International Etiquette - the Webster dictionary defines Etiquette as "the forms, manners, and ceremonies established by convention as acceptable or required in social relations, in a profession, or in official life" - etiquette really is about respect, good manners and good behavior.
It is not just each of these things, but it is ALL of these things rolled into one. It is also about leadership, taking the time to put others at ease and thinking before you act.
Of course what is considered good etiquette in one country could be considered extremely bad manners in another country. You know the old saying 'when in Rome, do as the Romans do'? Well to some degree that applies here.
Cleaning your plate at the dinner table in China is not good dinner table etiquette - it may even be considered bad manners. It could be construed that you did not have enough food on your plate and you are still hungry.
In a Greek family home, leaving food on your plate could be taken as an insult; the hostess may think you do not like the food. Not a good idea if she is a typical Greek Mamma!
In Iran, I believe it is best to never eat with your left hand, it could be considered gross indecency as that hand is kept for toilet purposes only.
Some cultures practice a very formal etiquette in bussiness and social situations. Many stick to their traditional customs.
In some countries people are more tolerant and accepting of foreign visitors, but it is always good manners and good social etiquette for you to make the effort to fit in and not offend.
It may sound a little difficult and one sided, but as we said before, there is no one rule book that covers every aspect of good manners and etiquette as it differs from culture to culture and country to county and even person to person.
Generally speaking, if you are well mannered, tolerant, and respectful you will feel comfortable in any company or situation. Most people will accept you into their circle.
When visiting a country for the first time, whether it is for business or on holiday, it is always advisable to go to the library or search the internet and read as much as you imagine would be necessary for the purpose of your visit.
Below is a brief example of different customs and cultures in a small selection of different countries:
International Etiquette - Japan: In Japan, most people are sensitive and very fastidious about etiquette and proper form.
If you are visiting Japan, I recommend a quick read about the country and culture before you go. It will make your stay more enjoyable if you have an understanding of Japanese etiquette and culture.
International Etiquette and culture - France: Education is of great importance to the French. Part of the education system is learning to do things correctly, being bien eleve (well brought-up, well mannered).
If in France or in the company of French people, knowing about their culture will help you 'fit in' and feel comfortable. Try to learn a few French words to assist you in restaurants or guided tours.
International Etiquette - Greece: If on holiday in Greece, or in the company of a Greek family, even in your own country, maybe even doing business with a Greek Company over the internet, remember the family is everything and always comes first; the group with which you are associated requires absolute loyalty.
Nothing can be accomplished in Greece without the consensus of others, requiring the building of trust and personal relationships in business before any real tasks are accomplished. However, one's individual personality philotimo, or self-pride must be respected.
International Etiquette - Germany: In Germany, the importance of being appropriately dressed for an occasion cannot be stressed enough. This holds true in both business and private life.
By dressing-up for an occasion, you express your respect not only for the occasion, but also for the other guests, the surroundings, and especially the host or hostess.
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it for further reference or to share with your friends.
Please click on the links below to learn more about that country's etiquette and culture
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