That was a great, dynamic and very practical meeting!
On April 9th, representatives of Regional Centrel of International Debate had the oportunity to talk to dozens of students from Asia, Africa and Europe about Polish Etiquette. Nicaragua, Egipt, Kenya, Iran, Georgia and a few other countires were the places where the student audience were coming from. We shared the secrets helping the students establish and maintain good relations with their Polish friends or host families.
How do you greet Poles? Who extends the hand first? Should I take my shoes off when I enter someone’s home or not? How about the etiquette at the table? Which topics do Poles eagerly talk about and which do they rather avoid? Those and many other where the questions we covered during over the 90 minutes meting.
We engaged the 40+ students in a conversation where we were also learning about cultural differences. Interesting was for example the comment from an African girl who clearly stated that in their countries it is the man who is always expected to reach out with a hand frist to a women when meeting her (the other way round as in European practice). An observation everyone agreed with was that Poles can benefit a lot from a more direct eye contact – which we often do do and it does the power to break the ice when we meet strangers much better.
To add a little spice: the most frequently asked question was how to ask a Polish girl for a date.
We saw a lot of nods at the end of th e meeting when asking whether the discussion helped address at least some of the challenges of everyday life in Poland. We’re extremely happy about and already planning similar meetings at other univeristies in Poznan!