Covid-19 is a coronavirus that can cause significant respiratory illness especially in the aged and those with chronic disease. As a pandemic, its effects have touched every corner of the globe, and our lives have been changed. We can't work, go to school, play and interact in the same ways as before - we must distance ourselves socially in order to protect ourselves and others. Thus, we've needed to adapt to a new set of social etiquette rules:
The Delayed Greeting:
Recently I surveyed a number of people to ascertain their views on Covid-19. Some weren't so concerned, feeling that it is just one virus amongst many that will eventually go away. Others are, understandably, on high alert, concerned and taking all necessary precautions. However, everyone understood the need for respiratory etiquette and social distancing at this time. Many are wearing gloves to add an extra layer of protection, as well as a reminder not to touch their faces.
With this in mind, handshakes are on pause everywhere. When making an introduction, wait for a few seconds and observe the person you are greeting and allow how they want to greet you. You may be the person who will initiate the introduction. If so, use open body language, smile your acknowledgement, wave and promptly make an introduction, perhaps a small nod. The other person may want to just say a verbal greeting or an elbow bump or foot tap. (Tip or side of each elbow/tapping on someone shoe side on).
‘The Elbow Bump or Foot Tap’:
For those who do not mind very minimal contact, then the elbow bump may be in order. When doing so, you can have your face positioned to the side to minimise being in their personal space.
Most cultures have ideals about personal space. In many western cultures personal space is estimated to be the space approximately 70cm around a person. Governmental authorities are advising today to keep at least 1.5m away. So when a person is talking to you, or positioned close to you, take note and move yourself to ensure a greater personal space.
You may be the one enclosed by a few people and feel uncomfortable. If you do, don't hesitate to politely speak up and remind others gently about the need to be distanced from each other. You may choose to quietly remove yourself from the situation.
Use Good Hygiene:
This will help prevent spread of the virus and other microbes. Use soap and alcohol gel extensively. If you feel you are about to sneeze and there are no tissues available in that moment, use the inner side of your elbow to “catch” the sneeze. Then go to wash your hands and wipe your face. Most local governments have websites with helpful health procedures that one can follow as directed.
Wearing a Face Mask:
Given that Covid-19 is passed primarily through droplets (when breathing, talking, coughing, sneezing), wearing a face mask has become de rigueur worldwide. It has been enforced by regulations in many enclosed and non-enclosed public spaces, depending on what country or city you are in. Therefore, protect your community and yourself by keeping a few face masks handy at home, in the car, your bag or back pocket. For example, in his latest media release, Daniel Andrews, State Premier for Victoria, Australia, stated that from 22nd July 2020, face masks are mandatory and anyone caught not wearing a face covering will be fined $200.
Simply put, etiquette demonstrates care, concern and kindness for yourself and others. It has never been more important on a personal, and global scale. By using the gestures listed here, you can help stop the spread of Covid-19.
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Having been born and lived in Australia most of my life, we were taught that the Australian Aboriginals were the first to occupy and that was it. Unfortunately, 35 years ago, we were not taught how to interact, understand their language or culture. Today, going into classrooms now, we are better e quipped and regularly have interactions with elders and now have cultural centres where we can better understand their connections to land and people.
What is Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander etiquette? I recently asked a Yorta Yorta brother and a Pitjantjatjara sister both living in Alice Springs, their advice:
These traditional cultures place importance with building and maintaining rapport and trust. When introducing yourself, do it with warmth and sincerity. Talk about yourself first. Be slow, simple and methodical, as English may not be their first language. Dialects such as Kriol, Aboriginal English or Torres Strait Creole may be spoken. There are over 300 Aboriginal languages spoken throughout Australia and Torres Strait Islands.
It's best to avoid eye contact at first and look away while you are talking. It is a gesture of respect. Direct eye contact may be viewed as aggression, rudeness and disrespectful. Always observe the other person's body language, then use it to guide your own facial expressions and body language. Be mindful of cross-gender eye contact, only do so when there is conversation initiated.
