Communication Etiquette in Indonesia

Indonesia is a country with a lot of etiquette. The etiquette are established from a mutual agreement of Indonesians people. Indonesians could do anything, but unconsciously they have a limitation for it. Unwritten rules are made to guide their habit in doing something. If someone doesn’t follow the rules, it maybe will not send him or her into jail. However, other people will give a bad judgment.

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One of the etiquette is the etiquette of communication. People could have a good looking, but it will be nothing without having good habit in communication. Bad communication way could trigger a misunderstanding or even a quarreling. That’s why when you want to visit Indonesia you should pay attention at communication etiquette in Indonesia

  1. Say something friendly and politely

Indonesians typically like to be friendly to everyone. They would be kindly helping when they see others in a problem. They would greet everyone whom they know, even sometimes they haven’t known before. They would ask a general question like “what are you doing?”, “where are you going?” when they meet someone whom they know. In addition, if they want to ask something to a people whom they haven’t known before, they will say it in a polite way. They also respect elder people by speaking politely even they really closed with them.

  1. Give a nice greeting

Greeting is the beginning of the conversation. They would like say “good morning”, “good afternoon”, and islamics would say “Assalamualaikum”. They will give a greeting when they meet someone, accept phone call, and visit someone’s house.

  1. Shaking hand for a hospitality

When they meet or introduce to someone, they like to shake a hand. Shaking hand is a sign that they respect others. It is aimed of showing hospitality to others. And for a children to elder people, the children should kiss their hand when shaking hand.

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  1. Make a good eye contact

When Indonesian has a conversation to someone, they will never miss to make a good eye contact. They will pay attention carefully to what other talking about.

  1. Say sorry when you do a mistake, say please when you need a help

‘Sorry’ and ‘please ‘are the two miracle words that is really important in a human being, so is for Indonesians. When they do even a small mistake, they will directly say sorry for it. They would also say please when they ask for a help.

  1. Honor the elder people

Indonesian has so many languages for communication. Each language has the different rule to speak to elder people. They will speak more politely to elder people.

  1. Say ‘Excuse me’ when passing in front of others

They would say excuse me when they have to pass in front of someone. It shows how they really respect others really well.

  1. Choose a good conversation topic

Good conversation topic could create a warm atmosphere toward the people. They usually will talk about their family, foods, local communities, places, and weather. It is the general topic that they would likely to discuss.  If you are a foreigner and going to visit Indonesia, you could also ask their experiences in abroad.

  1. Avoid to talk about negative issue

Indonesia doesn’t like to talk about negative issue that could build their anger. It would better for you avoid some sensitive topics like sex. Sexual activity in Indonesia is something taboo. They don’t like to share their sexual activity as a topic of conversation.

  1. Ask them back

Indonesian culture is not individualism. They like to be in a group or collective. That’s why they always have a good way in honoring others. If someone asks them, they would like to give some questions too to respect others. Honoring others is not only answering their questions but also being interested to listen at their perception.

Those are ten etiquette of communication in Indonesia. It would better for you to learn a culture and etiquette in a country before you get there. It might be different with yours.

If you want to learn a culture, you have to learn how to like what it likes, rather than go looking for something that you like. – John Barnes

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