Good manners

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Here under Good manners, you will find advice on how to behave according to the country your are staying in.

Good mannersThe word manners comes from the Latin manuarius, which means “belonging to the hand”, from manus “hands”.

When establishing contact with Asians, avoid body contact.

When bowing to people from Japan, hands should slide down toward the knees or remain at the side.shake handsWhen greeting, people from India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Thailand hold their hands together in front of their chins in a prayer like position and nod their heads.

When greeting most Latinos expect body contact. Hugging and kissing are acceptable for both the same sex and opposite sex.

When greeting, most people from France, Spain, Italy, Portugal expect to be kissed on both cheeks. The American bye-bye gesture means "come here" to people from South Asia.

Don't use the crooked-index-finger "come here" gesture with Japanese or other Asian people.

Avoidance of eye contact may be a sign of respect. Cultural differences affect how people use their eyes to speak and listen.

Belgium people have a very intelligent and auto-ironical sense of humor. In the Czech Republic and Hungary you are not allowed to enter a theater or an opera when you arrive late. In the Czech Republic women are not treated in a special way as in Poland (no helping with a coat, letting the lady go first through the doorway etc.).

In Scandinavian countries and in Spain you shouldn’t criticize others. It is really bad manners. People in Scandinavia speak their mind directly, they are not emotional at all and are not disturbed by long pauses of silence during a meeting.

In France it is expected to have business cards translated into French. The Spanish have a very high self esteem so you have to be careful with jokes. They appreciate foreigners trying to speak their language.

In Holland simplicity and honesty in manners is better. In restaurants, tips are not popular. The French like living outdoors: in cafes, restaurants etc. because of the small size of their flats and because they think that their home is for their family.

pictureIn Germany people never say jokes about their style of work. They are very proud of their economical achievements.

In Italy, you can address “Dottore” to any person who graduated from university, “Professore” to doctors and university professors. While eating fruit use a knife and fork except cherries and grapes. In Britain, after being invited to lunch or dinner you should send a thank you letter the next day. The first toast “to the Queen” is drunk standing. Don’t wear striped ties. They can be a symbol of a particular school or club and are allowed to members only.

Men should not remove their jacket in Europe or Latin America when wearing a suit. The socks should be long enough not to show your calf while sitting in. Women should wear tights or stockings even on a very hot day. Women should not wear sleeveless dresses at work. You should never visit a place of worship in shorts, jeans, T-shirt – it is disrespectful.

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