The geography of courtesy
If you have ever been abroad, you probably noticed that the traditions and customs related to etiquette in different countries may differ significantly from each other. What is considered polite in one place, will be regarded as rudeness in another. To travel the world and meet with foreign partners and to avoid embarrassment in communication, acquainted with the peculiarities of etiquette in different countries.
A business meeting with the Japanese should dress modestly, bow during a greeting should be a little lower than bowed to your clients. Gifts from Japanese friends should take both hands and open them after the party, in any case not in front of the giver. In conversation, avoid asking direct questions and give clear answers. The norm of communication in Japan is evasive, lengthy discourse, is short and succinct «Yes» or «no».
Always keep your distance and don’t touch people you’re talking to. At the table don’t try to start a discussion on potentially «controversial» topics such as religion or politics.
And never drink before the host will propose a toast. The silence that arose in the conversation, is not considered in Sweden are clumsy, they think that it is better to be silent than to shoot the breeze in vain.
At the meeting, the woman should initiate a handshake with a man. Avoid prolonged eye contact, he will be regarded as aggression. At the table in any case do not put your elbows on the table. And don’t show hand «okay» — in Mexico it’s a very obscene gesture.
Greeting someone who is older or above you in status, should the left hand clasp the right wrist. Sure, at a business meeting you must put a number of questions about health, family, business, etc., before proceeding to the main topic of conversation. At the table don’t start eating before the eldest of the men present.
In a conversation with a local you will have to significantly reduce the voice. Talking loudly is considered impolite. Prepare for the fact that the Jordanians will violate your personal space during a conversation to come closer to you than you’re used to, and often touch you.
The Germans, like the Swedes are very politically correct and restrained. Your handshake should be strong, and you have more normal to say «please» and «thank you». Do not be lazy, learn these words.
Another place where you have to say «thank you» very often and for any little thing.
Gift, as in Japan should be taken with both hands. If some of the Chinese comments on your appearance or weight, do not take it as hitting or hint at something. It’s just a polite note from them.
Left-handers in Pakistan will have a hard time to eat only with the right hand because the left is considered «unclean». And never show others the soles of their shoes, and don’t touch anyone’s feet.
In France, as in Germany, at every step you will have to say «thank you» and «please», and don’t forget to apologize to the seller for troubling him, before making its request.
In any case, don’t touch the interviewee during the conversation — personal space in Korea carefully guarded. And don’t be offended if Korean nod, instead, to give you a hand.
Don’t be afraid to touch the interlocutor during a conversation, smile often.
In Brazil, as in Mexico, the gesture «OK» is considered rude. If you decide to eat in a public place, make sure you hold the sandwich in a napkin.
In Nepal you must remove your shoes when entering a house or temple. And don’t use your left hand during the gift exchange.
Another country in which it is considered good practice that in Russia we would call a gross violation of personal space. Even strangers in Argentina come very close and often touch you during the conversation. And your attempts to keep distance will be regarded as rude. Prolonged eye contact is an integral part of polite conversation.
But in any case, don’t put your hands on your hips is going to get in trouble.