Learning the Social Customs of Luxembourg


In Luxembourg, people often have close extended families. It is normal for people to be raised in a town and remain there for the rest of their lives. People therefore have very strong ties and obligations to other members of their family. Parents play a strong role in children’s lives, often making their choices with their education and their career. A form of hierarchy social thus exists and is observed. Most people in Luxembourg observe the Roman Catholic religion, and the majority of Catholic holidays are observed as national holidays.

People in Luxembourg tend to be private. They are close with individuals like friends and family, but are usually not open to outsiders. It is rare to see someone displaying emotions or attitude outside the house. They usually do not to ask people personal questions, because they respect their privacy. People also have a strong separation of business and personal life. People are friends at work, but they have separate relations inside the office from the social sphere.

In terms of greeting, people tend to be formal and conservative until a strong personal relationship is developed down the line. The typical greeting gesture is a quick handshake. When people begin to know each other better, they will kiss each other on the cheeks (this is only done between women or women and men, never between men). You should address people by their formal names, saying “Monsieur” for Mr and “Madame” for Mrs, followed by the person’s last name. You should wait to be initiated to use others’ first names.

If you are invited to a house in Luxembourg, it is a nice gesture to bring nice chocolates or flowers as a gift. Even if you are invited to have tea at someone’s house, it is still a good idea to bring a present. You should give flowers in an odd number, but not 13, and avoid giving chrysanthemums.

At dinner, you should observe the formal table manners. Wait until you are invited to sit, and wait for the hostess to start eating. Meals are usually presented family-style. Your hands should always be where others can see them, not on your lap. Food is usually eaten with utensils, even sandwiches. You should finish all of the food on your plate, and when you conclude your meal, you should lay your fork and knife in line to the right of your plate.

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