Etiquette Guide for the 2012 Olympic Games

The national tourism agency has developed a comprehensive online resource to guide everyone from hoteliers to cab drivers in offering the best customer service and meeting 'cultural' needs.  It offers advice ranging from how to pour wine for Argentinians to not winking at people from Hong Kong. The big no-no is asking a Canadian what part of America they come from.  Exuberant welcome  VisitBritain says the UK is already rated fairly highly - 14th out of 50 - in the Nation Brands Index for the quality of the welcome would-be visitors believe they will get when they come here.  But key competitors such as Canada, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands do better.  Our great landmarks won't be enough to keep tourists happy, say VisitBritain.  The VisitBritain research shows foreign visitors often find Britain's mix of cutting-edge modernity and rich cultural heritage ''fascinating'' and ''exciting.'' They see British people as ''honest,'' ''funny,' ''kind'' and ''efficient'' but in some cases they wish we offered a more exuberant welcome.  The tips have been written by VisitBritain staff, who are natives of the countries featured, and they have a wealth of insight into the places visitors come from. Here is a sample:  · A smiling Japanese person is not necessarily happy  The Japanese tend to smile when angry, embarrassed, sad or disappointed. They may think it rude if you talk to them with your hands in your pockets.  Avoid staring, as eye contact isn't generally considered polite. While sitting, try not to show the bottom of your shoes. Avoid being late for things and blowing your nose in front of someone is also likely to be considered rude.  · Be careful how you pour wine for an Argentinian  The whole process involves a number of social taboos and unless you understand them you could insult someone. For example, pouring wine backwards into a glass indicates hostility. Don't be offended by Argentinian humour, which may mildly attack your clothing or weight.  · Avoid winking at someone from Hong Kong  Winking is often considered a rude gesture. Pointing with an index finger is not advisable as this is generally used only for animals. Point with your hand open. Hong Kong Chinese are very superstitious: mentioning failure, poverty or death risks offence.  · Remember Arabs are not used to being told what to do  Visitors from the United Arab Emirates can take great offence if you appear bossy. They appreciate being looked after by staff who have been trained to understand Arab culture. For example, it is culturally insensitive to ask an Emirati whether they want bacon with their eggs or to include a half bottle of wine with the table d'hote menu.  · Do not be alarmed if South Africans announce that they were held up by robots  To a South African the word robot means traffic lights. ''Takkies'' means trainers, a barbecue is a 'braai', and ''howzit'' is an informal way of saying hello. When in a social situation with a South African do not place your thumb between your forefinger and your second finger - it is an obscene gesture.  · Don't ask a Brazilian personal questions  Steer clear especially of such issues as age, salary, or marriage to someone from Brazil, Argentina's fierce rival.  · Avoid physical contact when first meeting someone from India  Being touched or approached too closely in initial meetings can be considered offensive, even if the intention is entirely innocent or friendly. Be tolerant if Indians at first seem impolite, noisy and impatient. This is partly the result of living in chaotic cities and environments. They usually appreciate orderliness when they see it.  · When meeting Mexicans it is best not to discuss poverty, illegal aliens, earthquakes or their 1845-6 war with America  Polite topics of conversation would be Mexican culture, history, art and museums instead. When demonstrating the height of something, be aware that holding the palm face down is reserved for animals. Burping out loud is considered very rude.  · Never call a Canadian an American  Canadians may take offence if labelled American. Some Canadians get so annoyed about being mistaken for US citizens they identify themselves by wearing a maple leaf as pin badge or as a symbol on their clothing.  · Do not take offence if an Australian or a New Zealander makes a joke about ''Poms''  It is more of a friendly endearment than an intended insult.  · Avoid saying ''thank you'' to a Chinese compliment  Instead, politely deny a compliment to show humility. If you compliment a Chinese person, expect a denial in reply. The Chinese are famous for communicating by "Saying it without saying it." You will have to learn to read between the lines. Use only black and white materials for presentations, as colours have significant meanings in Chinese culture.  · When accepting thanks Koreans will typically say "No, no "  The remark should be interpreted as "You are welcome".  · Don't snap your fingers if you are with a Belgian. It may be interpreted as impolite  And avoid discussing personal matters or linguistic and political divisions within Belgium between Dutch and French speakers.  · Never imply Poles drink excessively  Despite stereotypes, Poles are not large consumers of alcohol and excessive drinking is frowned upon.  Sandie Dawe MBE, Chief Executive Officer of VisitBritain, said: ''Overseas visitors spend more than £16 billion a year in Britain, contributing massively to our economy and supporting jobs across the country.  "So giving our foreign visitors a friendly welcome is absolutely vital to our economy. With hundreds of thousands of people thinking of coming to Britain in the run up to the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012, this new advice is just one of the ways that VisitBritain is helping the tourism industry care for their customers - wherever they come from.'' If you plan on head­ing to Lon­don for the 2012 Olympic Games here are a few Eti­quette Rules taken from an arti­cle writ­ten by the BBC

