Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Moroccan Dining Etiquette

A "diffa" is an Arabic reception or banquet. General Mark Clark and Caid El Ayadi dining in 1943

"Morocco Etiquette"

General Mark Clark, head of United States forces in Morocco, is eating with his fingers at the great diffa, or feast, given by the rich, Caid El Ayadi, on the occasion of a wolf hunt. General Clark and his staff enjoyed the diffa immensely. — 
As reported in The Enterprise and Scimitar, May 1943

Dining in the Middle East

To avoid making your hosts feel uncomfortable, there are a few simple guidelines to follow.
  • Bring a small gift of flowers, chocolates, pastries, fruit or honey.
  • It’s polite to be seen to wash your hands before a meal.
  • Always remove your shoes before sitting down on a rug to eat or drink tea.
  • Don’t sit with your legs stretched out – it’s considered rude during a meal.
  • Always sit next to a person of the same sex at the dinner table unless your host(ess) suggests otherwise.
  • Use only your right hand for eating or accepting food.
  • When the meal begins, accept as much food as is offered to you. If you say ‘no thanks’ continually, it can offend the host.
  • It’s good manners to leave a little food on your plate at the end of the meal: traditionally, a clean plate was thought to invite famine. It can also suggest to your host that they haven't fed you sufficiently.
  • Your host will often lay the tastiest morsels in front of you; it’s polite to accept them.
  • The best part – such as the meat – is usually saved until last, so don’t take it until offered.
Etiquette Advce from Lonely Planet.com

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Field Trip Etiquette Plea

1930's school children — "The majority of students know how to conduct themselves, but the hopeless minority group can make or break the school's reputation when off-campus."

Filed Under "Conduct"

Emily Post has written many books on etiquette but it remains for some enterprising person to write a book on how students should conduct themselves on field trips. 
When a student is on a field trip, he himself carries a part of the school's reputation and it behooves him to act like a gentleman. 

The majority of students know how to conduct themselves but the hopeless minority group can make or break the school's reputation when off-campus. Those few students who act like rowdies and respect the property of no one should remain at home when the class makes a field trip. — The Corsair, 1938

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Major Etiquette Fail

Mr. Clark wasn't "all that" in modern day slanguage — A hostess should never ignore or otherwise insult, any of those paying visits to her home, however, one should not use a gun to settle any social misunderstandings either.

Misunderstanding Social Rules

Jesse C. Clarke evidently wanted to be "the whole thing" when he sought society yesterday and called at a home on Redlands Road. He objected to the hostess paying any attention to a young couple that called during his stay and manifested his displeasure by firing off a revolver and using vile language. For this, little remissness in observing the rules of social etiquette, he was fined $5.00 by Justice Hanna this morning. He is said to be an employee at the P. F. E. plant. — California, 1912


Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Etiquette Class for Immigrants

During the 1800s, after Ellis Island in New York City, the Port of Baltimore was the second-leading port of entry for immigrants arriving to the United States.

In Baltimore, Maryland, the first public school for the teaching of etiquette has been established at the Captain William Fleet School, where children of foreign-born parents are given a better conception of our customs and manner of living. – Sacramento Union, 1921

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

First Choice Etiquette

Etiquette Class is Number 1 with Students
Teen Girls' Fashions of the 1920s

From the Madera Tribune of 1925 

"Beginning next Monday, a number of short courses will he offered to Madera high school students once a week for five weeks, advance registration made today show clearly the trend of student preference. The highest registration was in etiquette. For this subject, 115 students indicated a first preference, 56 a second preference, and 42 a third preference. Next in popularity was a course for girls in the care of the automobile. Forty-three students took this course as their first choice. Thirty-nine enrolled for radio, 29 girls for folk dancing, 27 for parliamentary practice, and so on down the line. Much interest in the courses is being displayed by students."

