Monday, October 27, 2008

International Etiquette

Every month Conde Nast Traveler magazine highlights a different country's etiquette. Interestingly enough, this month it highlights the US based on guidebooks marketed to those traveling here (and on the spot interviews with tourists in NYC). You can read this wisdom here.

There are training programs here in Denver that help refugees by giving them a crash course in American culture as well as preparing them for the realities of living and working in the US. Some of it is basic, like how to open a bank account or get medical treatment. But some of the cultural notes are important too, like the American slant on personal space, being on time, standards of dress, grooming and hygiene.

The next time I'm in a major airport, I'm going to have to look at a guide book marketed to international guests coming to the US. I don't think the travel section in Borders is going to have quite the same spin.

Pondering: What if we do smile too much here?

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