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Thread: Etiquette

  1. #1
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    Default Etiquette

    I know manners vary from country to country and even region to region. I'd like to hear stories of the differences in courtesy in NZ from your previous country of residence.

    On our 1st visit, Steve tried to help an older Kiwi lady down from the bus steps and she batted at him and asked if he thought she couldn't do it herself. Steve had just helped me down and thought it polite to offer his hand to her as well.
    I wonder if we made a faux pas or just had a run-in with a cranky lady.

  2. #2
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    Jun 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ana&Steve View Post
    I know manners vary from country to country and even region to region. I'd like to hear stories of the differences in courtesy in NZ from your previous country of residence.

    On our 1st visit, Steve tried to help an older Kiwi lady down from the bus steps and she batted at him and asked if he thought she couldn't do it herself. Steve had just helped me down and thought it polite to offer his hand to her as well.
    I wonder if we made a faux pas or just had a run-in with a cranky lady.
    Good question. I'm curious to hear stories myself.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ana&Steve View Post
    I know manners vary from country to country and even region to region. I'd like to hear stories of the differences in courtesy in NZ from your previous country of residence.

    On our 1st visit, Steve tried to help an older Kiwi lady down from the bus steps and she batted at him and asked if he thought she couldn't do it herself. Steve had just helped me down and thought it polite to offer his hand to her as well.
    I wonder if we made a faux pas or just had a run-in with a cranky lady.
    Oh dear- I think you just met a cranky lady as I know folk here find my husband's manners quite charming, especially with the English accent

  4. #4
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    I tend to find people here really polite and friendly - my husband is a Kiwi and I met him in the Uk on his OE, and most of my friends kept asking - does he have a brother?

    Way more polite than most English men - sorry guys but after 41 years in the UK - it's true!

  5. #5
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    I find people here very polite- and I live in Auckland which mist kiwi's consider to be some sort of pit of evilness. Compared to the UK, where people will literally push a granny/child/small woman over to get a seat on a train, here, even the teenagers que politely and people are helped onto buses with bags etc. If you are walking round carrying a map people will approach you and offer to help with directions.

    I do find it varies with area though. And it evaporates when people get into a car.

    So I think you just a random crank.

  6. #6
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    Ana, I think Barry met that same cranky lady! One Saturday he was walking the dog and saw an elderly lady waiting at a bus shelter near our house. He walked over and said "excuse me, but you might want to know the 20 bus doesn't run on Saturdays". She looked at him witheringly and said "Did I ask you?"

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jen View Post
    Ana, I think Barry met that same cranky lady! One Saturday he was walking the dog and saw an elderly lady waiting at a bus shelter near our house. He walked over and said "excuse me, but you might want to know the 20 bus doesn't run on Saturdays". She looked at him witheringly and said "Did I ask you?"
    May be she was waiting for her boyfriend


    I haven't come across any such people (yet), almost everyone till date have been quite friendly except one event at Warehouse store (I think rather than a person the store it self gives me some bad vibes), there are some exceptions sometimes.

  8. #8
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    Carer for a much-loved 90-year-old mum here, who can sometimes come across as cranky, though she's a darling.

    I think maybe this isn't a question of etiquette or cultural difference in manners. Old people quite often bat away help with what they were just getting to themself (though the help was kindly meant). I think they have to fight their corner so often with people talking over their heads, assuming they are gaga, or going to do things for them, which actually, though slower, they would prefer doing their own way, that they growl first, and only recognize the would-be kindness afterwards.

  9. #9
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    I agree with Kea, however I have noticed that the vast majority of people won't say "bless you" after you sneeze.

    Today I offered to help a woman carry one of two large boxes she was carrying off the train. She turned my offer down, however she was very polite and lovely in the way she did it. In the UK or the US I wouldn't have got such a nice answer.

  10. #10
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    I find day-to-day people are very friendly and chatty here. I think in a lot of cases people in shops etc have the time to talk to people because there are simply not the number of people around compared to the UK, so they don't have the stress of keeping on top of everything. Kiwi's are also pretty patient and much more polite when waiting their turn in a queue.

    There are a few social norms I've had to learn though.....especially involving school-mum type conversations. Pretty much everyone says "Hi, how are you?" and if you say anything other than "Good thanks" as a reponse, you risk the other person unable to respond to the conversation cues that we commonly used in UK. I'm sure I've posted this before but when my daughter first started school I once repsonded to another Kiwi mother that "I'm having one of those mornings", to which the woman responded with a very puzzled look and a quick exit. Luckily the South African teacher explained to me that she'd done the same thing herself a few times when she first emmigrated and that Kiwi's (on the whole) don't tend to have a good old rant and moan when having a bad day or sympathise with each other in quite the same way that Brit's and South Africans tend to.

    It seems *generally* the small talk tends to be all very light and positive (can't think of a better way to describe it), and it is often not so acceptable to discuss the weather or (unless you know someone well) have a moan when your child throws their breakfast all over themselves when you are already running late...unless of course you want to be branded a Moaning Pom

    I also asked my OH about ettiquette from a blokes point of view. He says the vast majority of men's small talk outside of work revolves around sport and the latest sports match of one kind or another, and if not sport then fishing or boats (in Auckland). Now my OH really has no interest in sports apart from something he actually does himself such as martial arts of golf, and doesn't follow any sort of sports or teams. He disagrees with fishing (we're veggie) and we don't own a boat. He finds that unless he can very quickly find something else to talk about, conversations end pretty quickly. He says this isn't an issue at work because in an IT environment there is always something geeky/nerdy or some cool technology or gaget to talk about

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