How To Act Around Costa Ricans

By BobbyRica | November 16, 2009

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Every exotic tropical country has mores and traditions that its people follow. For tourists who plan to take a vacation at a particular place, they should be aware of how the inhabitants of the place live everyday. Therefore, those who wish to visit Costa Rica for a leisurely trip must keep these certain things in mind:

* Friendliness is next to godliness. As mentioned on my previous entry, we Costa Ricans are generally friendly people with a laid-back temperament, which is why the usual forms of greetings, such as the handshake for ticos and kissing the cheek for ticas, would suffice.

* Something’s gotta give. When invited by Costa Ricans for lunch or dinner, visitors are obliged to bring flowers to complement the hospitality of the hosts. Other suggested items to be offered as gifts are chocolates, wines, and extra food, among others. Unless they are well-acquainted with the hosts, female guests should never take initiative of getting themselves alcoholic beverages. Also, never EVER bring calla lilies as gifts because they are associated with funerals and the like. You have been warned.

* Time is not that golden. Punctuality has never been the strongest suit among Costa Ricans, but it does have its benefits at time as we don’t usually mind if visitors are late for half an hour. This only applies to social gatherings and engagements.

* Never say never. Expect the most courteous reception you will ever receive from Costa Ricans. The hosts will most likely prepare a feast to be served upon your arrival, and it would be foolish to refuse such offering. Try to find room in your stomach and partake in the food preparation even if you are full.

* It’s a pleasure to go off topic. Costa Ricans encourage openness during conversations. Politics can be a topic of discussion since the country enjoys its stability. Other topics of interest are art, children, and history. However, there are taboo topics among Costa Ricans, and one of them is religion. Personal insults and rude manners are almost always frowned upon as well.

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