 546 people across six series of the show and found that both men and women wore more red clothing during the date scenario compared with the pre-date interview.

However, there was a larger increase in the amount of black clothing on display – for example, black shoes, trousers, and dresses – during the dates.

The researchers also found that more black than red was worn overall in both contexts.

The increase in red and black worn on the date itself was found for both heterosexual and same-sex dates.

IANS

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Health

Can mangoes make you fat?

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mangoes

New Delhi, April 25: Summers are the bearer of the sweet aroma of memories of vacations, lazy afternoons and mangoes. This fruit is loved by all young or old but lately it has been infamous for its sugar content and is considered as a cause of weight gain so can mangoes really make us fat?

Saumya Shatakshi, Senior Nutritionist, Healthians, suggests the pros of eating mangoes and what to keep in mind:

* Mango is not just pure indulgence but a powerhouse to various nutrients like it has vitamin A, iron, copper and potassium.

* Mango is an energy food and provides sugar rush to the body which helps boost the energy levels of the body and keeps you active throughout the day.

* It is a storehouse to Vitamin C that increases the immunity and it is also rich in dietary fibre content

* Eating too much of mangoes can be harmful for health so maintaining the portion control is the key

* A medium-sized mango has nearly 150 calories, eating anything beyond the permissible calorie limits results in weight gain. Hence, it is advised not to overeat.

* Eating mangoes after meals increases the overall calories intake.

* We should replace our mid-morning or evening snacks with mangoes. It helps one enjoy the king of fruits without worrying about piling calories.

* Avoid having mangoes at night. It is preferable to have it during the first half of the day.

-*-

Celebrity nutritionist and dietician Nmami Agarwal suggests:

* The number of calories that food carries tells you how much energy it provides. Excess calories are stored as fat, which is why over eating leads to weight gain.

* Mangoes are inversely high on sugar, which generally is an enemy. This is because it causes insulin spikes and falls, which can leave you hungry and cause you to overeat.

IANS

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