Sunday, January 30, 2011

Ukrainian Etiquette

Found this list on a website, nothing seems too out of the ordinary. 
  • If invited into a family home, it is traditional to bring a gift. A bottle of wine, a cake, chocolates or a bouquet of flowers is customary. If there is a child in the house, it is appropriate to provide him/her with a small gift as well. (Kit Kats and a shot glass)
  • Do not shake hands across the threshold of a door. It is considered bad luck. (I wonder how they feel about mistletoe) 
  • When shaking hands, take off your gloves. (normal)
  • In Ukraine it is not a custom to shake hands with a woman. Kissing her hand will make you very gallant. (I don’t think I’ve ever kissed a girl on the hand… like seriously)
  • Be prepared to remove your shoes upon entering a home. To keep apartments clean, most hosts will provide you with a pair of slippers.(sweet, do I get a snuggie as well?)
  • On public transportation, give up your seat to mothers with children, the elderly, or the infirm. (duh)
  • At the entrance of upscale restaurants, expect that your coat, briefcase or baggage will be checked. (so keep important things in your pockets)
  • Be sure to have business cards printed in Ukrainian on one side and English on the other. (smart idea)
  • When eating dinner at someone’s home, casual dress is accepted. (got to love jeans)
  • If you bring flowers, make sure it is an uneven number (even are for funerals) of flowers. (interesting, my OCD will be unhappy)
  • Be ready to give toasts at dinner, for guests are often asked to do so.(can they be in English?)
  • Offer to share your snacks and cigarettes with those around you. (I expect the same in return)
  • Be prepared to accept all food and drink offered you when visiting friends. (I’m scared of the sheer amount of vodka they drink)
  • Ukrainians are known for their generosity when it comes to feeding others. Turning down food may be considered rude. (I’m going to get fat :/ )
  • For business, dress should be conservative. Men should not take off their jackets unless asked to do so. (I’m going to sweat)
  • In Orthodox churches women wear scarves or hats, and men take off their hats. (standard)
  • Don’t put your thumb between your first two fingers - this is a very rude gesture. (similar to flipping the bird?)

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