The rules of etiquette are a set of unspoken rules that have been determined by society as a whole. Etiquette is made up of social norms that evolve with repeated behaviors that are accepted within a society. Although certain etiquette rules are universally accepted worldwide, many socially accepted behaviors vary in different countries because they are influenced by different cultures and customs. It is important for people to be familiar with the basic rules of etiquette that are expected in all cultures.
Here, are a compilation of some basic rules that should be followed in Moldova:
When visiting Moldova, be careful when referring the locals as Romanians as not all Moldovans identify themselves as such. Study your host first: some Moldovans identify as Moldovan, and some as Romanian. This also applies to the language issue as well, although the larger part of Moldovans do refer to it as Romanian in everyday speech.
(1)In much of Moldova and even among many people in large cities it is common to greet passers-by (including strangers) with the words buna ziua (good day). If the individuals know each other, men generally shake hands and greet each other with the word salut or noroc, which are informal forms of “Hello.” Generally close friends hug each other and may kiss each other on the cheek.
(2) When you meet or part with someone it is used to shake hands. But for all that it is very likely to shake hands with a woman only if she is an initiator. Close friends hug and kiss when meeting.
(3) Do not shake hands across the doorstep.
Dress & Behavior
(1)In the more rural areas, women travelers who are smokers might want to light up in private, as there is a social stigma attached to the act.
(2) Knightliness is alive and well in Moldova – if you really want to fit in, be sure to offer your seat to the elderly on trains and buses, allow others to pass through doorways before you, and be willing to lend a hand if you see someone struggling with heavy luggage.
(3) For the foreigner visiting Moldova, there are no real dress or behavioral restrictions. You’ll notice most people dress as they do in any other European country and you are welcomed to do the same. The only issue to be aware of is that nakedness and women going topless is restricted in most locations.
(4) In Orthodox churches women have to cover their heads, with scarves, and men take off their hats.
(5) Don’t put your thumb between your first two fingers – this is a very rude gesture.
(6)Homosexuality is legal but not widely accepted in Moldovan society.
(1)If eating at a restaurant, everyone is expected to pay for himself, but if the person who invited you offers to pay, you may accept this.
(2) Usually, when a couple is eating at a restaurant the man is the one who takes care of the bill (no matter who have invited whom).
(3) When eating dinner at someone’s home, casual dress is accepted. Be ready to give toasts at dinner. They are often asked to do for guests. The best toasts are: “To your health!’ “Chin-Chin!”
There is no requirement of tip in Moldova. It really depends on the situation. Anyway, usually a tip of 5 to 10 percent is admissible for restaurants and taxi drivers.