Some Customs & Culture Tips
Society passes principles and values to future generations through Customs, Traditions. It forms our world outlook, through which we view our lives and shape our opinions. Throughout history, cultures have passed the Family Values. The sharing of Family Values nurture future generations. Very often the display of an object or symbol that is meaningful to a family or to society can become a Custom, Tradition or Ritual. Although we should conфsider the definitions from the dictionary:
Custom: A usage or practice common to many or to a particular place or class, or habitual with an individual. Long established practice considered as unwritten law. Repeated practice. The whole body of usages, practices, or conventions that regulate social life. Tradition: An inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action, or behavior. The handing down of information, beliefs, and customs from one generation to another without written instruction.
Social gatherings are quite informal in the US. Most people do not use parties to show wealth or taste. Parties are opportunities for people to gather, converse, and relax. The host wants you to "feel at home." You may be greeted at the door with "Make yourself at home." Invitations are usually informal and often oral, but tell the time and place: "Will you come over Tuesday evening at 8:00?" A statement such as "come and see me sometime" or "drop in" is not an invitation. It means that you must telephone before you drop in. If you accept an invitation, it is important that you go and be punctual, or you should answer for the invitation if you can’t go. -"RSVP" - you must call the host and tell him whether or not you will be there. The "RSVP" is to help the host plan how much food and drink to prepare. - "Regrets only" you only need to tell your host if you do not plan to attend. If you are unsure how to dress, call the host and ask, "What should I wear?" - Student gatherings are much less formal. What time you arrive makes little difference - people are coming and going all the time. Many student parties are "BYOB". You will make enemies rapidly if you go to parties and drink other people's beverages. If a party is BYOB , then you should BYOB!
Gift Giving Etiquette
If you’re invited to dinner, it’s customary to take along a small present, e.g. flowers, a plant, chocolates or a bottle of wine. A gift can be as simple as a card and personal note. Gifts are normally opened when received.
The American’s greeting may vary from a formal ‘good morning’ to a more casual ‘Hi!’; it’s considered polite to respond likewise. It’s customary to say ‘Have a nice day’. Americans often reply ‘You’re Welcome’ or something similar. They may think you’re impolite if you don’t do likewise. If someone asks ‘How are you?’ it’s usual to reply ‘Fine thanks’ (even if you feel dreadful). But you should know that "How are you?" and "How's it going?" are greetings, not questions about your life. "See you later," or "See you soon," are ways of saying good-bye, not appointments. If someone is introduced to you, for example, as George, you can usually call him George. Americans generally dislike formality or any sort of social deference due to age or position, and most quickly say ‘Please call me Rick’. It shows no lack of respect, this is just the custom in the US. After you’ve been introduced to someone, you usually say something like, ‘Pleased to meet you’ or ‘My pleasure’ and shake hands with a firm grip. Thus it is the customary to shake hands, both for men and for women. Hugs are only exchanged between close friends. Kissing is not common, and men never kiss other men. Shake hands the first time you meet someone, but not the second. First impressions are important so you should learn to shake hands correctly. Do not squeeze too lightly or too strongly, and do not prolong the handshake by refusing to let go; that is...
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