Re: Customs in the different countries
Not to interrupt, Carina, but there is a friend of mine with whom I still talk on the phone, and I haven't been to Boston in thirty years.
I met her at a summer camp and her teacher's teacher was Kanai Sensei so also her teacher at seminars and camps. He was famous for handshakes, that must be what he picked up from American culture. He was also famous for hanmi, which I tried to learn, to keep balance since I am rather tall.
Chiba Sensei wrote in an article that Kanai Sensei, whom he called "Hanbei" would sometimres appear suddenly and he did when I was showing Ginny the Kanai Sensei handshake (in Aikido style hanmi)
"What that?' he asked with an amused expression on his face (he still had an accent at the time) Maybe he thought we were practicing on our own outside of class.
What could I say, we couldn't lie to him.
"The Kanai Sensei handshake."
"Uh oh," I thought, he's gonna be mad at us for mimicking him.
"That's funny" he chuckled, and disappeared again leaving us speechless amazed at what had just happened.
So later when I had students I passed it on to them.
I hope this fits into your question about learning different customs!