Avoid asking too many questions, if you are not familiar with them, explain why you need to ask questions. The best way is to speak about who you are, where you are from, where your family is from and where you’re going. Perhaps, use a story to get the answer to your question. They will tend to open-up.
A form of direct respect is using the titles of ‘Aunty’ or ‘Uncle’, they may not be your actual family or even older than you. If you have been living in an area a long time and are familiar with its people, you may be honoured and asked to call someone their ‘sister’ or ‘brother’.
Listening is imperative. Due to spoken and body language differences, the person may make an explanation of something in a way that you are not used too. Take time out to actively listen, do not interrupt or talk-over, show kindness. You may want to paraphrase and repeat back what they said to show you are listening and wanting to understand.
Be aware that due to language differences or due to shyness, that an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander may say ‘yes’ to your questions, even if they are not in agreement with you. They may simply wish to end the conversation and by saying ‘yes,’ they feel like they can conclude the exchange, especially if they do not understand what you are saying. It is wise to take time to explain in a parable or story, what you need or require. You may need to find an interpreter.
Be mindful of personal space. Standing too close, especially with the opposite gender, could be sending signals that could be interpreted wrongly. Best to keep the usual amount of distance away. Always ask permission to touch another person.
Time is counted differently. Community values and family responsibilities will be prioritised over time. When making an appointment, be flexible.
Breaches of confidentiality can lead to shame (shame is the feeling of humiliation or distress) based on over-sharing personal and private information with others. It is advised to have serious discussions, holding it in a place the person is most comfortable, private and away from public spaces. Talking about ‘men’s’ and ‘women’s’ business needs to be kept private and confidential, you want to engender trust and rapport. Once that is broken, all association with that person could end permanently.
If you are travelling around Australia and Torres Strait Islands and want to walk on their land, you must ask for the owner or elder permission to approach them, then you are able to ask if you're able to walk on their land. You must be able to make an acknowledgement of country. It is a way that we can show respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage and have an ongoing and open relationship with the traditional owner of the land.
Please be aware, different states, different areas, tribes or associations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, culture and language will differ.
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Most of us love champagne, hearing the pop of the bottle, wondering if the cork will go flying, drinking those sharp bubbles, it really is an amazing beverage. Have you ever wondered what the etiquette for champagne is? Here is a few points I research about the special commodity:
1. The name champagne is protected by Comité Interprofessionnel du vin de Champagne and can be only used by the growers of the region. In Australia the wording used is sparkling wine.
2. Champagne must be chilled before serving. There are a few ways to chill wine, put the champagne in the fridge and chill to 8-10°C or 3 hours. Putting it in ice and a bucket should take approx. 30 minutes to chill, water will help bring the temperature down.
3. When uncorking the bottle, hold the cork and twist the bottle not the cork, Hold your glass upright rather than slanting it. When filling up the glass fill it only a third, never to the top.
4. When uncorked, champagne does not need to be left to breath, like a red wine. When pouring, it will air the wine and that is all it needs. It will keep for approx. 24 hours in the fridge with a wine stopper. You will be surprised how it keeps.
#auersmont #australianetiquette #etiquetteschool #champagne #finishingschool #etiquetteschoolasia
The Australian elocution, etiquette and modelling circles grieve for June Dally-Watkins, whom shall forevermore remain synonymous with elegance, grace, etiquette and poise. The doyenne of Australian etiquette, the Amy Vanderbilt of her time, she inspired men and women to aspire to good manners, humanity, eloquence and kindness throughout the decades. In doing so, she created a legacy that etiquette teachers such as myself aspire to furthering. My thoughts are with her family at this time. (Picture from jdwbrisbane)
Etiquette, the art of being polite, eloquent and kind, has many proponents globally. If you've ever wondered if there is a repository of articles related to etiquette, or about the extent of the etiquette network and the wide range of fascinating aspects of this art, then let me introduce you to Maura Graber.
I first came across http://etiquipedia.blogspot.com/ when seeing a post on Instagram by Maura Graber talking about an silver orange holder I was instantly fascinated. At her recommendation, I took a further look and was instantly captivated by her website. Everything I could know about etiquette was there: its history and evolution, the forms of etiquette that exist in other countries and so much, much more...
