When missionaries leave their home country to serve in a different part of the world, there are many things they need to know. Here are a few things they need to learn right away.
· They need to start learning a new language, starting with “Hello,” “Please,” and “Thank you.”
· They need to learn how to use a different kind of money.
· They need to get used to different kinds of switches and buttons to turn things on and off. Door handles and knobs might also be different.
· They may have different types of keys—house keys might be huge and old-fashioned, or maybe they are flat and electronic.
· Sometimes missionary families are surprised to see what their new toilet looks like or how it flushes.
Once missionary families learn new ways of doing things, everyday life is much easier. And once they learn about good manners in the local culture, life is so much more pleasant.
Here are some interesting tips on good manners in other parts of the world.
It’s acceptable to make slurping sounds while you sip soup or hot drinks. In some places, slurping is a compliment to the cook.
The small plate next to your dinner plate is not for bread. Instead, it is used for the peelings removed from your boiled potatoes.
When you enter the front door of a Japanese home, you must remove your shoes and place them neatly to the side. You will be offered a pair of slippers to wear inside the house.
The local culture in Poland may seem formal, but Poles are friendly and polite. Be sure to greet people when entering or exiting an elevator.
If you are invited to someone’s home at 7:00 p.m., you must arrive at exactly 7:00 p.m. Punctuality is extremely important, while tardiness is considered impolite.
You must never use your hand or finger to point at someone, but you may point by puckering or pursing your lips.
Don’t be offended when your host fills your teacup only half full. This is considered polite because the hot liquid will cool more rapidly, allowing guests to refresh themselves much sooner. Serving a full cup of tea is considered disrespectful.
If you go to a party and a lot of people are in the room, first greet each person on your right. Then greet each person on your left. It is extremely important to say goodbye to each person before you leave.
There are thousands of Buddhist temples to see in Thailand. To enter a temple, it is important to show proper respect. Your arms and legs must be covered, otherwise you will have to borrow or rent a garment to cover up.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Don’t be surprised if people stare at you. You might feel uncomfortable at first, but it is not considered impolite. Folk are simply curious about what you are wearing or what you are doing. (Just make sure you are on your best behavior!)
When we go to new places, we might make mistakes without even realizing it. But if we have a friendly smile and a kind attitude, we can show our respect to those around us. Wherever we are, we should do our best to show good manners at all times.