Whether you are flying to “meet the parents”, driving on the interstate, or seated next to Cousin Eddie, there are a few holiday etiquette tips that always bear repeating.
When you’re flying the friendly skies:
1) Don’t be an armrest hog. Please share with the passenger in the middle seat!
2) When filing out of the plane, one row at a time is proper. Don’t try to run down the aisle to be the first off the plane. In the grand scheme of things, saving 5 minutes won’t make a difference.
3) Traveling with children can be stressful, but avoid letting your children become stressful to others by stopping them from kicking the seats in front of them and being overly noisy.
4) Don’t forget to flush! Never “let it mellow” on an airplane. In the lavatory, drain your water out of the basin for the next person, and be sure to wipe the seat!
5) In the airport, remember to walk to the right, rather than down the middle of the terminals. Texting & walking is trouble – wait until you’re standing in line or seated at your gate. On moving walkways, stand to the right and pass on the left!
While traveling to a funeral this week, my friend’s lovely mother was described as a “visitor.” She took the time to “visit” with the people next to her on the plane. You never know who you may meet in this small world!
When you’re on the road:
1) Etiquette is about expectations! Be sure you use your blinker so the other drivers know your intentions.
2) Ask your kids to put their phones away and actually have some quality family talk. Share stories about earlier family holidays and traditions. Blackberries don’t grow up, but kids do.
3) Most importantly: Don’t text and drive! If it is important enough to risk your life and the lives of your passengers, pull over to send the text.
Around the table:
1) When eating family style, holding the turkey platter, offer some to Cousin Eddie, keep the platter and then pass all food to the right.
2) Salt and pepper are married; please pass them together, and always to the right.
3) Have the kids help set the table! A quick way to teach proper placement of the fork (the left) and knife, spoon, glass (the right) is: “‘Fork’ and ’left’ have 4 letters, ’knife’, ’spoon’, ’glass’ and ’right’ have 5 letters.”Best regards,
As Oklahoma welcomes the Creativity World Forum this week, I’m considering what it means for Oklahoma to be hosting such a vast array of cultures and countries. Representatives from South Africa, France, Germany, Belgium, Russia, Brazil, and several other countries are in attendance. The many cultures represented will require many sets of protocol requirements.
The things we do every day to greet one another are unique to our cultures. Handshakes are expected in the Western world, but not so in Indonesia, as First Lady Michelle Obama learned last week. In Indonesia, it is inappropriate for a western woman to extend their hand to a male unless he extends his own hand first. The Information Minister of Indonesia, Tifatul Sembiring, insisted that his handshake with Mrs. Obama was against his will, but he shook her hand nonetheless. When President Obama shook hands with his Indonesian counterpart, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, he received a fatherly, hand clasping handshake, as President Obama had lived in Indonesia as a child and was being welcomed back to the country. This is customary in Indonesia for greeting a guest, but that very same handshake would not be appropriate in the U.S., as it is seen as somewhat condescending in business.
Citizens traveling throughout the world, whether for business or pleasure, are expected to understand greetings from country to country. This week as Oklahomans welcome cultures from the world over into our great state, be mindful of greetings and the cultural faux pas associated with them. Doing some homework on greetings is the easy part, pronouncing the name of your Indonesian counterpart might not be!Best regards,