Are you one of those people who honk at someone when the traffic light turns green and the car in front of you is not moving?
Photo via goget.com.au
Honking has become so common in Southeast Asia that people even honk at animals when they run across the road. Crazy, right?
If you think that you are an obsessive honker, here are a few meanings to different types of honking and what do they mean in different countries in Southeast Asia.
The most unique cultural takeaway from India - even more than Bollywood and cricket fanaticism - is the car horn.
Indians honk like nobody's business.
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Even on a busy street that cars hardly move, everyone is honking.
They even honk at the cows that block the traffic!
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Honking in Vietnam can have many meanings, usually less aggressive.
"Hey, I'm here", honk. "Please let me pass", honk. "You are in my lane", honk. "Look out!", honk. "The light turns green now, let's go", honk.
You can even find a fun guide to honking in Vietnam.
To our surprise, the Thai don’t use their horns at all!
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In Thailand, the use of the horn is considered rude and provocative, if not downright offensive.
If you hear a quick “beep, beep” of the horn, it is done as a thank you.
The car horn is used, on average, about 40 times more often in China than in Europe.
Photo via blogs.nottingham.ac.uk
There are various types of honks on the streets of China and each one carries a specific type of message.
- Short honk - indicate to potential passengers of their presence.
- Short combinations of honks - to warn pedestrians of the presence of a quickly approaching vehicle.
- Ear-piercing honk - angry and impatient gesture
The streets of Indonesia are quite noisy. But in Indonesia, horns are a communication tool and rarely signal aggression to other drivers.
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A tap of the horn can mean anything from “I’m passing you” to “don’t back up yet” to “I’m going to run this red light, please don’t hit me” to “what’s up bro?”
So, next time think before you honk.
By: Rayelene Chin