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1999 Pan Am Games
- The University of Manitoba

Cross-Cultural Awareness

With so many International visitors and Athletes attending the Pan Am Games, it would be difficult for one to learn the customs and manners of every country. However, there are certain things you can remember that will help you treat every guest politely and make him or her feel at home.

  • Introduce yourself and speak slowly when you welcome the visitors and guests to our community.

  • Have a friendly, helpful attitude.

  • Be sure to say "please," "thank you" and "you're welcome."

  • Pointing with your fingers is considered offensive in several cultures. To indicate a direction or to point to a person or object, use your full hand, palm up.

  • Many cultures are offended by loud noises or rowdy behaviour. Try to avoid shouting, whistling or waving to get the attention of others.

  • Avoid talking about religion or politics. Also, avoid offering personal opinions about local conditions such as crime, or any current Pan American Games issues.

  • Try not to use slang expressions, like "cool" or "you bet." International visitors may have trouble understanding what you mean.

  • Avoid using abbreviations, acronyms and technical jargon.

  • If you are not being understood, do not raise your voice. The problem is not one of hearing. Try other words and ways of phrasing.

  • Refer to guests with titles of respect, such as Mr., Ms or Dr.

  • Do not use first names unless invited to do so.

  • Although it is exciting when athletes from your home country do well, please be considerate of those who support other teams. Keep your enthusiasm under control.

  • Politely refuse gifts.


UofM Pan Am information is subject to change.
Questions? Randy Kinley



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