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8001: In re: Manners (fwd)
So to show my good manners I should not look at my watch when talking to
Consider the following: A great majority of the Haitians that I know are
notoriously late in arriving for most functions. If for instance I invite
them for 5:00 PM they arrive nonchalantly at or about 8:00 PM if not later.
Depending on the function it is not always a disaster, but try that in
relation to a dinner invitation.
For a long while I submitted to their habit and kept quiet.
Lately, however, I have adapted to their ways. I adopted their carefree
attitude of "jpp", jan'l pase'l pase. I not only open my front door half way
upon their chronically late arrival but I stand at the front door, at times
bare feet, make eye contact with them and tell them that the social function
they were invited to attend is over and I thank them for coming... all the
while looking at my watch.
And to think that it never occurred to me that I was violating some Haitian
social taboos and that I was culturally insensitive to my brethren! I owe
them a mea culpa.