When I asked Maura Graber more about Etiquipedia she stated, "It's fun though. I'm always learning new things. I love the etiquette history. It gives a much clearer picture of where etiquette is today, and legitimises its importance in the world. In late 2012, I started the Etiquipedia Etiquette Encyclopedia with a trainee of mine, the late Demita Usher, she encouraged me to start the site as a way for me to dispel etiquette myths and etiquette misinformation that runs rampant on social media." Etiquipedia evolved into a project of the heart that saw Graber posting posting hundreds of articles annually.
"Now, with nearly 1,700 articles posted, there is still much more etiquette information needed," Graber says. "And I do call out the promotion of bad etiquette, I just do not name anyone specifically. It is not easy to keep up. I devote a lot of time to the site. But it is rewarding work and I want it to remain free of ads as long as possible."
"I encourage select etiquette professionals who I meet online to contribute articles who readily contribute terrific articles. Some come up with an article that I need to expand on. What I look for and explore are relevant etiquette and etiquette history articles. They are generally well worth the read."
I wondered whether her information had a wider readership beyond other etiquette teachers. Graber clarified that, "I have a lot of students email me directly, from all over the world. They want help with school projects or papers they're working on. So I have a lot of people who are doing school work using Etiquipedia as a reference. One large segment of followers are historical romance writers and those interested in the French royals and Versailles, Roman Empire etiquette, and other diversionary subjects." Weekly Etiquipedia has hundreds of interested readers from across the globe, from Russia, Kuwait, Australia, UK, Canada, Ukraine and Brazil to India, France, Germany, US, South Korea and Trinidad & Tobago!
One of the items that is currently in Graber's possession is the well preserved original seating chart for the Duke of Gloucester's visit to Australia in 1934. The Duke of Gloucester was the uncle of Prince Charles and whom Prince William is named after. Additionally, Graber has a photo of a full place setting in sterling silver, used by Queen Elizabeth II during royal visit to Australia in 1954 including the original menu. I was so intrigued by this since I teach dining etiquette!
I encourage those who love etiquette and history to save Graber's blogsite and cherish it! She continues to devote hundreds of hours to building it. Her dedication and love for etiquette is evident - after all, etiquette really is the art of thinking about others, being considerate and kind. Thank you, Maura Graber.
#auersmont #etiquette #australianetiquette #finishingschool #etiquetteschool #etiquetteschoolasia
Headlines and newspapers from all around the world are buzzing with the surprising decision of the Queen's grandson Harry, his wife Meghan and their great-grandchild Archie to move potentially across over the Atlantic, to Canada. As it has been stated by the Queen herself, they will not be 'working' royals (that is, they will no longer take part in any royal tours or future ceremonial events). However, they will keep their titles of Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Despite this, the training that Meghan has had in regards to etiquette will no doubt continue on in their new public lives as ambassadors to their brand www.sussexroyal.com. Having been trained by the very best etiquette coaches, Meghan will use to her advantage when in the public eye. Curtsying may well be left for family gatherings back in the United Kingdom, but their knowledge of what and how to speak in social settings with charm and grace, how to network, dine and host events to support the community will keep Meghan and Harry in good stead!
#etiquetteschool #finishingschool #etiquette #etiquetteschoolasia #australia #melbourne #etiquettetips
Today we see the rise of etiquette schools around the world from Africa to Asia. Their veritable explosion in China is a testament to that, for etiquette schools offer courses that help one straddle the cultural divide between east and west through acquiring cultural sensitivity and competence. Programs detail European customs and expectations both within the private and work domains as well as more specific courses such as British dining and how to conduct a royal afternoon tea, which are all hugely popular and constantly sold out.