The national tourism agency has devel­oped a com­pre­hen­sive online resource to guide every­one from hote­liers to cab dri­vers in offer­ing the best cus­tomer ser­vice and meet­ing ‘cul­tural’ needs.

It offers advice rang­ing from how to pour wine for Argen­tini­ans to not wink­ing at peo­ple from Hong Kong. The big no-no is ask­ing a Cana­dian what part of Amer­ica they come from.

Exu­ber­ant welcome

Visit Britain says the UK is already rated fairly highly — 14th out of 50 — in the Nation Brands Index for the qual­ity of the wel­come would-be vis­i­tors believe they will get when they come here.

But key com­peti­tors such as Canada, Italy, Spain and the Nether­lands do better.

Our great land­marks won’t be enough to keep tourists happy, say Visit Britain.

The Visit Britain research shows for­eign vis­i­tors often find Britain’s mix of cutting-edge moder­nity and rich cul­tural her­itage ”fas­ci­nat­ing” and ”excit­ing.” They see British peo­ple as ”hon­est,” ”funny,’ ”kind” and ”effi­cient” but in some cases they wish we offered a more exu­ber­ant welcome.

The tips have been writ­ten by Visit Britain staff, who are natives of the coun­tries fea­tured, and they have a wealth of insight into the places vis­i­tors come from. Here is a sample:

· A smil­ing Japan­ese per­son is not nec­es­sar­ily happy

The Japan­ese tend to smile when angry, embar­rassed, sad or dis­ap­pointed. They may think it rude if you talk to them with your hands in your pockets.

Avoid star­ing, as eye con­tact isn’t gen­er­ally con­sid­ered polite. While sit­ting, try not to show the bot­tom of your shoes. Avoid being late for things and blow­ing your nose in front of some­one is also likely to be con­sid­ered rude.

· Be care­ful how you pour wine for an Argentinian

The whole process involves a num­ber of social taboos and unless you under­stand them you could insult some­one. For exam­ple, pour­ing wine back­wards into a glass indi­cates hos­til­ity. Don’t be offended by Argen­tin­ian humour, which may mildly attack your cloth­ing or weight.

· Avoid wink­ing at some­one from Hong Kong

Wink­ing is often con­sid­ered a rude ges­ture. Point­ing with an index fin­ger is not advis­able as this is gen­er­ally used only for ani­mals. Point with your hand open. Hong Kong Chi­nese are very super­sti­tious: men­tion­ing fail­ure, poverty or death risks offence.

· Remem­ber Arabs are not used to being told what to do

Vis­i­tors from the United Arab Emi­rates can take great offence if you appear bossy. They appre­ci­ate being looked after by staff who have been trained to under­stand Arab cul­ture. For exam­ple, it is cul­tur­ally insen­si­tive to ask an Emi­rati whether they want bacon with their eggs or to include a half bot­tle of wine with the table d’hote menu.

· Do not be alarmed if South Africans announce that they were held up by robots

To a South African the word robot means traf­fic lights. ”Takkies” means train­ers, a bar­be­cue is a ‘braai’, and ”howzit” is an infor­mal way of say­ing hello. When in a social sit­u­a­tion with a South African do not place your thumb between your fore­fin­ger and your sec­ond fin­ger — it is an obscene gesture.

· Don’t ask a Brazil­ian per­sonal questions

Steer clear espe­cially of such issues as age, salary, or mar­riage to some­one from Brazil, Argentina’s fierce rival.

· Avoid phys­i­cal con­tact when first meet­ing some­one from India

Being touched or approached too closely in ini­tial meet­ings can be con­sid­ered offen­sive, even if the inten­tion is entirely inno­cent or friendly. Be tol­er­ant if Indi­ans at first seem impo­lite, noisy and impa­tient. This is partly the result of liv­ing in chaotic cities and envi­ron­ments. They usu­ally appre­ci­ate order­li­ness when they see it.

