American Knigge

August 1, 2007 at 7:39 pm | Posted in Over There | Leave a comment

Did you ever move to a foreign country and wondered how to behave in certain situations? In Germany you have the famous Knigge, a compendium of good manners and etiquette. But do these directives also apply in the US? Normally, there are country-specific guidelines and habits on how to interact with people. You can either learn it the hard way, ask your American wife (OK, only works for me) or read Miss Manners, a column in the Washington Post. I heard about it on one of the podcasts of “Fokus Nordamerika” produced by the German radio station Deutsche Welle. Please listen to the last three 1/2 minutes of that podcast and you’ll roar with laughter I promise.

Americans write letters to the editor about situations they don’t know how to behave “correctly”, Miss Manners answers. Unfortunately, you have to have an account on the website to read the articles. However, to create one is only a matter of seconds. I recommend to have a look at them. Some are funny, strange or you have to shake your head because you just don’t get it. Explore the world of American everyday social life and puritanism.


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