Some time ago, I stumbled upon a warning never to write a living Korean person’s name in red ink, as it is customarily reserved to write a deceased person’s name (with the exception of a dojang.) Further research hinted that this may also be the case in other Asian cultures.
Being an anxious person in general, I was deeply horrified by the possibility that in the past, I may have written to a Korean Postcrosser using a red pen, in an attempt to add visual interest with an ink color other than basic black!
After that wake-up call to cultural sensitivity, I became preoccupied with avoiding unintentional social blunders with my ink color, message, and choice of postcard and decorations. Even if it is by accident, the last thing I want to do is upset a fellow Postcrosser while trying to be friendly.
There are many online articles about international communication etiquette, but they almost exclusively relate to business interactions. So I want to ask you, Postcrossing community: What should I not write (or stamp, or tape, or stick) on a postcard to your country?
Of course, everyone’s adherence to rules of etiquette varies individually, and in a large country with distinct regional subcultures (my own country, for example), there are bound to be differing opinions about what is considered taboo or not! With that in mind, let’s discuss!