Search

Global SKILLs midweek Connect: 9/9/20 Greetings and Salutations,1-Door knocking

Greetings late on this Wednesday evening! Well, like last week, this one has been crazy hectic so far...so like last week, I’m sharing this as an evening moment, or you’ll pick it up first thing in the morning! Either way, thanks for pausing from your also busy schedule (I am sure) to join me.  As part of Global SKILLs cross-cultural training, we often take just one seemingly simple aspect of normal everyday life and explore how it plays out differently in different cultures, and even differently in the same culture but different contexts.  With that in mind, I’d like to reflect a bit with you on how people in different cultures ‘do’ their greetings and salutations, specifically when there is a door involved. Granted, the first cultural insight on this would be that in many places and circumstances, there is no door involved when people greet each other - we’ll save those dynamics for another time! Greeting someone when a closed door is involved can be accomplished physically, verbally or both. Lately here in America, I’ve been following the typical American method of tap tapping on someone’s door to greet them.  Working part time as a 2020 Census ‘door-knocker’ and equipped with my Census phone, clearly labeled satchel, name tag and mask (of course!), I approach dozens of doors each day. A sharp rap repeated several times brings various responses - hopefully the resident will answer but also maybe the dog(s) start barking or, (if those inside aren’t interested in answering) voices or tv volume are subtly lowered! On the other hand, in many places in West Africa, when you enter someone’s courtyard and step up to their door, you say quite loudly “KoKo”.  No physical knock needed, just “KoKo”. I suspect rapping on doors in that cultural context would be considered very odd, or worse! It seems to me I have also heard of places where clapping ones hands in front of the door, rather than knocking on it, is the way to go. In conclusion, I can’t resist a slight tangent with this door-related story...please draw your own cultural insights from it! I was checking in years ago at a safari camp in western Senegal. I had chosen the least expensive accommodations, so was not surprised when the clerk gave me my ‘room’ number, which in fact was a hut. He turned to the next client, so I spoke up and said he had neglected to give me the key. He smiled and said very politely, “There is no key...in fact, there is no door. Just slide over the straw mat. And be sure not to leave anything in the hut during the day, because the monkeys will mess with it.” No door-knocking necessary there! Have you had any interesting door-knocking adventures? Share them here or with a friend...and maybe you’ll hear a “KoKo” as you open my message next week! Til then, Betsy Global SKILLs LINKs ~~ A fun note about French door-knocking, and some other cross-cultural insights: https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1989-01-22-bk-1230-story.html ~~ A marketing tool from an actual door manufacturer, which in fact has some great cross-cultural information: https://www.moncadawindows.com/b/interesting-door-traditions ~~ Stop by my Global SKILLs blog to catch up on other cross-cultural communications gems you might have missed: https://www.globalskillspartners.com/blog-1 Celebrating Global SKIlls 10th Anniversary   ~~ Connecting, Collaborating, Cultivating Community


1 view0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Greetings and Happy Midweek! “Tis the Season” for nesting here in the northeastern USA, and anywhere else around this wide world where Mother Nature is doing her Spring-thing! So, I thought we would r

Greetings and Happy Midweek! I saw quite an amazing structure in the news this past week - the (supposedly) longest glass-bottom bridge in the world.* The story sparked first of all memories for me -