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Cellphone Etiquette

Cellphone Etiquette, the dues and don’ts while traveling to other countries. What is Proper Phone etiquette? We all know what the common rules of using a phone are in America, such as don’t talk loudly in public, don’t answer your phone during an important meeting,  interview, or standing in line while purchasing groceries and always set your phone to silent while at the movies, restaurant or in church.   With that said The Travel Experts at Luggage Factory have researched and compiled a list of the Cellphone Rules in different areas of the world so you can look less like an uneducated tourist while traveling. United States – It is proper etiquette in the United States to silence, or turn off your cell phone while in public places like movie theaters, churches and restaurants.   A common unwritten rule of phone etiquette is to not speak too loudly while talking on a cell phone in public. This is to avoid disturbing people around you.   Unless you have permission, it is common courtesy to call someone no later than 9 PM unless it is an emergency. Egypt – (Greetings: Alo – hello | Ha al’likaa – hope to see you soon) it is customary in Egypt to exchange pleasantries for up to five minutes prior to starting the actual phone conversation. After the conversation, has started, they make sure to give full attention to the person on the phone, talking on a cell phone while driving or watching TV is considered a grave insult. It is common for Egyptians to give their phone number out to complete strangers they meet on the street or the train. Russia (Greeting: Allo – Hello | Do Suidannja – till the next meeting) When you call a friend in Russia, they might not say anything when they pick up the phone, or they will ask “who is it”? Even when knowing exactly who it is. Russians are leery of talking on the phone.  A lot of Russians with cell phones use ring back tones, so when you call your friend expect to listen to some loud music, (usually rock) until they answer. The usage of voice mail is not as common in Russia as it is in other countries. You’ll have better luck calling back later as they might not check their voice mail for weeks, if not months. Brazil – (Greetings: Alo – hello | Tehau – goodbye) It is considered rude to not answer a call. Some Brazilian’s will even answer their cell phones in a meeting or while watching a movie. Some will get extremely angry if you fail to answer your phone and could cost you a friend or two.  It is common for Brazilians to constantly say “uh” when you are talking. It is not that they’re annoyed, but that they’re paying attention to you. They feel that if you do not do the same, that you’re not there and they are talking to the air. Make sure to make some noise like “uh” or “aha” Every so often. Also, when they call someone they will ask “who are you?” even though they made the call. They want to make sure the person who picked up is the one they are calling. France – (Greeting: Alooo – Hello | Au revoir – Goodbye) The French tend to speak softer than people in other countries and they consider speaking loudly or with empathy an insult. Keep your voice low and soothing while you speak. Like in America, it is polite to not answer your phone call while in public places, or on public transportation. Most even silence then while dining.  The French are also wary of giving personal information over the phone, until they are sure of who is the person on the other line. China (Greetings: wei - hello | Wo Guale - I have to hang up now ) China is known for large crowds of phone users who talk whenever they want. They will interrupt a face -to-face conversation to answer a call. They are also known as notorious callers, letting the phone ring for 10-15 minutes before hanging up or calling again for another 10 minutes. The Chinese are not knowing to utilize messaging or voice mail, and they will not check their messages for months, they expect you to also ring the phone for 10-15 minutes. India (Greetings: Raam Ramm – Informal greeting | Alavidha – Goodbye) In India, it is perfectly normal and accepted to call someone well after 10 PM. Don’t be surprised to hear obnoxiously loud ringtones in public, and people talking on the phone while in a library. Indians use text messaging often;  however, it is more expensive than making a phone call. Japan (Greetings: Moshi Moshi – Hello | Ja,ne : See ya ) It is considered rude to talk on your phone when around strangers in public places. In fact, there are signs posted asking people to stay off their cellphones in public places. It is common in Japan for the parent or elder of the house to answer the phone with the remark “hello it’s the ____ residence” It is prohibited to talk or text while on a bicycle or car and could get you fined. United Kingdom (UK) (Greetings: Hiya and Liters) The UK, like the US has had cell phones for a while and have proper cellphone etiquette, they will always answer politely and expect the same. It’s not uncommon for a phone to ring 6-10 times before going to voicemail. Eating or snacking while on the phone is considered extremely rude and will cause them to hang up and never call again. Thailand (Greetings: Haaaloo – Hello | Sa wat dee” Goodbye) People in Thailand are known to answer the phone at the craziest time, including during meetings, job interviews and in the middle of the night. They also call people and allow the phone to ring until somebody answers. The phone may ring up to an 1 hour befire someone answers. To make them go away, answer right away. It’s considered rude not to answer your phone at work, even if you don’t want to.  It’s possible it will ring all day if you don’t. Italy (Greetings: Pronto – Ready to speak | Ciao – Goodbye) Italians answer the phone, depending on the context, means to speak promptly or readily. It’s acceptable during a sales meeting to keep your phone on, and answer it, if you are the client.  However, a salesperson absolutely must turn their phone off. Most don’t use voice mail but if you do leave a message keep it short and to the point (30 seconds max). When traveling abroad, you want to respect the costumes of the country to avoid making a scene or being rude. The point of this travel expert post is to teach travelers to research and study the costumes of the country you’re visiting. Happy travels.  

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