The Importance Of Good Manners
Good manners are a mark of good breeding, and of course of good upbringing. They stem from one’s innate consideration for other people.
So what are good manners?
Good manners require you to follow some simple guidelines. Of course there are cultural differences that need to be taken into consideration. What is rude in Japan may be perfectly acceptable in Latin America. However, you will be forgiven for not knowing the rules of an alien culture. You will not be excused for being careless in your own country. In any case, always remember that good manners is all about making others comfortable.
If you meet a group of people, always greet the elders first. Don’t shout to be heard. Don’t interrupt people while they’re talking. Don’t address elders and seniors by their names; it may be fine in a foreign country, but our culture doesn’t permit this. Use ‘Sir/ Madam’ to address strangers. Use ‘Uncle/ Aunty’ (or Chachaji, Mausiji etc) to address familiar people. Stand up when an elder or a guest enters the room and don’t sit until you’ve offered them a seat. Offer a glass of water (and preferably a cup of tea) to anyone who steps into your home/office. Do not continue to watch TV or surf the net when you have a visitor. Stand when the national anthem (of any country) is playing. Show respect to all flags and all religious symbols. Lower the music or TV volume when others are talking or trying to sleep.
Do not ask questions that are too personal or invasive the first few times that you meet a person. Do not comment on personal appearances or clothes in a negative way; if you cannot say something complimentary, do not say anything at all. Take off your shoes or sandals before entering a home or at least wait for your host to tell you that you need not bother.