VIEWS: 11 PAGES: 15 POSTED ON: 6/21/2012
Jordan National flag of Jordan The importance of religion • About 95 percent of the people of Jordan are Muslim. Most of the other five percent are Christian. • References to the teachings of the Koran or the Bible are often made to justify or explain action taken or a position held in negotiations. • It is of utmost importance to treat religion respectfully. A high percentage of the population will be offended by flippant or negative remarks concerning God or the Holy Books. • A genuinely respectful attitude is highly regarded in the Jordanian culture. It is one of the marks of a mature person. • Another highly respected trait is keeping one's word. • It is also very important not to cause embarrassment. Making appointments • Business as well as works slow down during the holiday month in winter and the month of Ramadan. • Sunday through Thursday constitute the business week. • Be punctual, but you’re a typical Jordanian may be more than a half hour late. Conversation • Try keep your voice down. A loud voice can be considered domineering, or as a loss of control, and inappropriate. On the other hand, Jordanians can be very emotional in their conversation. Feel free to show some emotion but don't raise your voice when you do. Conversation—cont. • Most Jordanians like to talk about religion. If you have definite religious convictions, feel free to discuss them. • In Jordanian culture, it is quite normal to talk about such things as your wages, how much you pay for things like rent or clothing and how old you are. On the other hand, it is considered impolite to discuss your relationship with your spouse. Conversation • Avoid cutting or derogatory humour-- even with very close friends. Humour that is based on personal put- downs, jabs, sarcasm and such things is not well accepted. Some Arabic general titles of respect : 'Ya Sidi' [pronounced yah see_ dee]. This is the most general title of respect. Informally, it can be used with anyone of roughly the same social standing. • 'Ya 'Ammo' [pronounced yah 'um_ mow]. This is an informal general title of respect used to refer either to someone a generation older or a generation younger than you. • 'Ya Bek' [pronounced yah bake_]. This is a general formal title of respect especially used for police and military officers. • 'Ya Doctor' [pronounced yah doc tour_]. This general and a bit formal title of respect can be used to ascribe learning and general social awareness. Titles in English that show respect: • Social: Mr., Miss., Mrs., Ms. • Educational: Dr., Engineer, Lawyer, Professor • Political: Member of Parliament, Senator, our/His Honour • Judicial: Your/ His Honour, Judge • Business: CEO, Gen. Manager • Religion: Bishop, Minister • Dear Engineer Khalid Obeidat, • 'Mr. Khalid, how are you?' • 'Ya Sidi, want to have lunch together?' • Mr. Khalid will be representing our interests here. • Engineer Khalid Obeidat's contribution to setting up the Jordanian project was excellent and we look forward to a successful business relationship. Public Behavior Voices • Loud voices mean strong emotions; hate or love, grief or elation, etc. • Large gestures are considered uncultured or angry. • Communication is nearly impossible without small gestures. • Quiet voices are a sign of respect and maturity. Touch [between men] • Stand closer than most westerners are used to. For Americans, use about half the distance that is normal for you. • Patting or holding the arm or shoulder can be a sign of affection, acceptance, or offered assistance. It also usually indicates that the initiator of the action is dominant in the relationship at that moment. • Slapping hands is a kind of cheer, sort of like 'Way to go, right on.' It usually indicates affectionate relationship and equality. • Holding hands indicates emotional attachment and is appropriate in same sex relationships that are close, either like a 'father and son' or brothers. It does not have sexual connotations. Men and Women • It is right to let the woman indicate what level of contact is appropriate. Generally, follow her lead in directness and style of conversation, eye contact, and standing distance. • In general, even married men and women do not touch in public. However, in some circles, it is now becoming acceptable. Eye Contact • In transacting business or during conversation, Jordanians generally make eye contact while talking. An avoidance of eye contact makes others feel uncomfortable toward you and they may question your integrity. • On the street or in general public places, don't seek eye contact with members of the opposite sex as it may be seen as an invitation to an inappropriately intimate relationship.