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Where To Go Next for Tuesday, May 13


Today's Travel News
Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Cultural Etiquette

By Judi Janofsky & Rich Steck

As hosts of tour groups for Provence, we're often asked about what cultural differences Americans should be aware of when traveling in France. No one wants to make an embarrassing "faux pas" in a foreign country.

Well, here are a few cultural differences that we've picked up over the years in France and other countries:

In a country where food is king it's good to have courtly manner. So –

- Don't cut your salad with a knife or fork. Instead fold your salad on your fork using your knife.

- Never cut bread. Break bread with your fingers. And usually there aren't bread/butter plates. So place your bread on the table above your dinner plate on the left.

- Cut cheese vertically. Do not cut off the points.

- Never eat fruit whole – Always peel and slice it before eating.

- When you're finished eating, place knife and fork side by side on the plate at the 5:20 position. The fork should be on the left and the knife should be on the right with the blade of the knife facing the fork.

- To signify that you would like more food, cross your knife and fork across your plate.

Italians are known for expressing themselves through body language. So –

- Greet friends with a kiss on both cheeks.

- Keep eye contact while talking. If not, Italians think you are hiding something.

- To call a waiter or waitress, raise your index finger and make eye contact.

- Stand when an older person enters the room.

In China, it's all about respect. So –

- When introduced to a group of Chinese people, they may greet you with applause. Be sure to applaud back.


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