Sunday, 22 April 2012

The answers to the politeness quiz!

Hello everyone! I hope you had a nice Easter break! I went back to Italy and it was lovely to see my family and friends again. I promised to give you the answers to my international etiquette quiz after Easter (see previous blog), so here I am. You are polite all around the world if…: 1. …you say hello when you meet a friend. 2. …when you are on the bus, you leave your seat to an older lady. 4. …you smile when you see a friend. 9. …when you are in a new city you can ask for directions to find the train station, but you might be considered rude in Russia if you ask for directions to find the bathroom. In some countries it is perfectly normal, but in others it is rude if… 3. …when you have a cold you blow your nose in public (Russia, China and probably somewhere else). 5. …you arrive 30 minutes late at a party. It might be acceptable in Mediterranean countries, but it is considered rude in Northern Europe. 6. …you are invited out for dinner and you finish everything on your plate. In Asian countries you question the host’s generosity if you do so. 7. …for your friend’s birthday you give her a gift wrapped in white. In China white is the colour used for funerals, gifts need to be wrapped in red or gold. 8. …when you are very happy you whistle in public. It is rude in Eastern Europe. 11. …you buy your girlfriend some lovely white chrysanthemums. In Italy chrysanthemums are used for funerals. It is very important to be aware of the differences between national cultures. As interchanges between different nations are on the increase and as national culture is ingrained in all we do, it is important to realise that there is no right or wrong – just different approaches to the same human needs. To learn a bit more about this topic, please join us at our Inter-Cultural Awareness workshop on Wednesday 25 April. Call me on 01225 384193 or email me on, if you require more information about this event. It’d be great to see you there!


  1. Just found a funny pic on the efficiency on conveying a message in European languages :P