DOs and DON'Ts in your countries

This forum is to learn about foreign cultures and habits, because language skills are not everything you need as a world citizen...

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Gormur
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Postby Gormur » 2006-05-05, 1:10

I find it strange Greeks don't wear sandals, but I think it's also true that I see more sandals, shorts, and sleevless shorts here than I ever did in California. I guess it's because there's so little time to wear them during the year so you'll see half the people in shorts once it rises above 0C. :lol:
Eigi gegnir þat at segja at bók nøkkur er hreinferðug eðr ønnur spelluð því at vandliga ok dáliga eru bœkr ritnar ok annat kunnum vér eigi um þœr at dœma

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culúrien
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Postby culúrien » 2006-05-05, 1:40

For my area of the US (ohio) here are some rules:

-all males do that weird thing kirk described quite nicely. I've never understood it though

-the to take or not to take off your shoes thing depends on the individual here. there's no rule to follow

-don't use sir or madam too much, it's considered overly formal
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Postby Canard » 2006-05-05, 4:35

Here if you wear socks with sandals, people stare at your feet. Aside from that, Portland is very, very informal about dress, so you can even go topless as a woman and people don't care too much since we have Dykes on Bikes in the parades, all topless.

A major caveat about living here is how overly politically correct everyone is. I'll call "African-Americans" Black (not all come from Africa) and I'll call "Hispanic-Americans" either Mexican or Latino if I can tell by their Spanish accent that they're not from Mexico.

Here it's all right for people of any sex to be close in public, friends, lovers or otherwise.

There's also an overwhelming sense of politeness except among certain "down with the system" teenagers. People hold open doors for you, thank the bus drivers, chat with complete strangers on the street, and have the annoying habit of letting a million people go before them in a door, which is bad news for you if you're stuck behind them!

Also, you can and often are expected to jay-walk any time and anywhere so long as traffic is at least 20 feet away. If you wait at a corner for the light to change, a crowd of 30 people including five old ladies will jaywalk right past you.
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icx

Postby icx » 2006-05-11, 14:38

My advice for gay people who come in Romania: DO NOT reveal your sexual orientation :wink:

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Postby Ingvarr » 2006-05-12, 11:15

In a Russian (drinking) community, you should never leave an emptied bottle on the table - bad luck, I guess, anyway, it's just not a thing to do

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Saaropean
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Postby Saaropean » 2006-05-12, 15:28

Ingvarr wrote:In a Russian (drinking) community, you should never leave an emptied bottle on the table - bad luck, I guess, anyway, it's just not a thing to do

Strange. My brother (who has been living in Russia since last summer) told me you should never empty your glass because it will always be refilled...

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bodhisatva
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Postby bodhisatva » 2006-05-13, 6:04

Saaropean wrote:
Ingvarr wrote:In a Russian (drinking) community, you should never leave an emptied bottle on the table - bad luck, I guess, anyway, it's just not a thing to do

Strange. My brother (who has been living in Russia since last summer) told me you should never empty your glass because it will always be refilled...

An empty glass can't be refilled if there's an emptied bottle. :D

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Postby nettchelobek1 » 2006-05-15, 1:55

As for my country, We are very kind and affable, when we first meet a person, the most people, greet with a kiss on the cheeks, and we also use to invite immediately the other people to stay at home, we talk about our lifes like if we were old friends. :D

In the other hand, we still have prejudices against the gay people, it's often bad criticized if a gay couple walk down the street and they kiss themelves. Moreover, male chauvinism is still widespread here, and at home the father's will is the most important, nevertheless, last years many women supporting organisations have been growing and women rights are more respected. Anyway, I hope that someday we can respect to each other, regardless of gender, race, language or any difference. :D

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Postby greg-fr » 2006-05-16, 6:44

If I'm invited for dinner (in people's home, not in a restaurant) at, say, 20h30, I'll never turn up at 20h30 sharp : I'd be extremely embarassed to do so. I'd ring the bell anytime between 20h45 and 20h55. I could never pop up before 20h30 of course !

Nero

Postby Nero » 2006-05-23, 21:34

If I'm invited for dinner (in people's home, not in a restaurant) at, say, 20h30, I'll never turn up at 20h30 sharp : I'd be extremely embarassed to do so. I'd ring the bell anytime between 20h45 and 20h55. I could never pop up before 20h30 of course !


Heh - they do that in other countries? Far from American standards of "Be on time" and all that.

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Postby Gormur » 2006-05-24, 1:30

Nero wrote:
If I'm invited for dinner (in people's home, not in a restaurant) at, say, 20h30, I'll never turn up at 20h30 sharp : I'd be extremely embarassed to do so. I'd ring the bell anytime between 20h45 and 20h55. I could never pop up before 20h30 of course !


Heh - they do that in other countries? Far from American standards of "Be on time" and all that.


oh I don't think there's any standard in the US as a whole. More like regional standards. People in the South seem very laid back about time, just like Manitoba and Western Canada. In California it depends on the person really, but generally it's pretty informal. People I know from the east coast like Toronto, NY, etc seem to get really impatient when things aren't done on schedule. Maybe that has something to do with regional standards as well.
Eigi gegnir þat at segja at bók nøkkur er hreinferðug eðr ønnur spelluð því at vandliga ok dáliga eru bœkr ritnar ok annat kunnum vér eigi um þœr at dœma

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Postby ego » 2006-05-26, 0:02

In Greece, the time between 14:00 and 17:00 is considered sacred. It's the time for siesta, many people, especially aged people, take a little sleep then, and others just lie and rest doing nothing. It's prohibited by law to make noise or generally disturb your neighbours siesta during these hours. Calling someone is considered very rude too. Only people with bad manners would call you at 15:00 here, except if it's something urgent. Sometimes I have to call some friend during siesta and I feel like "omg, what will his/her parents think about me?". So while in Greece, check your watch before dialing

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allemaalmeezinge
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Postby allemaalmeezinge » 2006-05-26, 1:38

This time is here from 12/13-15:00.. It's Mittagszeit and you're not supposed to get on other people's nerves during that time...

