Working in Portugal has been the closest thing to culture exposure. I also studied (still do) at the University of Lisbon. However, the kids and the culture are very international. No weird manners noted. However, at work I came across some funny manners (for a Finn).
The most recent learning experience is that you say Happy New Year to everybody, clients, colleagues, the cleaning ladies, the guard... Anybody you see during January who you have not seen yet. It goes like this: *muaks* *muaks* (cheek kisses), BOM ANO!!! Lovely, in Spanish it means *muaks* *muaks* GREAT ASS!!! Because I seem to have a dirty mind, I cannot see this one escaping my attention. It is correct, but I am kind of bilingual Portunhol (Spanish-Portuguese).
Regarding the cheek kisses, they are given to everybody you meet, may it be the first time or the hundredth. If you act Finnish (or basically any other not Southern country), you give the hand. This is kind of bad mannered because why wouldn't you want to kiss this person? Does he smell? You will be greeted with a sloppy-surprised hand. Cheek kisses. Always. Btw, don't kiss the actual cheek, kiss the air and make the *muaks* noise. If you kiss the cheek it is weird again. (This was for over eager kissers.) Funny story, when I was in Finland over the holidays I gave cheek kisses to everybody. OMG. Private Territory. Hand. Always. My bad.
However the most interesting thing is sharing. That is certainly not something we Finns like to do. Especially with alcohol. Anyways, you are obligated to ask if anyone wishes to have some of your food when you have food. (Does not necessarily apply during lunch hour, but should be offered anyways). Está servido? Are you served? Even if you had ONE nut in your hand, you shall ask!! Super badly mannered me who ate an almond and did not offer a taste to the five other people the same room. Once I ate yoghurt and then remembered, ohh I need to ask: Está servido? To my surprise the person tasted from my spoon. :D:D Never underestimate the situation.
|I put a picture of food to reinforce the text. Its a Spanish omelette with a twist.|