Learning the right way to say hello
Never add salt to your food in Egypt
Around the world, there are different socially acceptable ways to greet people, conduct yourself at a dinner table and give gifts. Here are just a few examples:
In Egypt, it is considered a sincere compliment to take second helpings and to show appreciation for the meal. On the other hand, adding salt to your food is considered an insult to the chef.
In Kenya, women over the age of 21 are often addressed as mama, while men over the age of 35 are often addressed as mzee. Children typically refer to adults as aunt or uncle, even if there is no blood relationship.
Indian custom is for guests to always politely turn down the first offer of tea, coffee or snacks. It is likely you will be asked again and again, but saying no to the first invitation is part of the protocol.
In Korea, there are a host of table rules when visiting someones house for dinner. First off, you should wait to be told where to sit, as there is often strict protocol to be followed. Another rule is to never point your chopsticks or pierce food with them. You should also return your chopsticks to the table after every few bites, and when you drink or stop to speak. Food should never be picked up with your hands, including fruit, which should be speared with a toothpick. Another interesting point of etiquette is that bones and shells are supposed to be put on the table or an extra plate.
When it comes to a toast in the Ukraine, it is customary to take a sip of the celebratory drink, though you dont need to finish the glass. When it comes to drinking its also impolite to clink your glass with others during a toast if you are not drinking an alcoholic beverage.
Useful website: http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/resources/country-profiles.html
Etiquette consultant Trudy Snaith has always tried to learn more about the proper way to conduct herself, even as she vacationed in far off places like Dubai, Egypt, Oman and Vietnam.
She heads to Switzerland later this month to study formally, as part of a weeklong programme addressing current global trends in etiquette.
Mrs Snaiths plan is to combine this up-to-date information with her personal research and life experiences to better serve Bermuda residents as they do business in different countries, and students looking to study overseas or compete in the global marketplace.
She said: I believe there is a need to understand etiquette from other countries because the world is global and getting a lot smaller.
You are no longer interacting with just people in your little area and community, you need to know about other cultural experiences and what those people expect of you and you cant do that while going in blind.
People cant always just up and go to other countries to learn this, which is why I am incorporating it into my programmes.
She said it was important for people to become not only culturally tolerant, but culturally savvy as well.
Shell be joined at the conference by Pamela Eyring, director of The Protocol School of Washington. Countries represented will include North America, China, France, Greek, India, Japan, Lebanon, Mexico and Nigeria.
Mrs Snaith said the timing also couldnt be more perfect. It coincides with my belief that this is the year that an all-out effort will be made to get Bermuda back on the road to re-establishing its presence in the global market, she said.
Mrs Snaith became more aware of etiquette practices and customs during her extensive travels in the past two years.
Wherever I travel I use the opportunity for research, to gain insight and increase the knowledge I can pass onto my clients and students, she said.
Visits to Europe over the years have been instrumental in creating the core of my etiquette programmes, but it was during trips to Vietnam, other countries in the Far East and especially the Middle East including Dubai, Egypt, Oman and Jordan in 2011, that I began to recognise there was a common thread of etiquette running through all of these cultures.
In other words, the basic rules of etiquette for civilised interaction between people that can guarantee a successful outcome to what you are trying to accomplish were the same. They do not change, but they are adaptable.
She said there was so much information available these days that allowed anyone to easily find out what those basic etiquette rules are.
Knowing how to bend those rules to meet the expectations of various cultures is the challenge, she continued. This is what I help people with [because] in business, it is crucial. Socially, mistakes are viewed more forgivingly.
Mrs Snaith has been interested in etiquette since the age of ten when she read a book called White Gloves and Party Manners.
She then recognised how important social skills could be in paving the way to success and that people responded better to you when you conducted yourself properly.
She studied etiquette consulting at The Protocol School of Washington, which has a focus on diplomatic relations.
Throughout the past ten years, she has used her training to help children as young as three grasp manners and table etiquette and to show adults how to better handle themselves in job interviews and within the workplace.
For more information e-mail email@example.com.
Useful website: www.esop.bm/
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