As we grow, we learn certain rules of etiquette and politeness; how to express with certain gestures, how to behave among people of higher social/professional rank or status, how to eat in public, to name a few situations. Those rules vary also within the cultures in which one gesture can be extremely offensive for certain people while not meaning anything at all for others.
As an English teacher with a multicultural classroom it might be wise to learn about the students' manners as their behavior in class can be just the reflection of that culturally learned etiquette. There are many differences from culture to culture, but to learn those of your students could be vital to avoid misunderstandings or feeling offended, disrespected or laughed at. It is part of an open mind set and the acceptance of events within the classroom as the teacher gets to know his students.
Here is a list of differences in manners around the world, do you identify with any? can you ratify these statements? read them and learn surprising differences of daily manners.
In most Arab countries, it is extremely rude to offer your left hand for a handshake or to wave a greeting.
Chewing gum publicly in places like Luxembourg, Switzerland, and France, is considered vulgar. In Singapore, most types of gum are illegal.
In many Asian and South American countries it is common to remove your shoes when entering someone's home.
In Greece, any signal that involves showing your open palm like waving or making the "stop" sign is extremely offensive.
In the U.K., making the "V for victory" or "peace" salute with the hand turned it is considered extremely rude. It has a similar meaning to raising the middle finger in the United States.
The "okay" sign (thumb and forefinger touching to make a circle) is used as an insult in Germany and most of South America, similar to giving someone the finger in the United States. In Turkey and Venezuela it is a derogatory gesture used to imply that someone is homosexual.
In Japan and Korea, a tip is considered an insult as they see accepting tips like akin to begging.
When dining in China, leaving food in your plate would prevent you from having it refilled and it shows recognition of your hosts' generosity.
Orthodox Jews and Muslim men will generally avoid touching people of the opposite sex who are not family members.
A bone-crushing handshake in much of the East, particularly the Philippines, it is seen as a sign of aggression.
In most Asian countries, to disrespect a business card by folding it, writing on it, or just shoving it into your pocket
would be seen as to disrespect the person who gave it to you.
In most Middle East it is offensive to show or point the sole of your feet at someone.
In China, Taiwan, and much of the Far East, belching is considered a compliment to the chef and a sign that you enjoyed your meal.
In Korea and some parts of Latin American, throwing an object to pass it on is considered rude.
In many places in Latin America, placing your arms on the table is acceptable.
in many places of Latin America there's a high tolerance for noise. This could be seen as Loud music parties and family events or just businesses offering music at their establishments.
In the United States not being puntual in a 10 min spawn is considered offensive while it can be normal in other parts of the world.
In Japan blowing your nose in public is not appreciated. You must seek to do it in private or in a bathroom.
TESOL 103 Class Assignment - BYUI