Meeting Poles

Foreigners often find Poles very hospitable, it is sometimes enough to know some words in Polish to warm up a Poles heart. Many Poles, especially young ones, speak foreign languages - mostly English, but also German, although it is still not a general rule.

Shaking hands is the normal form of greeting. Women have to be prepared for the old Polish custom of being kissed on the hand, even if it nowadays seldom happens. While visiting private homes is customary to bring flowers (or a chocolate box) and give them to the lady of the house.

Catholicism plays an important role in daily life of many, so be careful with criticism or jokes about religion or Pope, even if Poles generally appreciate humour and a good joke.

Fairly conservative casual wear is the most suitable attire, but dress should be formal when specified for entertaining in the evening or in a fancy restaurant.

Smoking is restricted in public buildings, some cafés and restaurants have special area for non-smokers, some of them prohibit smoking at all. 


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