Page 3 of 30 FirstFirst 1234513 ... LastLast
Results 21 to 30 of 291

Thread: Blending in - tips for foreign residents

  1. #21
    Bronze
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    1,741
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Jeezzz, no wonder I am still single; I wear shorts, chancletas and I have a tattoo!

  2. Likes redserge liked this post
  3. #22
    Bronze
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    901
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Tatoos and piercings are in with the younger crowed - however fully tatted and pierced is not common - I've only seen foreign biker dudes tatted to that level. And guess what those dudes look so rough they don't have to worry much about people messin with them.

  4. #23
    Regular
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    429
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    It's your call on whether or not you want to try to fit in here. Yes, no matter what you wear you will always be a foreigner, but it does influence the amount of respect you get and how you will be judged by MOST Dominicans and other foreigners as well. That might not matter to you if what you do here is tourism-related, but if not you should be a little more concerned. Personally I removed facial piercings and dress like a professional so that I can be treated as one and trusted by the population of Dominicans that I work with. If I sported visible tats and wore frumpy beach clothes everywhere, I wouldn't be able to do my work with much success. But in any line of business and even as a tourist, I think that dressing well here is appropriate, useful and safer. There is no disadvantage other than you might think it's uncomfortable or hot, which it isn't because you get used to it.

    And as I said previously, the point of this thread is tips on how to fit in, not let's try to find exceptions to be like upper-class or Dominican-Yols and defend something that you like to do that is NOT the norm here. If you know so much then why not post some actual tips?

    How about more tips that aren't related to physical appearance?

    Hospitality:
    -Do not eat food in front of others without offering them some, even if you know there isn't enough and they probably won't take it
    -Offer guests who come into your house a snack or drink
    -When someone comes over (assuming you want the person to be there) invite them inside your house and offer them a chair, don't leave them standing up outside
    -Keep your house, yard and vehicle neat and clean

    $:
    -Do not discuss a money issue you have with one person with them in front of other people, whether it is a debt, payment, bad or good, etc.
    -Do not ask direct money-related questions to someone you don't know well on a personal level, such as how much they make or how much something they have cost. Yes, they will answer but will probably feel uncomfortable
    -Do not answer above questions if asked to you by someone you don't know very well. Why do they need to know anyway?

    Higiene:
    -Don't smell bad
    -Don't have bad breath (buy some clorets, geez!)
    -Keep your finger and toe-nails clean and nice-looking
    -Keep your hair (all hair!) under control
    -Ladies: shave the pits

    Juanita: There are dozens of beaches with hundreds of sankies waiting to hook up with women dressed just like that!
    Last edited by minerva_feliz; 06-08-2009 at 12:32 PM. Reason: addition

  5. #24
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by minerva_feliz View Post
    It's your call on whether or not you want to try to fit in here. Yes, no matter what you wear you will always be a foreigner, but it does influence the amount of respect you get and how you will be judged by MOST Dominicans and other foreigners as well. That might not matter to you if what you do here is tourism-related, but if not you should be a little more concerned. Personally I removed facial piercings and dress like a professional so that I can be treated as one and trusted by the population of Dominicans that I work with. If I sported visible tats and wore frumpy beach clothes everywhere, I wouldn't be able to do my work with much success. But in any line of business and even as a tourist, I think that dressing well here is appropriate, useful and safer. There is no disadvantage other than you might think it's uncomfortable or hot, which it isn't because you get used to it.

    And as I said previously, the point of this thread is tips on how to fit in, not let's try to find exceptions to be like upper-class or Dominican-Yols and defend something that you like to do that is NOT the norm here. If you know so much then why not post some actual tips?

    How about more tips that aren't related to physical appearance?

    Hospitality:
    -Do not eat food in front of others without offering them some, even if you know there isn't enough and they probably won't take it
    -Offer guests who come into your house a snack or drink
    -When someone comes over (assuming you want the person to be there) invite them inside your house and offer them a chair, don't leave them standing up outside
    -Keep your house, yard and vehicle neat and clean

    $:
    -Do not discuss a money issue you have with one person with them in front of other people, whether it is a debt, payment, bad or good, etc.
    -Do not ask direct money-related questions to someone you don't know well on a personal level, such as how much they make or how much something they have cost. Yes, they will answer but will probably feel uncomfortable
    -Do not answer above questions if asked to you by someone you don't know very well. Why do they need to know anyway?

    Higiene:
    -Don't smell bad
    -Don't have bad breath (buy some clorets, geez!)
    -Keep your finger and toe-nails clean and nice-looking
    -Keep your hair (all hair!) under control
    -Ladies: shave the pits

    Juanita: There are dozens of beaches with hundreds of sankies waiting to hook up with women dressed just like that!
    I agree with the other poster - all the things listed above reflect good manners anywhere you live.

  6. #25
    Bronze
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    1,727
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Minerva-Feliz:
    You make sense.

  7. #26
    Silver
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    2,910
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    "I agree with the other poster - all the things listed above reflect good manners anywhere you live."
    Wonderfullymade

    Absolutely, just common sense and good manners. There is nothing unusual or particularly "culture specific" about minerva_feliz's list of dos and don'ts. For anyone engaged in professional relationships, those rules are universal.

    It is also true that some prefer not to play by the rules, or have no need to "fit in". These individuals will be judged by their conduct and character. Although they might not be able to run a successful business here, they might be much more adept at developing many meaningful and interesting relationships.

    It all depends on what one is seeking to accomplish or do with their life. Most of us have made it through thus far following the standards we set for ourselves. For the most part, our personal morals and standards have served us well.