· When meet­ing Mex­i­cans it is best not to dis­cuss poverty, ille­gal aliens, earth­quakes or their 1845–6 war with America

Polite top­ics of con­ver­sa­tion would be Mex­i­can cul­ture, his­tory, art and muse­ums instead. When demon­strat­ing the height of some­thing, be aware that hold­ing the palm face down is reserved for ani­mals. Burp­ing out loud is con­sid­ered very rude.

· Never call a Cana­dian an American

Cana­di­ans may take offence if labelled Amer­i­can. Some Cana­di­ans get so annoyed about being mis­taken for US cit­i­zens they iden­tify them­selves by wear­ing a maple leaf as pin badge or as a sym­bol on their clothing.

· Do not take offence if an Aus­tralian or a New Zealan­der makes a joke about ”Poms”

It is more of a friendly endear­ment than an intended insult.

· Avoid say­ing ”thank you” to a Chi­nese compliment

Instead, politely deny a com­pli­ment to show humil­ity. If you com­pli­ment a Chi­nese per­son, expect a denial in reply. The Chi­nese are famous for com­mu­ni­cat­ing by “Say­ing it with­out say­ing it.” You will have to learn to read between the lines. Use only black and white mate­ri­als for pre­sen­ta­tions, as colours have sig­nif­i­cant mean­ings in Chi­nese culture.

· When accept­ing thanks Kore­ans will typ­i­cally say “No, no ”

The remark should be inter­preted as “You are welcome”.

· Don’t snap your fin­gers if you are with a Bel­gian. It may be inter­preted as impolite

And avoid dis­cussing per­sonal mat­ters or lin­guis­tic and polit­i­cal divi­sions within Bel­gium between Dutch and French speakers.

· Never imply Poles drink excessively

Despite stereo­types, Poles are not large con­sumers of alco­hol and exces­sive drink­ing is frowned upon.

Sandie Dawe MBE, Chief Exec­u­tive Offi­cer of Visit Britain, said: ”Over­seas vis­i­tors spend more than £16 bil­lion a year in Britain, con­tribut­ing mas­sively to our econ­omy and sup­port­ing jobs across the country.

“So giv­ing our for­eign vis­i­tors a friendly wel­come is absolutely vital to our econ­omy. With hun­dreds of thou­sands of peo­ple think­ing of com­ing to Britain in the run up to the Olympic and Par­a­lympic Games in 2012, this new advice is just one of the ways that Visit Britain is help­ing the tourism indus­try care for their cus­tomers — wher­ever they come from.” 

arti­cle writ­ten by: BBC


Why do we follow protocol when meetng the Queen?

With all of the atten­tion Pres­i­dent Obama’s Royal Mishap when toast­ing the Queen has been receiv­ing, here is a great arti­cle that gives some insight on why we fol­low pro­to­col when meet­ing the Queen?

Pres­i­dent Barack Obama raised eye­brows when he con­tin­ued speak­ing dur­ing the national anthem with com­men­ta­tors sug­gest­ing pro­to­col had been breached. But what is royal pro­to­col and is it necessary?

Barack Obama was prob­a­bly not aware that he was doing any­thing unusual when mak­ing a toast “to the Queen” and then con­tin­u­ing with a short speech. Accord­ing to pro­to­col, how­ever, he should have stopped after the toast.

The band, tak­ing its cue from the word Queen, struck up with the national anthem leav­ing the pres­i­dent strug­gling to make himself heard.

What hap­pens when the Queen is toasted is all part of pro­to­col, an elab­o­rate set of cus­toms and rules that gov­ern inter­ac­tions with the British royal family.

Some fuss was also made dur­ing a pre­vi­ous visit by the Oba­mas, when Michelle put her arm around the Queen, another pro­to­col breach.

Mrs Obama’s action echoed sim­i­lar slip-ups by Aus­tralian prime min­is­ters. In 2000, John Howard appeared to have put his arm around the Queen, but that was as noth­ing com­pared to the furore caused by Paul Keat­ing when he put his arm around the Queen dur­ing her 1992 tour of Aus­tralia, and was dubbed “the Lizard of Oz”.

Michelle Obama took the unusual step of hug­ging the Queen dur­ing the First Lady’s pre­vi­ous UK visit When meet­ing a royal, there are rules about who can speak first, where to look, what to call them, how you should stand and when you should sit. It is a mys­te­ri­ous busi­ness to the uninitiated.

But it stems from a time when mon­archs were accorded an almost divine sta­tus and had to be treated accordingly.

From medieval times, mon­archs were divinely appointed to rule by God, so they were kind of seen as gods, so they demanded to be treated as gods,” says Dr Kate Williams, a his­to­rian at London’s Royal Hol­loway university.

