Etiquette Friday – Consider Different CulturesBy Angela Marshall, 13th Jul 2012
It’s Friday and the day I request you join me in my campaign for 2012 to change “Casual Friday” to “Etiquette Friday”, to get people and companies involved. If we consciously make an effort every Friday then hopefully it will become a habit every day. I challenge you to make one small change a week and by the end of the year let’s hope we have a more pleasant and positive society.
Consider Different Cultures
We are fortune in Britain to have lots of different cultures, religions and styles which have made Britain a country which is very mixed. This mix of cultures and styles has influenced our fashion, music, art, dance, writing and sport.
With the Olympic and Paralympic Games 2012 being held in London over the next month it is important to appreciate and understand that many people who arrive, from around the world, will not necessarily be used to our culture. Many people may have different table manners, body language, dress styles, speak in a different language and not understand English or speak it. It is, therefore, a good time to embrace other people’s ways and to be patient when they do not understand where to go, or what to do or say.
- Offer help – If you see that someone is lost or unsure of where to go, offer to help them
- Use body language to explain to people who do not understand English or speak very little
- Smile and show politeness and hospitality
- Be Patient if people are slower than you e.g. buying tickets, getting on a train
- Gestures – be careful what gestures you use, they mean different things in different countries e.g. snapping fingers over and over may mean one is trying to remember something someone has forgotten. In Latin America, snapping fingers means asking one to hurry up. In many cultures, snapping fingers close to someone’s face is considered to be an offensive gesture.
- Different Expectations – if fortunate enough to be at the games, allow for other people’s expectations and enthusiasm
- Be Gracious – if other countries beat Britain don’t be rude to other fellow spectators
Wherever you are from enjoy the Games and have fun.