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Postby Nounoursette » 2006-05-26, 5:30

Last Monday we went for dinner in a relatively big town here
We were 4 and we were late! It was helf past eight, and I know that in the Netherlands this is the limit to find a place in a restaurant (dinner time is usually between six and eight)

When we entered the restaurant, the waiter told us spontaneously, with a real expression of reproach: "You are late!!!" :shock: :shock: :lol:

I would have expected a more friendly reaction!
What a strange sense of hospitality :roll:
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ego
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Postby ego » 2006-05-26, 9:05

Here you wouldn't hear this even at 04:00 am :wink:

yabba wrote:This time is here from 12/13-15:00.. It's Mittagszeit and you're not supposed to get on other people's nerves during that time...


I thought there's no such thing abroad, or at least it's not so important, because some foreigners I met had no idea about it. A Turkish friend wanted to make a phone call at 15:00 and I stopped him and he was amazed.

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allemaalmeezinge
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Postby allemaalmeezinge » 2006-05-26, 10:47

During that time you're not supposed to make unnecessary noise (like in summer DONT switch on the lawn mower) you're not supposed to ring other people (telephone and personally) etc. pp....

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Leviwosc
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Postby Leviwosc » 2006-05-26, 12:47

My first post in this topic is already a long time ago. I'll rewrite my piece with some extra information.

In the Netherlands we usually make appointments for all kinds of things. People who come to visit you, the hairdresser who comes to give you a new haircut. Going out or going to the cinema. You make an appointment for this and write it down in your agenda. Visiting someone, even a friend, without having made an appointment before is considered as very rude; you may not expect someone makes time for you at once. Only very good friends who know from eachother that visiting eachother without an appointment isn't a problem can do this.

Being on time at your appointment is really important! The first impression can be negative when you show up late! It's absolutely unacceptable to be 5 minutes too late. One says here often, 'better 1 hour too early than 1 minute too late.' Appearing too late for a job interview is useless, being too late means automatically that you're not hired by the company.

Usually when you make an appointment, you only agree on the time that your appointment starts. It's considered rude to stay too long, the host won't ask you to leave but will feel very uncomfortable! Visiting someone for 1,5 or 2 hours is considered as normal here, unless when you're good friends, then you can stay longer. And guests should leave before dinnertime, in the Netherlands guests usually do not join the dinner table; so you have to leave before that time.

The Dutch are really cold when they meet eachother. Or perhaps the people in the south of the Netherlands. We only say 'hello' to eachother, we do not shake hands, neihter do we kiss, we don't touch eachother at all. You'll shake hands when you meet eachother for the first time; you won't do it anymore the 2nd time you meet. Dutch people only shake hands to congratulate or to condole eachother. You can kiss eachother when you congratulate someone, only good friends do this; men do not kiss eachother.

In general Dutch people don't like to be touched by other people. You do not lay your hand on someone's shoulder, neither on his/her back, only friends can do this; touching eachothers faces is unthinkable. Kissing eachother is perhaps no problem for you or for your partner, but kissing in public might be considered as shocking. A short, quick kiss isn't really a problem but french kissing isn't something you do in public.

One eats with cutlery here in the Netherlands, separately from poultry one always uses cutlery and thus doesn't eat with his/her hands. Even chips are eaten with cutlery, many people eat it just with their hands, though.

Dutch people usually don't like to talk about money or the amount of money they earn. So don't ask someone how much he ears a month. That's private and not your concern.

One should address in formal; strangers, older people and people who are professionally of a higher rank. Dutch also address their grandparents in formal, in some parts of the country even children adress their parents in formal.

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Nukalurk
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Postby Nukalurk » 2006-05-26, 13:18

yabba wrote:During that time you're not supposed to make unnecessary noise (like in summer DONT switch on the lawn mower) you're not supposed to ring other people (telephone and personally) etc. pp....


That mostly only applies to weekends, esp. Sundays and also public holidays - at least here.

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allemaalmeezinge
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Postby allemaalmeezinge » 2006-05-26, 13:32

I was taught that, on every day, and I am polite ! And if you switch on your lawn mower during mittagsruhe, you'll get some visit from the other neighbours ! :!: :!: :!:

Of course in cities like Berlin good customs are in decline, but who is surprised by that? :twisted:

Besides: I don't agree with what Ron said, there are kissing couples in the Netherlands, who expected something different? :roll:

And using the polite forms of the verb for addressing your parents seems very strange to me (even to the grand-parents); but I have heard stories like that before, ..there is the rumor that Frenchies also use the vous for their pets, for example..

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Nukalurk
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Postby Nukalurk » 2006-05-26, 13:38

yabba wrote:I was taught that, on every day, and I am polite ! And if you switch on your lawn mower during mittagsruhe, you'll get some visit from the other neighbours ! :!: :!: :!:


I also won't do something like that, and it can be disturbing, if other do it. :?


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