    Furthermore, most of us will continue to live according to our own moral compasses, and continue to follow the same moral convictions and standards we followed previously. Personal moral codes and standards are usually ingrained in behavior, and are reflected in our day-to-day activities.

    I suspect that most of us can continue living our lives using our own time-tested moral guidelines, without the need to make many drastic adjustments. It requires only good common sense, and it does not require any great effort or drastic behavior modification to adapt.

  8. #27
    Regular
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    429
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Those last suggestions I gave were in fact based on differences that I have noticed between the average American and the average Dominican, and because Dominicans have commented to me 'hey, you don't do _______, like this other American I know did'. Maybe the average American isn't very well educated, but most do not feel obligated to tell people to come in or sit down (they assume the person will after they do so) and do not feel obliged to give anyone food they are eating, like offer chips from a bag or a cup of soda to a stranger sitting next to them on a bus. Most Americans eat food in front of others all the time without offering any, even to friends, because they assume if people want food they can/should get it for themselves.

    In the U.S., I would have no problem saying to someone in front of others 'hey, don't forget about that $10 you owe me', or 'here's the $20 that I owe you from mowing the grass last week', or 'hey, how much did those shoes cost?'. I wouldn't do that here because money is a more private issue. The higiene stuff is also relevant, because it is more important here than to the average foreigner, and many Dominicans have commented to me on the poor higiene and grooming habits of foreigners. They are notorious for being dirty and smelly, given that the Dominicans often bathe twice daily and go weekly to the salon. Another example would be don't put your feet/shoes up/on the furniture, something I have seen many foreigners do in front of others, whether in their home or in a fancy hotel lobby. Generally it's not good to do, but here it IS looked down upon more because look how dirty the ground is and with what, and also people try to take better care of their furniture because it's expensive.

    These are simple and somewhat more general things that some foreigners here don't always consider and it would be helpful to do so here, that's why I gave them...I see nothing wrong with that. I myself didn't consider them as much when I got here a few years ago, but with time, obsevation and feedback now it's normal for me to do here without thinking. I'm not pulling them out of my @ss, and some people on here can recognize that. Maybe some people don't realize these things, as with the whole argument about wearing shorts, because they don't have that level of cultural awareness and connections here. I'm not trying to sound like I think I'm superior, just give my perspective...

  9. #28
    Bronze
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    901
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    With regards to eating in front of others, you can just use the ol' "a buen tiempo", this will exempt you having to share food.

  10. #29
    Silver
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    2,910
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    minerva_feliz, I think that you might be mistaken in your assumptions regarding American etiquette.

    I'm sure there are more than a few Americans who do not invite friends into their homes, or do not offer food to others, or commit social faux pas on a daily basis. However, that is a far cry from saying that those behaviors are the norm in American culture. That simply isn't true.

    Impolite behavior can be observed anywhere, including in the US, and in the DR. But it unwise to make sweeping assumptions based upon isolated observations.

    While American might be somewhat less formal, they are no more impolite than any other culture, and perhaps less so than many.

    The point is, the basic rules of social interaction are essentially the same throughout the world, and those rules are not so dramatically different in the DR.

  11. Likes SKing liked this post
  12. #30
    Regular
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    429
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by catcherintherye View Post
    minerva_feliz, I think that you might be mistaken in your assumptions regarding American etiquette.

    I'm sure there are more than a few Americans who do not invite friends into their homes, or do not offer food to others, or commit social faux pas on a daily basis. However, that is a far cry from saying that those behaviors are the norm in American culture. That simply isn't true.

    Impolite behavior can be observed anywhere, including in the US, and in the DR. But it unwise to make sweeping assumptions based upon isolated observations.

    While American might be somewhat less formal, they are no more impolite than any other culture, and perhaps less so than many.

    The point is, the basic rules of social interaction are essentially the same throughout the world, and those rules are not so dramatically different in the DR.
    My observations are not isolated, and I am not the type to make sweeping generalizations. I haven't been on dr1 for long but sincerely try to post helpful, accurate information. I agree with you that impolite behavior exists everywhere, Americans for the most part aren't rude and dirty, and my recommendations apply perhaps universally.

    But so what if my suggestions are't exclusive to the DR? They are still inclusive, not completely irrelevant and could be extremely useful to some people. It's not like I said "don't call people a pirate hooker to their face" , which is clearly offensive and irrelevant. I did base them on my understanding, like you said, that "American [culture] might be somewhat less formal," and for some people the things I mentioned really aren't so obvious. They weren't for me, as I came from a rural, midwest, working class background with little travel experience. No, I am not generalizing that people with those characteristics aren't well mannered, but it is more likely that they had a different upbringing, educational level or perspective of people in developing countries.

    Also, some people assume that because they are poor, Dominicans are dirty and dress badly. Even rich, well-educated people can think that based on the images of the DR projected by some non-profits. So then they believe that their level of casual is better than anything the Dominicans have/do, and that's not true. They pack stuff they don't need to come here like they are going to a remote outpost in Senegal and are surprised when they find the conchos wearing polo shirts and women's nicely done nails.

    Knowing otherwise helps the average person who comes to this site looking for information who may have no idea what to expect. Some of the questions people post on this site and others asking for info about the DR seem stupid to people who have been here for a while, but there is no reason to assume that they should already know even some basic things that seem universal/obvious.

    I think we should just leave it there and hopefully someone else can think of some different/better tips.

Page 3 of 30 FirstFirst 1234513 ... LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •