UNITED EUROPE IS IN OUR EYES COMENIUS MULTILATERAL PARTENSHIP 2012-2014 SCOALA GIMNAZIALA CARAULA MEETING AND GREETING Initial greetings are formal and reserved: a handshake, direct eye contact the appropriate greeting for the time of day. Buna Dimineata - Good Morning, Buna ( ziua - Good Afternoon, Buna Seara - Good Evening) Some older Romanians kiss a woman's hand when meeting them. Foreign men are not expected to kiss a Romanian woman's hand. Close friends may kiss and hug each other when they meet. When kissing, expect to kiss twice, once on each cheek starting with the left cheek. Usually, young people say "buna ziua" to older men which means "good day" and to women "sarut mana" that means “I kiss your hand" but people say it in a hurry, so it sounds like "sarumana" . People do not say “sarut mana" to men, only to priests. The youth greet with "salut", “servus" or even “hello" or "hallo". VISITING - When invited to pay a visit to Romanian homes, the rules of etiquette require to offer as a token of respect, a bunch of flowers to the hostess (make sure you choose the flowers in odd numbers (3,5,7, etc), otherwise the lady may feel awkward since, in Romania, people bring flowers in even numbers only to funerals!! - It is also proper to bring a bottle of wine or a box of chocolates if there is a certain celebration or anniversary in the respective family. - A gift for the children is always appreciated Traditional Romanian hospitality requires that much time is devoted to friendly conversation and taking time to visit, rather than adhering to set schedules or agendas. There is no point in getting upset if people are a little late, or very late, and “immediate” can sometimes mean a long wait. Most people are not in too much of a hurry except when they are driving. You might hear the word "immediate" that means "I'm coming right away" but you may want to ask where the person is, to be sure they are really on their way. Usually they say "immediate" when they are still at home. There are also some institutions where punctuality is expected, for example schools, not all of them but most. DINING ETIQUETTE Arrive on time if invited to dinner. You may arrive up to 15 minutes late for a party. Check to see if there are shoes at the front door. If so, remove yours. Expect to be treated with great honour and respect. DO bring flowers, chocolate or liquor for your hosts, and bring a gift for their children, too. TABLE MANNERS Leave your napkin on the table. Do not put it in your lap. Wait for the host or hostess to say "pofta buna" (good appetite) before you begin eating. Always keep your hands visible when eating. Keep your wrists resting on the edge of the table. Expect to be offered second and even third helpings. You will have to insist that you cannot eat any more, as refusals are seen as good manners and are not taken seriously. It is acceptable to soak up extra sauce or gravy on your plate with your bread. To indicate you have not finished eating, cross your knife and fork on your plate. When you have finished eating, place your knife and fork across your plate with the prongs facing down and the handles facing to the right. SOCIALIZING AND CONVERSATION DO expect to have to repeatedly refuse if you are offered something that you don't want. In Romania, "no" doesn't always mean "no" because it's considered polite to refuse. You will quickly learn that Romanians are very accommodating and polite to visitors to their country. Even so, abiding by their etiquette will help you blend in a little more and it will impress those you come into contact with!