The western world had etiquette schools in most cities; however, by the 1970's - 80's they had slowly closed their doors, with wider society feeling the schools had little to offer. What, they wondered, did schools like the longest standing finishing school is IVP, Switzerland, where Madame Neri and family have dedicated their lives to teaching European etiquette to international ladies, royality, wives of diplomats, prime ministers and society notables, have to do with them? With the advent of the Internet, globalisation and screens, the way in which we communicate has evolved rapidly - and some would argue that it has devolved. Etiquette schools themselves have adapted to such a change and now offer the ever-popular cross-cultural courses such as Chinese etiquette, how to cope with bullying courses for teenagers, and basic table manners that are open to everybody.
We have seen figures such as Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, transformed through their training in royal etiquette that improve their confidence, posture and body language and enable them to feel at ease and conduct themselves appropriately in a wide array of formal and non-formal events. Today etiquette and finishing schools are flourishing globally: migrants and business people in particular have sensitised themselves to the reality that the respect and understanding of other cultures are the keys to unlocking the capacity to integrate and work successfully with others, for both themselves and their children. In doing so, they gain knowledge, confidence and the capacity to find that competitive edge within business and social situations.
Etiquette and finishing schools are the schools of the future.
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21/8/2019 1 Comment
I recently chatted with Elizabeth Soos, consultant and principal of Auersmont School of Etiquette. Auersmont is a boutique etiquette consultancy firm that provides professional advice and expert knowledge in the world of etiquette, social conventions and good manners.
Prestigious British etiquette educators, Emma Dupont in London and Paris and Shanghai-based etiquette and service consultant, Guillaume Rue de Bernadac at Academie de Bernadac, trained Elizabeth.
Her training, coupled with a European background and extensive knowledge in cross-cultural issues, has enabled her to build Auersmont School of Etiquette to what it is today.
Elizabeth believes that it is crucial to start with etiquette in the formative years of a child’s life, setting them in good stead for the future in their adult years.
The courses that Elizabeth provides at Auersmont School of Etiquette have been tailored to match etiquette to the needs of all ages, from children to teens and adults.
She has even devised specific training for business professionals and those newly entering the workforce. One of her speciality subjects is Interviewing Etiquette. At any age, applying for work and attending an interview can seem daunting, so this course that she offers will guide you through the interview process to be prepared and equipped.
Thank you to Matthew Coppola for writing this wonderful article. www.clientcentric.com.au
#etiquette #etiquettetraining #etiquettespecialist #melbourne #perth #victoria #australia #clientcentric
Afternoon tea at the grand Hotel Windsor is certainly a grand experience. Welcomed past the warm sun-soaked stone façade and the pretty window boxes of red geraniums into the charming reception of this five-star Victorian-era hotel, one of Australia’s finest, we were ushered through to the luminous room hosting the afternoon tea whose large windows offered views over Spring Street to the stately Parliament House.
Seated at one of the finely dressed round tables where we were again welcomed, our afternoon of indulgence commenced. A 19th century practice imported from England to Australia, afternoon teas are a celebration of high-quality reinterpretations of the basics – tea, finger sandwiches, sweet and savoury tarts, and a selection of deserts. Windsor Hotel – or The Windsor, as it currently calls itself – has been the place in Melbourne to experience afternoon tea for over 130 years.
Served by the highly attentive staff with a fine attention to detail, our experience unrolled as smoothly as the gentle apple notes of the French sparkling wine gave way to a rounded wood finish and we worked our way through each tier. We were presented with petite savoury pastries on the upper tier: Cornish pasties and confit onion tart. The balance of organic vegetables in the Cornish pasties were encased in utterly buttery pastry that reflected the season’s change to autumn. The slow-cooked caremelised onions were a perfect match with the goat’s milk cheese and orange reduction, served with a half-slice of cherry tomato for an acid bite and visual appeal.
The lower tier presented ribbon sandwiches with a distinct English touch with a nod to Asia: the salmon sandwiches with dill, mayonnaise and gherkin were served in a milk bun reminiscent of Hokkaido. Roasted walnuts give a delightful textural crunch to the sandwich containing tender roast chicken with celery. Finally, the traditional egg with mayonnaise ribbon sandwich hit a new high with a daring dash of horseradish.