They are treated as peo­ple set apart from the rest of us, so pri­mar­ily what it is cre­at­ing is dis­tance and grandeur.”

In short, says Dr Williams, “you don’t kiss them, you don’t touch them, you bow — over and over again.”

But in an era when a woman with ances­tors who worked in the coal mines can become a princess, does royal eti­quette really matter?

The reac­tion to Mrs Obama touch­ing the Queen in 2009 would sug­gest it does to some people.

Meet­ing the Queen may never be the same again after an extra­or­di­nary show of affec­tion with Michelle Obama,” wrote Andrew Pierce in the Daily Tele­graph in 2009.

For David Miller, direc­tor of Debrett’s, royal eti­quette is a help­ful set of instruc­tions to show peo­ple how to behave in an unfa­mil­iar social setting.

It’s a code of con­duct in terms of the way in which peo­ple behave at occa­sions and even­tu­al­i­ties that they do not encounter on an every­day basis,” he says.

Yes, it’s wrapped up in his­tory and tra­di­tion, but it’s also prac­ti­cal, uni­ver­sal and there to avoid embarrassment.”

Royal pro­to­col can be viewed as an expres­sion of respect for the Queen.

William Han­son, a pro­to­col expert who trained staff for the lux­ury liner Queen Mary II, says the Queen, with all she has been through, her unique per­spec­tive and posi­tion in the nation’s his­tory, deserves the respect she is afforded.

It’s because we respect her and what she stands for — she stands for all that is great in British soci­ety,” he says.

But there is evi­dence that things are becom­ing more relaxed.

Jen­nie Bond spent 14 years nego­ti­at­ing royal pro­to­col as a part of her job as royal cor­re­spon­dent for the BBC.

I don’t think that they are as hot on eti­quette as most peo­ple think they are,” she says.

They like peo­ple to curtsy, but you’re always told at royal brief­ings that it’s up to you. As a jour­nal­ist, I never did.

All this thing about not speak­ing to the Queen unless you’re spo­ken to, I don’t believe that, I always used to tell her jokes.”

Dr Williams says royal eti­quette has adapted to reflect the shift in what we expect from our royal family.

I think it is chang­ing, I think in the ear­lier period peo­ple wanted their monarch to be set apart from them, that’s what they wanted, they wanted some­one more pow­er­ful [to pro­tect them],” she says.

We’re less and less engaged with the idea of a monarch being dis­tant. For exam­ple, Princess Diana gained pop­u­lar­ity because she was so much less formal.”

But Mr Han­son believes eti­quette still has a role to play, beyond royal cir­cles as much as within them.

These things mat­ter, espe­cially when you’re doing busi­ness with east­ern coun­tries such as China, where they take it even more seri­ously than Britain,” he says.

The Japan­ese, the Chi­nese, the Mid­dle East­ern coun­tries, are more con­cerned with pro­to­col day-to-day.”

Mr Han­son sees a deeper impor­tance behind the prin­ci­ples of etiquette.

If you get the lit­tle things right, all the other things fall into place. It’s about respect and def­er­ence in soci­ety, and that is what we’re lacking.”

As for the recent faux pas by Mr Obama, Mr Han­son says: “It’s not going to spell the end of cor­dial rela­tions between Amer­ica and Britain, but it’s always nice to get these things right.”

Source: BBC News

President Obama’s Royal Mishap When Toasting The Queen

Yes­ter­day Pres­i­dent Obama began a toast to the Queen at the wrong time as a result “God Save The Queen” was play­ing dur­ing his toast. Pro­to­col states that the toast is to be given after “God Save the Queen” is played.

And now I pro­pose a toast to the Queen, Pres­i­dent Obama began, but only got as far as To the vital­ity of the spe­cial rela­tion­ship before God Save the Queen cut him off.

He con­tin­ued to give his toast and raised his glass say­ing “To the Queen” she smiled, but beca­use the song was play­ing no one drank from his or her glass includ­ing the pres­i­dent he put his glass down on the table.

Once the song was over every­one raised their glass.

Dining With Royalty

When din­ing with roy­alty it is your respon­si­bil­ity to know your din­ing eti­quette.  The BBC has great advice on things guests should know before tak­ing their seat at the dinner table.

Table Setting

Cut­lery dilemma
It’s quite sim­ple — start at the out­side and work in as the meal pro­gresses. The soup spoon will always be on the extreme right if soup is the first course. It will be sec­ond from the right if served as a sec­ond course. Dessert cut­lery will always be at the top of the place set­ting with the fork fac­ing right and the spoon above it facing left.

