Does any culture value being polite more than Dominicans?

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Chip

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I've realized after some time here how important politeness is among interactions with family, acquaintences and strangers. I think this is certainly an influential reason why Dominicans are generally very unconfrontational and forgiving. I believe this is also the reason why this country has had a relatively nonviolent history.
 

Africaida

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Depends how you define politeness.

Skipping lines would be considered rude in many cultures, no respecting public/common spaces could also considered rude.....

Politeness and history, not sure how it is related....

Actually, I am not sure I understand your question.
 

Chip

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Skipping lines would be considered rude in many cultures, no respecting public/common spaces could also considered rude.....
Here in the DR this is not considered being impolite. On the contrary, is someone appears to be in a hurry it is deemed polite to let them go first. This is gradually changing though.

Actually, I am not sure I understand your question.
Americans and European cultures no longer value politieness for the most part. People hardly greet anyone but close friends or family in public outside of business interactions. Even then sometimes a greeting isn't valued. It also takes very little for same to lose their temper in public anymore.
 

AZB

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I've realized after some time here how important politeness is among interactions with family, acquaintences and strangers. I think this is certainly an influential reason why Dominicans are generally very unconfrontational and forgiving. I believe this is also the reason why this country has had a relatively nonviolent history.
You would be surprised to know extreme politeness and hospitality exist in countries you are trained to think are adversaries. But I would not get into that.
Politeness is not only a dominican trademark. There are countries where people will give you their bed to sleep on while they sleep on the floor if you are visitor to their home. They will give you their food to eat while they stay hungry. You would be shocked if I tell you what countries and people I am talking about.
AZB
 
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Certainly some definition of terms might be helpful, as Africaida suggested.

I have witnessed examples of exquisite etiquette here, and I have experienced the most abominable behavior, at the hands of some Dominicans. I have seen the extremes of the two sides of politeness, and every degree in between. Sometimes I am amazed at the level of civility, and sometimes I am disgusted at the complete lack of consideration.

Of course, the same could be true any place, but we are discussing politeness within the Dominican culture, so I think it is fair to say it is somewhat inconsistent; At times they are impressively at the top of their game, and at other times, well, all I can do is shake my head.

And before some of the usual "experts" chime in with their drivel about differences between "high class society" and barrio 'chopos', let me be perfectly clear; Some of the rudest behavior I have observed here has been perpetrated by those who might be considered to be the "highest of the high", while some of the most civil behavior has been displayed with those who possess next to nothing. Go figure.
 

Africaida

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Here in the DR this is not considered being impolite. On the contrary, is someone appears to be in a hurry it is deemed polite to let them go first. This is gradually changing though.
I see but I would think it would be more polite to ask the person if it is ok to let them go first


Americans and European cultures no longer value politieness for the most part. People hardly greet anyone but close friends or family in public outside of business interactions. Even then sometimes a greeting isn't valued. It also takes very little for same to lose their temper in public anymore.
I agree with that.
 

Africaida

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I believe this is also the reason why this country has had a relatively nonviolent history.
I find Japanese to be extremely -almost too- polite, yet they have nothing close to a peaceful history.
 

CFA123

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Chip,
I understand where you're coming from and I think there are sufficient examples to form a foundation and to be able to continue stating examples to support your case. There is a noticeable deference given to those seen to be of higher social status, which was very noticeable to me when I first came to work here.

However, I think one would have to be wearing heavily tinted rose colored glasses to fully agree with you. The politeness to one's face is not always reflected in comments after one walks away.

And a 'relatively unviolent history'? Relative to what?

The country's been involved in almost continuous conflicts since the time of Colombus. A lot of political turmoil as well as uprisings. Columbus and the Tainos? Haitian occupation? Trujillo's era? Non-violent? Haitian massacre? Police brutality?
 

Chip

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However, I think one would have to be wearing heavily tinted rose colored glasses to fully agree with you. The politeness to one's face is not always reflected in comments after one walks away.
Keep in mind my supposition is that the Dominican culture values politeness to a great deal - which it does. Does this mean to say that there are unpolite people here? Certainly. Are they respected? Most certainly not and will be labled accordingly.

And a 'relatively unviolent history'? Relative to what?

The country's been involved in almost continuous conflicts since the time of Colombus. A lot of political turmoil as well as uprisings. Columbus and the Tainos? Haitian occupation? Trujillo's era? Non-violent? Haitian massacre? Police brutality?

Relative to the rest of the world. All in all I stand by my claim. Dominicans are generally non confrontational than most and this has been apparent in their history. Take out one crazy leader's excesses and it is even more apparent.
 

Chip

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You would be surprised to know extreme politeness and hospitality exist in countries you are trained to think are adversaries. But I would not get into that.
Politeness is not only a dominican trademark. There are countries where people will give you their bed to sleep on while they sleep on the floor if you are visitor to their home. They will give you their food to eat while they stay hungry. You would be shocked if I tell you what countries and people I am talking about.
AZB
I know what you are talking about Aftab. However, what happens if you somehow inadvertently cross these same people?
 
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? bient?t

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And before some of the usual "experts" chime in with their drivel about differences between "high class society" and barrio 'chopos', let me be perfectly clear; Some of the rudest behavior I have observed here has been perpetrated by those who might be considered to be the "highest of the high", while some of the most civil behavior has been displayed with those who possess next to nothing. Go figure.
Powerful but rude:

General rebas? con imprudencia al Vicepresidente - List?n Diario Digital
 

jrhartley

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I find false politeness worse than outright rudeness...at least you know where you stand when someone is rude to you lol
 
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J D Sauser

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Politeness or the lack thereof is celebrated or perceived differently everywhere. It also changes (usually perceived as being lost or getting worse) with times changing.