The middle tier we kept for last to finish on a sweet note. The three desserts were simply too beautiful to eat, but we did anyway, to our delight. The shining sphere of almond sponge and basil mousse covered in strawberry lacquer was a triumph. Caroline and Stéphanie Tatin would have approved of the apple tarte tatin whose walnut sablé crumbled delicately in the mouth, the perfect foil for the apples and classic vanilla cream. The buckwheat and dark chocolate tart gave us a taste both of Bretagne in the west of France and South-East Asia, the former through the buckwheat sablé and the latter through the tart gelée of the kalamansi citrus fruit, joined by a delectable dollop of 65% dark chocolate cremeux.
Of course, the afternoon tea wouldn’t be an afternoon tea without the tea! Our server helped us to choose teas that would most suit our preferences, giving information that supplemented the brief descriptions given in the tea menu. The aromatic tea, after being brewed at the correct temperature, was served into porcelain cups. For those who had room, the scones – plain or with plump sultanas – were just as they should be: buttery with a giving crumb, light and well-risen. They were served with the hotel’s eponymous jam and thick clotted cream.
There are many hotels and restaurants around the world who offer afternoon teas. However, to succeed, the venue needs to strike the right balance between ambiance, food and beverage quality and service standards. Whether staying in the hotel or not, the staff answered all questions in a friendly manner and served the afternoon tea in an unobtrusive way. The delicious food showed originality and the teas utmost care in their sourcing and serving. The Windsor’s building itself has stood the test of time – and whose guests have included several Australian Prime Ministers, Don Bradman, Claudette Colbert, Margaret Thatcher, Gregory Peck and Meryl Streep, among others, and provided an unparalleled cadre in which to enjoy the city’s best afternoon tea.
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When teaching etiquette to students, I always endeavour to introduce the old idea that etiquette is a kindness and respect, that is valuable because it knows no bounds. I like to give students a background of the European origins of etiquette. However, I do get asked about Australian Etiquette. Is there such a thing? Yes, there is.
Etiquette has changed in Australia over the years. It was introduced when English gentry settled here in the country’s colonial infancy. Essentially, etiquette, like new laws, relationships, and services that underwrote the changes to its environment, economy and society, was re-written from the birth of Australia.
After teaching a student etiquette in the Melbourne CBD, I decided to take a walk to the State Library of Victoria, where I found an interesting read, A Guide to Australian Etiquette by Lillian M Pyke (Lillian Maxwell), published in Melbourne at the turn of the century and re-published through to the war years. Her use of archaic English wording was replaced with modern English for the newer generations. Her book entailed subjects as how to perform introductions and topics of conversation to how to dress and manage matters of hygiene.
Polite society did value the worth of the usage of etiquette and adjusted its mindset towards that. Emphasis was put on social graces, dining behaviour and being well dressed was a must. The Victorian-based television series Ms Fisher Murder Mysteries and Dr Blake Mysteries use forms of British etiquette in speech and comportment.
In 1985 Ita Buttrose published A Guide to Australian Etiquette detailing what she perceived to be correct comportment for modern Australia. Ms Buttrose discusses subjects such as de-escalating ‘trolley-rage’ at a store to what to expect and experience in a mosque. In a nod to our outdoors lifestyle, she showed great concern about bare feet and having armpits on display.
During an ABC radio interview with Richard Aedy, Ms Buttrose, herself described Australian society as having changed over time to become “an informal society,” However, the “fundamentals of how we treat each other, really, have never changed over the years.” Ms Buttrose went onto say that manners “are a sign of a civilised society” that “make the world a much nicer place to be.” I agree with Ms Buttrose wholeheartedly.
Etiquette almost became a lost art form from the 1960s. In the last few years, it has been making a comeback. New schools Australia-wide are being established to teach subjects such as dining, afternoon tea and social etiquette in the form of workshops and courses. Parents are enrolling their children during school holidays in group classes to learn how to introduce themselves, use the correct cutlery, and how to navigate social media.
Etiquette is timeless and elegant. May you use etiquette.
Other Books on Australian Etiquette:
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