Recently, in a large-ish meeting room when there were several conversations going on, I caught the eye of the person I wanted to show something to on my laptop, and beckoned to her, with a gesture that to me is not impolite, crooking my fingers at her.
As she walked round the room she started telling everyone how rude that was. In her culture that is how you attract the attention of a lowly creature, such as a dog.
I apologised and explained how, for me, it was more polite to use a hand gesture than to try and shout over the others in the room. With goodwill on both sides it was quickly sorted out, but I am careful not to gesture to her again.
The differences in what is considered polite and what is regarded as “not good manners” between societies can be huge.
Sometimes I wonder how on earth people from different backgrounds can manage to get along when so many things we take for granted do not mean the same to others. Then I think of a story, told to me by my mother when she was explaining that consideration of others was the basis for good manners anywhere.
When Jan Smuts (who had been a General fighting against the British in the Anglo-Boer war) was later making a formal visit (as politicians do) to London, he was entertained at some event that included the Queen. He in his somewhat rough way (a boer is literally a farmer) scooped peas onto his knife to eat them. The Queen, apparently not wishing to embarrass him, did the same, eliminating any comment from others at the table.