The following week —
New Courses Prove Popular in Madera Union High School

The series of short courses recently introduced in Madera High began Monday morning with most of the classes well attended. Miss McSweeney’s Etiquette class has the largest attendance while Miss Johnson’s class of Etiquette and Mr. Mathews’ class on the Care of the Automobile, rank second with an enrollment of 47 each. The various courses are all very practical and offer the student advantages which he doesn’t secure In his regular school course. Following are the classes and enrollment in each:
Etiquette—(girls) Miss McSweeney, 58. Etiquette—(boys) Miss Johnson, 47. Radio—Mr. Sheldon, 42. Care of the Automobile—Mr. Mathews, 47. Aesthetic Dancing—Miss Richter, 25. Etiquette—(girls) Miss Bennink, 24. Parliamentary Law—Mr. Thompson, 22. Ornamental Gardening—Mr. Moffit, 21. Basketry and Sewing—Miss Worthington, 18. Short Stories—Miss Petty, 15. Salesmanship—Miss Campbell, 12 Modern Drama—Mrs. Hubbard, 12. Fancy Stitches—Miss Jones, 7. Music Appreciation—Miss Short, 3.

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Snuff and Etiquette at Versailles

Smoking was popular as well! – The active ingredient in intobacco was named “nicotine” after the French diplomat, Jean Nicot. Nicot introduced snuff tobacco to French Queen, Catherine de Medici, and the French Nobility.

After a French ambassador to Portugal returned to France with an addictive plant discovered in the New World, it caused a sensation in the French Royal Court. French diplomat and scholar, Jean Nicot, had been introduced to tobacco in Lisbon. There, it was being crushed into powder and was used as the remedy for a variety of maladies, ironically including cancer. Snuffing became a popular activity in Paris after the Queen Mother herself, Catherine de Medici, was introduced to snuffing tobacco by Nicot. He had demonstrated the inhalation of powdered tobacco, as a way to cure  de Medici's frequent headaches. It was later named the genus of tobacco cultivars “Nicotiana,” by the Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus in Nicot's honor. The active ingredient intobacco was also named “nicotine” after the French diplomat.

Snuffing remained popular, and addictive, with the French Royals and Nobility. By the 18th century, snuff boxes were as socially important as fine pieces of jewelry. Anyone who was anyone needed
 to have a variété´ of these boxes. And as fashions changed frequently, so did the styles and designs of snuff boxes. At Versailles, showered with extravagance upon her marriage to Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette was gifted with 52 gold snuff boxes. From all accounts, Marie Antoinette was more likely to carry a box of bon bons on her person, than a snuff box,  but she is said to have been responsible for the French standardization of the modern-day handkerchief.

Prior to the arrival and ultimate popularity of snuff tobacco in Europe,the handkerchief had become simply another object of fashion. Snuff brought the handkerchief back to its original purpose, and was indispensable for cleaning orange-brown, snuff-stained noses and fingers. White handkerchiefs were hardly appropriate for such a task, so snuff users began to employ large, colorful handkerchiefs to hide those stains. The handkerchief, up to that time, had come in many shapes; square, triangular, etc... According to legend, Marie Antoinette remarked that the square-shaped handkerchief at Versailles was the most pleasing, as well as the most convenient to use. The remark is said to have prompted Louis XVI to make mandatory that all handkerchiefs produced in France to be square in shape.

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Saturday, April 8, 2017

19th C. Swedish Social Etiquette


"Skål bror!" —  Or "Cheers brother!"

All through Sweden, social intercourse is encumbered with much ceremonious etiquette, particularly among the landed gentry. The three Scandinavian tongues employ the two personal pronouns "thou" and "you" the first familiarly, the second when speaking to a mere acquaintance. But a well-bred Swedish gentleman, addressing a stranger, will always, with old-fashioned courtesy, substitute the equivalent for, "Monsieur." regardless of harrowing repetitions, and where a title is demanded, even under the difficulties of rapid speech, it is never for a moment omitted. As such politesse, however, in the end becomes both monotonous and wearisome, they have a practical way of cutting the Gordian knot. When a casual acquaintanceship has ripened into genial sympathy or mutual respect your Swedish friend at once proposes a "brotherhood." This is a distinct social ordeal, the initiation to which demands a special rite.

The man who has requested the honor of becoming your brother provides you with a glass of wine filled to the brim, he himself holding another; both rise, each linking the right arm of each, looking one another boldly in the eve and pronouncing the words "Skal bror," the beakers are emptied. Hence you are expected to use the pronoun "thou," and you take your stand on the footing of relationship. Among the reminiscences of this visit to Vermland is an evening when I acquired no less than six new and stalwart brother. On the subject of ancient politesse, I should mention, by the way. that there is a well-known Swedish gentleman who always gives precedence to his own son, because "He has one ancestor more than his father." – Cornhill Magazine, 1887

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Moderator and Editor for Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia