LEFT, RIGHT and WRONG!
Some Basic Guidelines for Polite Behaviour in North Sumatera
When receiving and giving things, including money, always use the right hand, however inconvenient it can be at times.
Use only the right hand to eat food.
When eating with fingers, clean them in the water bowl provided for the purpose.
Wait until everyone has finished eating before you go to wash your hands.
If using spoon and fork, leave them backside up as a sign you have had enough.
Placing the hands on the hips, even casually, is a sign of arrogance or anger.
The whole of the right hand is used for gestures to another person.
It is rude to place one's feet in such a way that the soles are facing another person.
Don't point at things with your feet.
Take off your shoes when visiting some one's home.
If you visit someone's house, you may be asked if you have already eaten. "Sudah Makan?" The polite answer is "Sudah" (Already).
But if a meal is spontaneously provided, it is impolite to refuse.
When leaving, it is polite to thank the wife, even if she has spent all evening in the kitchen.
And if a single woman is at home, one is expected to politely turn down an invitation to come in.
Men touching men and women touching women is commonplace and completely acceptable, but touching between the sexes is rarely done in public.
Avoid visiting Moslem homes during prayer times.
Burping is considered normal. Farting is not.
Don't throw things to anyone. It is more polite to hand it over, even if
it means moving.
"Dress up" when visiting Government Offices. Use shoes, long trousers and shirt with collar. Short sleeves are ok. Women should not show their shoulders.
On the beach, nudity is not in line with religious beliefs. Western
style swimsuits are considered outrageous. Please be modest. Use shorts when swimming. Women are better off using a t-shirt.
All the above taken from the excellent Guide Book "A Guide to Aceh 1998" by Mahmud Bangkaru.