Global Etiquette Rules Every Frequent Traveller Must Know
You have just landed in new country and are perplexed about what you can do and what you should not do. Before committing some social faux pas, it would help to know how you should behave at a dinner party or carry off everyday interactions and negotiations, without a helping hand. Must you take off your shoes at the door, or dress up casually while visiting? Three cheek kisses, two or just that one, you have to make instant decisions. Just smile, bow or shake hands?
With the help of experts, etiquette and protocol coaches, we need to find out the correct etiquette when someone invites you home and conduct yourself with aplomb.
JAPAN (Land of the Rising Sun)
If invited to pay a visit to a private residence in Japan, you must first invest in fresh, clean, hole-free socks, as all guests remove their shoes before entering. Tracking dust and dirt into the home is a sure sign of disrespect. Cleanliness matters as people sit down on the floor on tatami mats and eat near the floor and also guards against Japan’s high humidity and rain, which, if unchecked, could damage floors.
Even in new, Western-style homes, you will be handed a pair of hallway slippers, to be put on quickly, and without fuss. Do bring a gift for the host or hostess, preferably store-bought baked goods or sake and remember to bow frequently with the junior person always bowing first; the deeper the bow, greater the respect shown.
CHINA (The Red Dragon)
The Chinese prefer not to entertain at home and so do not expect an invite. Most hospitality is conducted in restaurants and to really impress, in private dining rooms where the hosts choose dishes for their guests. Regional delicacies like Nanjing’s duck blood and vermicelli soup may be ordered so be polite and try it, eat as much as possible. Business cards are exchanged before a meeting, even before handshakes, and must be offered and received with both hands. The fruits are circulated to signify the end of the meal which is elaborate and take over two hours.
If you visit a traditional home or a temple for a religious ceremony, you may be anointed with a tilak, on the forehead made from sandalwood, vermilion, or clay, as part of your welcome. Do not confuse it with a bindi, as the tilak is used for both men and women, as an expression of honor rather than indicating marital status. Some hotels offer to wash their guests’ feet as they arrive, and see guests off with flower garlands.
If visiting a home, don’t go empty-handed, and ask if there is a no-shoes policy. Elders have prior seating before you do, and expect a second, third, or fourth helping. Most eat with the right hand only but spoons may be requested.
If invited to a German home, do be on time as tardiness is tops for rude behavior here, second only to arriving in casuals. Germans make concerted efforts to dress well for all guests, even for a casual meal among friends. So don that venerable dinner jacket even though you may be asked to lose the shoes. Once seated, keep your hands on the table where the hosts can see them as placing them on the lap, and not maintaining eye contact is taboo while saying prost.
ARGENTINA (La Albiceleste)
Most people who say they’ll “be there in five” when it’s actually more like 20, will like Argentina. It’s socially acceptable to be fashionably late in this vast South American country; you are rude to be on time! Personal space, along with time, is a very fluid concept for the Argentines who are an intimate yet affectionate people.
You have to get accustomed to close conversations, and ensure enough mints to last the night. Leaning in is the norm here, lean out of any conversation and you are considered standoffish. Be prepared for a long evening at the host’s house, as dinner might stretch over several hours.
BRAZIL (The Pindorama)
Brazilians are known for being brash and voluble, and you must expect loud, passionate, conversation, with a freely flowing opinions with your meal. Heading out for food? You might have to grab a light snack, as dinner will not start on time with people typically about 20 minutes late, whether for a family meal or a formal dinner. Never gesture the ‘OK’ sign (pointer finger to thumb) as in Brazil, it is a vulgar gesture.
More in Lifestyle
The Pioneer Woman’s New Cookbook is the Keto Diet Inspiration We Needed
Ree Drummond aka The Pioneer Woman, is known for sharing recipes that are loaded with carbs. Fans of such recipes would...July 12, 2019
Vanessa Hudgens Opens Up About Her Early Midlife Crisis at 27
Many people do experience midlife crisis, but usually in their late 30s or early 40s, but not Vanessa Hudgens. The High...July 11, 2019
Why Lady Gaga Doesn’t Want Ex-Boyfriend Christian Carino to Contact Her
No, it isn’t Bradley Cooper’s fault. When news broke out about Lady Gaga’s breakup with fiancé Christian Carino, many assumed it...July 10, 2019
Kylie is Conquering the Skincare Business with ‘Kylie Skin’
When it comes to business, Kylie Jenner is fearless – a great factor that helped her achieve great success with her...July 9, 2019
Lena Dunham Had a Special Guest On Her 33rd Birthday Party – Brad Pitt!
Lena Dunham celebrated her 33rd birthday with a party and one photo of her with a guest who had people talking,...July 8, 2019
How Simon Cowell Dazzles X-Factor Fans with His Bright Smile
There is nothing prettier than a set of brilliant white teeth! Once you see it, you adore it. We brush every...July 4, 2019
Victoria Principal is Switching Her Focus from Skincare to Philantrophy
Victoria Principal is closing an old chapter in her life as she opens up a new one. The actress recently announced...July 3, 2019
What’s in a Name? For Harry and Meghan’s Newborn Son, It’s a Lot!
The birth of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s son is probably one of the most, if not the most, anticipated event...July 2, 2019
Kim and Kanye’s Family is Growing – They Just Welcomed Baby Number 4
Not many years have passed since news broke out that Kim Kardashian was dating musician Kanye West, and now they are...July 1, 2019