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We all are taught that it is impolite to point, but why?

An excerpt from my book
Do not point at another person. Pointing is associated with making an accusation and gives out a negative signal. Make a point by using an open palm. The gesture that shows rather then points, transmits a much more acceptable message.

Is it bad etiquette to pick up the bone from the following, during a meal to eat off the bone (Chicken breast, T-Bone streak or lamb chops)?

I would highly recommend never to pick up a bone with your hands or eat the meat of a bone in a restaurant. At home when the chicken or lamb chops (small ones) are broiled, you may do so in a very casual setting. A t-bone steak… that is a bit much. I would not.


I have to give a group a presentation on the topic of ethnogeriatrics in an occupational therapy theory class. I am looking for (a list of examples of) cultural faux pas to help illustrate the broad scope of ethnic/cultural sensitivity in everyday interaction with clients. If there is any information that you could share with me it would be greatly appreciated.

An excerpt from my book – A Power Guide. A gesture to avoid in Europe:
The North American OK sign, with the thumb and forefinger joined in a circle, is comparable to giving the “the finger” and is considered an obscene gesture in Germany, Greece, and the Russian Federation. Former President Bill Clinton made this sign during a televised program in Moscow in 1994, a faux pas that left many heads shaking. The same sign in France means “zero” or “worthless” .

Can you please tell me if it is proper business etiquette for Spanish speaking employees to speak Spanish in the workplace and at business lunches, when our business is in the United States and does business with primary English speakers. We are in South Florida with many Spanish speakers, and they frequently switch from English to Spanish (perhaps when they don’t want others to understand what they are saying, or perhaps it’s because it’s their first language). If it is inappropriate, should you (or how do you) explain this to them without sounding insulting, ill-mannered or prejudicial?

It is proper etiquette to use English if that is the language used in the business. It is impolite to speak another language in front of someone who does not understand. It is also human to lapse into your own language when it is your mother tongue. If this happens in your presence or at a meeting you may ask them to please translate what they just said for the benefit of all.

What is acceptable social etiquette in Ivory Coast in the day to day world? In a business world? At a cocktail party? I am a student at New Tribes Language Institute and I am preparing to go to the Ivory Coast. We are to do a research paper on the country to which we are headed. Any information you could send me regarding the acceptable etiquette in any/all situations in the Ivory Coast would much appreciated.

An excerpt from my book
In Senegal and the Ivory Coast, many of the social customs and language are French. A light warm handshake is the acceptable form of greeting when you meet and when you leave. Wait for a women to extend her hand first. Close friends may kiss each other on both cheeks. In French speaking Africa kissing a friend on both cheeks is common. French etiquette is followed.

Please send me any information on Arabian culture or any info you can share.

An excerpt from my book
The acceptable form of greeting when you meet and depart is salaam alykum. A soft lingering handshake is followed by a reply of “kaif halak” and “Nalik” for women.

In the traditional salaam greeting, the right hand first touches the heart, then the forehead. Westernized business people just shake hands.

Women are not usually introduced nor do they initiate shaking hands. A businesswoman should wait for a man to shake her hand. In Egypt, Western educated women shake hands with both genders.

Arabs are elaborate with greetings. In addition to a handshake, they may touch your arm or shoulder, and after several meetings even embrace you.
Guests should rise when an esteemed or senior person enters the room. Inquire after his or her health and give a compliment.

When you enter or leave a room be sure to greet everyone, usually with a handshake.

The terms “al” and “bin” (meaning “son of” or “from the town of”) are frequently used before a name, as in al-Ahmed or bin-Mubarak. Sometimes “al” and “bin” are used in the same name.

Titles are important. Address your host by his or her academic rank or title and surname.

In Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates a sheik is part of the royal family. Sheik is also an honorary title that shows respect. Address your associates with Mr. or Sheik (pronounced “shake”) and his first name.

Government ministers should be addressed as “Your Excellency,” and for social acquaintances, use “sayeed” and their first name.

What do you think of Bill Gates shaking the hand of South Korean President Park Geun-hye with one hand and the other tucked in his pants pocket?

The gesture was considered rude by the South Koreans. Mr. Gates has the means to hire an Image Consultant or Protocol Adviser before visiting another country. The gesture of “putting hands in pockets” is normally a habit acquired in your youth that has not been corrected by parents or teachers.
It is not an acceptable or attractive to walked around with hands in your pocket.