Drinks order
Glasses are also placed in the order in which they are used. So, for exam­ple, water, cham­pagne, white wine, red wine, dessert wine. A nap­kin might be placed on the plate or to the left of the forks.

How to eat…
Some dishes require their own eti­quette.
Bread rolls: don’t cut with a knife — break with fin­gers.
Soup: tip the bowl and scoop the spoon away from you; sip, don’t slurp.
Aspara­gus: eaten with fin­gers, start with the head.
Oys­ters: use an oys­ter fork to detach the oys­ter from its shell. Hold the shell between thumb and first two fin­gers, place against lower lip and slide the oys­ter and its juice out of the half shell. Don’t swal­low it whole. Chew slowly and savour.

Source: BBC

Royal Wedding Countdown ~ Receivng Line Etiquette

How to address memebers of the Royal FamilyWhen attend­ing a for­mal wed­ding cer­e­mony it is tra­di­tional for the wed­ding hosts, bride, groom, and brides­maids and maid of honor.  This is done because your guests are eager to con­grat­u­late you and a receiv­ing line is an effe­ciant way for you to give a warm wel­come to your fam­ily and friends.

The upcom­ing Royal Wed­ding  which will uphold many wed­ding eti­quette and pro­to­col prac­tices will have a tra­di­tional receiv­ing line with Prince William and Kate Mid­del­ton, Prince Charles, and Mr. and Mrs Middleton.

Here are a few tips on how to address some of the key play­ers and mem­bers of the Royal Family:

Princes & Princesses

Any­one who has a title should be addressed as “Your Royal High­ness” for the first time, and sub­se­quently “Sir” or “Ma’am” (to rhyme with Pam).

Clergy

Arch­bishop of Canterbury

If you are intro­duced to the Arch­bishop of Can­ter­bury address him as “Your Grace” or “Arch­bishop”, the Dean of West­min­ster is addressed sim­ply as “Dean”.

Queen

Intially your refer to her as “Your Majesty”  Then“Ma’am” (to rhyme with Pam)

And remem­ber do not speak to any mem­bers of the royal fam­ily unless spo­ken to first.  Now that you know how to address the meme­bers of the Royal fam­ily… How are your table man­ners?

Source:BBC News

International Protocol ~Business Card Etiquette in Japan

When it comes to busi­ness eti­quette when deal­ing with inter­na­tional clients in the U.S. or in their Coun­try it is cru­cial you brush up on your Inter­na­tional Pro­to­col.

Below are the “how to’s” when deal­ing with Japans Pro­to­col in exchang­ing busi­ness cards:

Busi­ness cards are impor­tant to the Japan­ese.  Have them trans­lated into Japan­ese on one side, make sure your title is clear

When pre­sent­ing your busi­ness card present it with the Japan­ese side up and fac­ing your col­league between the thumb and fore­fin­gers of both hands while slightly bowing

When receiv­ing a card, take it between the thumb and fore­fin­gers of both hands at the top of the card

Don’t put the card away imme­di­ately the longer you look at the card the more respect you are giv­ing the per­son.  If you need help with the pro­nun­ci­a­tion be sure to ask

Never write on a busi­ness card in the pres­ence of the owner.

International Protocol: Avoiding a “Sticky Wicket”

Before con­duct­ing busi­ness in for­eign coun­tries, it is impor­tant to famil­iar­ize your­self with the cus­toms and cul­tures of that coun­try. What is accept­able here in the United States may be taboo in that coun­try. By prepar­ing ahead of time, you will lessen the risk of embar­rass­ing your­self and stick­ing your foot in your mouth and poten­tially dam­ag­ing your busi­ness rela­tion­ship. Pres­i­dent Obama is cur­rently mak­ing his first offi­cial visit to Aus­tralia and kudos to him for tak­ing the time to famil­iar­ize him­self with some com­mon jar­gon. Dur­ing a speech at the Par­lia­ment House in Can­berra, Aus­tralia, Pres­i­dent Obama worked in Aus­tralian jar­gon terms like ear­bash­ing and sticky wick­ets while talk­ing about the rela­tion­ship between the United States and Aus­tralia. Hav­ing used these jar­gon terms cor­rectly, Pres­i­dent Obama has shown that he prides him­self in prepar­ing him­self for busi­ness in other coun­tries and hope­fully this will improve our for­eign pol­icy and help get us out of our sticky eco­nomic situation.