Reader’s Corner: Multicultural Celebrations

MULTICULTURAL CELEBRATIONS:  Rule of Etiquette for Life’s Special Occasions

dresserIn our multicultural society, one’s opportunities for cultural enrichment are as frequent and numerous as one’s opportunities for sticking one’s foot in it, socially speaking.  If your neighbor or colleague has just given birth and you’re invited to the ensuing party, you may be expected to remove your shoes, bring red roses, contribute to a potluck meal, or ward off evil spirits by making derogatory statements such as “the baby smells of poo-poo,” depending on whether the celebrating family is Cambodian, Ethiopian, Hawaiian, or Hmong.  And while those outside the culture aren’t expected to know every tradition, it’s nice to avoid major faux pas or cultural taboos, and to participate in the celebration as fully as feels appropriate.  A great gift for the holidays!


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