Wednesday, September 9, 2009

International Etiquette

I was in the library yesterday picking up my weekly round up of books when I stumbled upon a book called, 'Behave Yourself! The Essential Guide to International Etiquette'. I quickly flipped though it and knew I had to check it out. It lists 45 major countries and what each of their individual customs and traditions are for greetings, dress, eating & drinking and conversation.

As someone who loves to travel, I thought this book would be handy for myself and my world-traveler hubby and also entertaining and informative for you too!

Interesting Facts:


  • In Italy, chewing gum is considered vulgar however smoking is widespread, even in nonsmoking sections in restaurants.

  • When answering the phone, say "Pronto", which means "ready", not "Buon giorno."

  • Sitting down for coffee is much more expensive than standing at the bar, which is why you will often see a crowd of Italians crowded at the bar drinking espresso.

  • It is polite to stay at the table until the meal is finished, rather than visiting the bathroom during the meal.


  • Bread and bread sticks are an accompaniment to the main meal, so don't start nibbling until the food arrives!

  • Don't use the OK sign, it means 'zero' in France.

  • Good posture is very important and a sign of class. Keep your hands out of your pockets, don't slouch or chew gum.

  • Only use first names when invited. It is customary to address your elders with Monsieur or Madame.


  • It is normal for people of the same sex to walk hand in hand as a sign of friendship.

  • Carry Identification with you at all times-it is required by law.

  • Don't cross your arms while facing someone, it is considered rude.

  • Shaking your head means "I don't understand"; it doesn't mean no. To say 'NO', raise your eyebrows and make a "tsk' sound, or tilt your head backward slightly. Nod to say yes.

  • On public transportation, women should not sit next to male strangers.


  • The drinking age in Greece is 16.

  • In many restaurants you are allowed (and even encouraged) to visit the kitchen to see how the food id being prepared and to decide what you would like to order.

  • Raising an open palm at face level is insulting. The OK sign is considered a rude gesture with obscene connotations.

  • When you are invited to a Greek home, make a big fuss over the children. Greece is a very child-oriented culture, so don't exclude them when talking to adults.

  • In a Greek home, expect to be offered many seconds and thirds at meals. Eating well is a compliment to your hosts. If you are dining out, your host will usually pay the whole bill.
I thought I'd share with you the last four countries in Europe that I recently visited. They were all so lovely. The photo at the top of this post was taken on our trip in Santorini, Greece which in my opinion is heavenly!

No comments :

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by, your comments make my day! I read every single one and will answer any questions you have. I hope you'll visit again soon! :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Blog Design by Get Polished | Copyright © The Classy Woman ®