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Global Social And Business Etiquettes

Updated on February 22, 2018

What is “etiquette”?

A basic code of polite behavior among the particular person or group in the society.

But the "Etiquette" is not consider as one uniform standard set around the globe.

For example, A hand gesture in one country may have different meaning in another country's culture!

Why are global etiquette and cultural differences important to us?

As the Global Business expand, the critical factor of successful business result may have reputation and appreciation for cultural difference. so, you need to optimize your knowledge of cultural diversity and international communication.

Let’s see how much you know……

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Focus Regions

  1. France
  2. Brazil
  3. India
  4. Japan

Etiquette in France


Why Talk About France?

The Word "Etiquette" comes from the French word "etiquette" which means Social manner or Protocol....

French Heritage and Culture

  • France is cultural world center.
  • French is very proud of their long history.
  • French protect and maintain their culture.

French Language

  • Académie Française was established in 1600's to be official authority of French Language.
  • Mostly Businessmen speak English in France.
  • If you don't speak French, then you should apologize for lack of knowledge.


  • French appreciate art form conversation.
  • French frequently interrupt each other, not to be rude.
  • Arguments are considered entertaining.
  • Don't be too loud, like as an Americans.
  • French eye contact is frequent and intense.


  • French are very conscious of their appearance.
  • Dress in well-Tailored
  • Dark colors and patterned fabrics are preferred in France.
  • French don't like Bright colors and Glitzy jewelry.
  • French men do not loosen their ties and do not take off their jackets. such behavior considered unprofessional.

Other Important
French Cultural Trends

  • Punctuality is treated casually.
  • French meals are to be enjoyed, not rushed through.
  • Handshakes are brief and accompanied by distinct eye contact. Always shake upon meeting and leaving.
  • Education is very important in France.
  • Gift giving as a business meeting is up to the foreigner's discretion. Gifts like Books and Music etc.

Etiquette in Brazil



  • Brazilians pride themselves on their attire.
  • 3- piece suits means ''Executive"
  • 2-piece suits means "Office workers"
  • Women preferred Elegant and feminine suits. And always have manicured nails.
  • Avoid combination of green and yellow in Fashion.

Behavior (Greeting)

  • Men shake hands and keep eye contact.
  • Friends slap each other's back or give hugs.
  • Women kiss each other starting left cheek and then right one.
  • If women wishes to shake hand with men must extend her hand first.
  • "OK" is considered as rude gesture.
  • If you express appreciation, you may pinch their earlobe with thumb and forefinger.
  • if you want to say good luck, just use the gesture "The Fig".

Gift Giving:

  • At First business meeting gift are not required.
  • Never give purple flowers They used for funerals.
  • Gift are opened when received.


  • Mid day is the main time for meal.
  • If you are invited, then arrive 30 minutes late.
  • If it is a large party, then arrive 1 hour late.
  • Dress to Impress
  • Casual clothing is more formal and more preferable.

Business Etiquette

  • Meeting chat begins with casual chat.
  • Never start chat before host does in the meeting.
  • You may talk about soccer or family.
  • Don't talk about politics, poverty, religion etc.
  • Face to face meeting is more preferable in Brazil.
  • communication should be informal.
  • interruption is acceptable in discussion.
  • Never rush relationship build time.
  • Try to schedule business meeting 2-3 weeks in advance in Brazil.
  • Arrive on time in meeting shows punctuality in Sao Paulo and Brazilia.
  • In Rio de Janerio and other cities, it is acceptable to arrive a few minutes late.

Etiquette in India



  • In formal business men should wear suit and tie.
  • Women should wear pantsuits or conservative dresses.
  • In casual business men can wear short sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Women must keep upper arms. chest, back and legs covered.
  • In India use of leather product may be very offensive because of religious factor.


  • Never touch somebody's head because head is considered seat of soul.
  • Feet are considered unclean, If your feet touch any body just apologize and also never point feet at any person.
  • Gift should not opened in the presence of giver.
  • Business lunch are more preferable then dinner.
  • Keep in mind just one thing, Hindus do not eat beef and Muslims do not eat pork in India because of religious factors.


  • National language is Hindi and second popular language is English that mostly used.
  • Do not thanks your host after meal, they considered it an insult.
  • Never directly refuse an invitations.

Indian Working Practices

  • Indian appreciate punctuality.
  • Mostly business appointments are held between 11 am and 4 pm.
  • Showing impatience considered as rude or disrespectful.

Do’s and Don’ts

  • Wait for female colleagues
  • Don't shake hands with female.
  • Use title "Professor or Doctor" if doesn't have use "Mr" "Mrs" with last name.
  • Don't refuse food and drinks in meeting.

Etiquette in Japan



  • "Dress to Impress"
  • Men should wear dark business suits.
  • Women should dress conservative with minimal accessories and low heels.
  • Pants considered offensive in Japan.


  • Meeting with customer is bow.
  • Receive handshake.
  • Must complete "Meishi" Exchange Process.
  • Smile carefully
  • Not to use word "No".

Do’s and Don’ts

  • Avoid "OK"
  • Avoid pointing anyone.
  • Avoid blowing your nose publicaly
  • If you are invited at any event arrive late.
  • Touching to someone of opposite sex in public is prohibited in Japan.

© 2017 Hamza Mumtaz


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