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Okinawa tourism: How locals react to visitors

Visiting a travel destination and ordering local cuisine is one of the special moments of being a tourist. Cuisine and food say a lot about local culture and tourists get a chance to taste authentic versions of Peking duck or bratwurst.

At restaurants and bars, visitors can learn more about what area residents like to eat and drink. A recent YouTube video shows differences in reaction to tourist requests about popular cuisine.

Aside from culinary treats, tourists get an inside view of what cultural norms are like. For instance, New Yorkers have a hard-charging attitude that can be reflected in how they respond to you when you randomly ask what good food are available on the menu.

Contrast that with a warmer reaction that you'll probably get when you visit a town in Okinawa, Japan. Locals are likely to be more receptive to your queries and may even teach you a few things about the dialect.

Okinawa consists a group of islands in southern Japan with a population of nearly 1.5 million. The capital, Naha, is located in the southern part of Okinawa Island. The region features diverse local dialects.

Old traditions have been passed through the generations, and the local heritage is reflected in crafts, arts, food, and lifestyle. In such a setting, locals would be more inclined to show visitors about their traditions.

On the other hand, New York consists of a melting pot of different cultures. In the Big Apple, it would be harder to find a native New Yorker than a native resident in a place such as Okinawa.

In culinary settings, many tourists -- who travel themselves -- eat alone and are thus more inclined to go out of their way to start a conversation with random locals.

Use emotional intelligence. If you're dining in the midst of the financial district in a big city such as Hong Kong, you might get a blank stare if you ask a random stranger about what's on the menu. They have waiters for that.

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