Social Graces


I read this 2 part post; Part 1 and Part 2, by wannabauthor on her blog and it gave me an idea for a new post. The topic is of a special interest to me and I had been thinking of writing on it since a long time now. Reading the post by wannabe, acted like a NOx boost to my slowing engine of the brain.

With time and with the growing economy many are now financially well off and are enjoying fine dining at fine eateries, show off expensive fashion, but they still act in a manner which is as sophisticated as the Pope is a Muslim. Nouveau riches, who lack the class and finesse and are most times quite vulgar. Who think that with money they can own anything.

Social graces that include etiquettes and manners were once an important aspect of learning, but with time the focus is shifting. The way you dress, walk, talk, eat, sit, etc are all important with social point of view.

"My Fair Lady" is a good example of Victorian etiquettes. Courtesy: Google Search

Etiquettes are expected social behaviour of the group and depend on the culture of the place you are in. These also change with time. While travelling to any part of the world or the country, it is best to pre-learn some local custom and etiquettes, so that you do not hurt anyone’s belief. You are the new person there and it is your duty to mingle with them.

Manners are a kind of standards laws about how a Gentleman or a Lady should behave. These include being refined in behaviour, politeness, proper dressing among other things. Unlike etiquettes, manners usually do not vary much. And the points that tell whether a person is from a good family are usually the same everywhere.

It is very important to follow the correct protocol of a place. How many times have you been disturbed in the middle of a film screening or a concert by the jarring notes of a mobile phone? And then the owner of the phone is courteous enough to let everyone in 1 km radius, know what deal he will be signing in office. I won’t call him civil even if he was the richest man in the world.

In the modern age along with cell phones, driving etiquettes are also important. The protocol of both the devices is roughly the same everywhere.

During my recent trip to Jalandhar, a man sitting in front was playing music on his cell phone. This is fine as long as you use a headphone, but no he wanted to share his collection with everyone. And then he started playing recordings of his 4-year-old reciting nursery rhymes. And trust me the shrill voice sliced my brain like a scythe through grass. Mothers have an inane desire to showcase the talents of her child even if it bores the other person. What manners are these? Making  good conversation betrays your good social graces. And good conversations mean in which everyone can be involved.

The dinner table is a very important place for practicing correct manners. These include the proper way of sitting, of placement of utensils and the proper way of eating. Different cultures have different set of table etiquettes. In Southern India, placement of Banana leaves is important and so is the fact that while eating with hands, the left hand should not be used. Japanese culture lays strict rules on the usage of chopsticks and even the eating of Sushi has its own set of accepted rules.

Since each part of the world has its own set of etiquettes, therefore I won’t   go on describing each of them. But in conclusion I will say that money is one thing, but acting in a sophisticated way and with grace and finesse is more important to make your standing as a Lady or a Gentleman.

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Comments
8 Responses to “Social Graces”
  1. Purba says:

    I hate it when people have loud conversations on the phone. Such people should have a mute button attached to them.

  2. wannabauthor says:

    Thats very true. Social ettiquete is a must in these days. Perfect grooming goes a long way :)

  3. delhizen says:

    One social grace which is missing in many- is to have prejudices and preconceived ideas about others. It’s like you assume the one dressed in the best of clothes will talk only in English and will be ‘classy’ and the one dressed in a casual kurta over jeans is a desi trying to adapt to the city. I have seen it happen so many times.

    Best is to wait till you have a basic interaction and then decide if the person is worth having a second conversation or not.

    Btw do you know a Japanese chef takes an offence if you dip sushi in soy sauce or add more wasabi to it… because each variety of sushi is to be had the way it’s served.

  4. Prateek says:

    Interesting observation. That also can be counted under etiquettes. But unknowingly you do make an impression of how a person would be in your mind when you look at him/her.

    Not only Japanese chefs. All chefs take offense if they feel you are not being fair to the food. My grandfather is not too fond of spaghetti and it infuriates me when he adds mint sauce or green chutney to it.

  5. Gautam says:

    Good ettiquttes cannot be bought with money. It only comes with education, culture and good upbringing. The nouveau riche have the money to flaunt, but they rarely have the class to go with it.

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