I for one, have stopped holding the door for any Dominican or Dominicana under the age of 80. All you get is either nothing or a look of superiority like they'd like to believe that they got you for that one PLUS a procession of other would be tigueres and tigueras who follow and squeeze by like you have become their door chopo, but almost NEVER a "thank you"! The last one who did that got the kiss the door and I decided I was not holding the door for anyone anymore (except exception listed above). And no, it's not just barrio people, actually it's much worse with the would-be "upper class". Ignorant arrogance is not the same as arrogant ignorance! :bunny:
The same thing holds true for ceding the right of way to a pedestrian or other participant of the roadside mess. It's apparently being perceived as a sign of weakness. I don't do it anymore unless it favors me in the end effect or again it is a person of 80 + years old.

Some families, interestingly enough, very rural and poor families still do use "Usted" instead of "tu" to address parents and grand parents. I've seen more of that in South America.
Just as my cleaning lady addresses me by my first name (as I insisted) but by "Usted", I address her with "Usted" too. I know she appreciates that.

On the other hand, as many "co?os" one gets to hear around here, other offensive speech is often not welcome at all, frown uppon... even in the barrios.
Two days ago a 17 year old barrio girls/woman... who is not of the "finest" surprised me by asking me what "hijo de puta" meant!?!?! Obviously she had not traveled to Spain yet :D. The culprit was the nonresistance of the word "puta" in her limited vocabulary, a void conveniently replaced with the word "cuero"... you can't make sound "hijo de cuero" sound right, now can you? And then, what would be so offensive about it, in a (some) barrio where 75% of the growing population technically is just that... "y que?" :D

People are generally soft spoken in most parts of Latin America and tend to use nicer forms to craft their sentences than you would experience it in most of Spain today. One more reason why Spaniards have a reputation of being rude and disrespectful in most Latin America.

Breaking waiting lines with "tigueraje", like ignoring the mere existence of the line of people waiting for their turns or trying to interject an oh so creative "solo una preguntita...", while too common, IS considered RUDE. But many don't do much more than mumble half silently until the "line" has had it because of clerks are unable to have the order of turns respected and the what was left of any organization just crumbles.
In Ecuador I once sent the Bishop and 6 nuns he tried to sneak thru in front of a waiting line to catch a flight out of the terminal. People, recognizing he was THE BISHOP only silently protested... I thought it was just an arrogant "padre" (what do I know?) but had he been dressed like the Pope, I had done the same. I told my in-laws and after I described the "padrisito" they almost fell of their charis "aiiii nooo, el Arzobispo"! I didn't care. I still don't, arrogant "padresito" or arrogant Bishop? Take your turn and respect mine! I will not be polite about it. And some sinverguenzas here have had to take notice too.

What's so polite about "yo MAS primero!" or "ai, y habia que cojer numeroooo?" ? To the "ai, no sabia que "ellos" estaban haciendo fila"-comment I usually just answer "no, como va ser, NOSOTROS solo estamos aqui de DECORACION, mire, que hasta han mandado a traer un gringo para que sea vea mas bonito!" :D This usually gets the whole crowd laughing and the "tiguere/a" is left with nothing but either leave "offendido" or take it's turn at the far back end of the cola.

It goes to show, that politeness is just a from. It can be a nice form, but often it's just hypocrisy. Men hold the doors for young and pretty women or known ladies, preferably. It's called chivalry. But sadly, the ugly, old and fat... don't get to see much of it ever.

No they are not more polite than any other culture I have met, they are just still polite in things "we" aren't (anymore) but then they lack the most basic sense of respecting others' liberties and derechos on other issues.

Hate to love'em / love to hate'em, one can only try to make the best out of it and navigate past the not so nice moments and adapt so not to offend accidentally/unwillingly.



... J-D.
 
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DMV123

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I think there is a difference between polite and sociable.

It was shocking to me when I first moved here. No please or thank you - that is not polite. NO goodbye at the end of a phone conversation.........

While I am used to it now I still don't like it. I still say please and thank you, I hold doors AND I let pedestrians cross the road.

Sociable is blocking the entire aisle in the grocery store while the 3 women hug and kiss and gossip. Rude is not moving their wide asses to the side along with the 3 out of control kids.

Rude is cutting in front of me in line and expecting I will sit back and wait because I am an extranjero. Rude is interupting the teller just to ask one question. Get your ass to the back of the line and wait like I did.

No they are not polite - at times they are offensively rude. Other times the social factor touches me! It is one of the reasons I live here. You meet someone in the supermarket and it is like old home week - hugs and kisses and updates.........oh yes, I just saw them yesterday as their driveway and mine are side by side..............

I love this country but to say it is more polite...... nahhhhh
 

Chirimoya

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Dec 9, 2002
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It's a good question, Chip, but we all have our standards and criteria for "polite".

I've always thought that generally, children and young people here are much more respectful than their peers in the other countries I've lived in - because they actually engage as opposed to grunting or looking down at the floor and are pleasant and friendly with it - but the longer I live here the more exceptions I see.

A lot of so-called politeness is just ritual. Usted for me is just grammar. It does not necessarily mean respect. My husband and his siblings use it with their mum, but rarely let her finish a sentence.
 

Citrus Phil

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Politeness

There is a large bit of selective history going on here...Enjoy the Dominican people for who they are, not who you might think they are..
 

bienamor

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My experience must be different

I talk to my neighbors and we always ask how each other are doing. I normally always get a thank you for holding a door open at the supermarket. As a general rule, the people are polite, but then again you must treat them that way also.
 
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