Ladue High School's student news site

Ladue Publications

Ladue High School's student news site

Ladue Publications

Ladue High School's student news site

Ladue Publications

A Tip Around the World

Frank Chen
A globe of the world.

Traveling can often be a thrilling experience. Seeing new places, meeting new people, and exploring historical sites away from home are often the highlights of our lives. But while going abroad can reward us with enhanced understanding of other cultures, there comes certain risks as well. While it may seem silly, researching the laws and customs of the region you’re visiting will go a long way to ensuring that your vacation is as enjoyable as possible. Local dress codes, taboo activities, and others should all be known in advance and followed as a sign of respect to the regions and peoples that you are visiting.

Tipping is no different. While some cultures uphold it as a gesture of kindness and charity, others view it as highly condescending. And while it may be easy for Americans to stereotype Europeans as “rich snobs who don’t think workers deserve tips”, and for Europeans to think equally disdainfully of us, it is crucial for us to note each other’s cultural backgrounds on these topics and understand each other, even if we ultimately disagree.

So without further ado, here are three countries from around the world, their positions on tipping and why.


United Arab Emirates

While the UAE is certainly pro-tipping, it still differs from the United States in one key regard–it’s not an expectation. According to The National, there are three main reasons why Emiratis may leave a tip: good service, assistance beyond the basics of a job, and as charity. The last one is especially important here — charity, or “zakat” in Arabic, is one of the five main pillars of Islam, and giving to those less fortunate is held as a sacred responsibility by Islamic creed. And while customers who leave tips view tipping as a form of zakat, workers who receive them often think of tips as zakat as well. Therefore, while tips are seen by Emirati workers as a pleasant and common surprise, they don’t feel entitled to them, even if they’ve done a spectacular job.

Basically speaking, while tipping is a widespread social norm in the UAE, people won’t hate you if you don’t leave one.



As far as tipping goes, Brazil is a fairly neutral country. According to TripAdvisor, tipping in Brazil is somewhat uncommon. However, servers will be grateful if you do decide to, and it’s pretty easy, considering that most receipts will have the option to give a 10% “serviço” fee. Servers will be happy to receive a tip for a job well done.


Not only is tipping unnecessary in Japan, it can actually be considered offensive at times. Most Japanese view exceptional service as a given and attempts to give waiters tips will be received awkwardly at best. Also, according to Boutique Japan, most restaurants take payments at the front register and not the table, complicating things even further.

Moving Forward

Even in America, an ostensibly pro-tipping country, there is controversy surrounding the process. However, here in the states, much of the divide is centered around the economic aspects of tipping. It is important to be aware of the cultural dimensions certain issues can have, and it is crucial that we understand each other as Americans plunge into an era of unprecedented political polarization with each other — and the world. 

View Comments (1)
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Frank Chen, Staff
Sophomore Frank Chen is a staffer on Panorama. This is his first year on staff. Frank runs cross-country, plays tennis and has an unseemly and inexplicable obsession with tanks.

Comments (1)

All Ladue Publications Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • J

    Jimmy LiNov 4, 2023 at 1:01 PM

    Nice article. Keep in good working. There are a lot of food in the world. We depend on food for living.we also depend on food for a lot of pleasure. Food choice is very important for health. Food are evolving fast. It is not just mom cooking in the kitchen nowadays. It is a big industry and involve a lot people. And it is fun.