Saturday, July 24, 2010

Protocol for Casual Meetings in Catalan

There isn't any.

What typically happens in my experience, is that we will be approached in the street by someone I don't know, and that someone will barely look at me, and will talk to my Catalan partner. Then, after 2 -10 minutes of pretending I don't exist, the person leaves, and may or may not throw a glance my way as a 'goodbye'.

The first time this happened, I took it personally. Now I see its just a cultural atrocity, I mean, difference.

In English speaking countries, and I'm going to generalize (forgive me), if I was the person greeted, then it would be my duty to introduce my friend/parter to the other person. Especially after the 2/3 minute mark of conversation. I would feel uncomfortable for my friend, standing silently beside me, not knowing who the other person was.

In Norway, you throw your hand out and say your name. Its that simple. And they are not even that friendly.

I am going to study the situation in more detail and discover a way that is a positive solution to both parties. That is, one that will not offend the reticent Catalan, and will not provoke rudeness in myself.

Photo: Montserrat, the meeting of the elephant and the sphinx, Tiffany Jones

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