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.
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.
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.
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