My husband and I attended a wedding yesterday at the local public golf course at Gold Mountain. As we were walking up to the building , we passed three Japanese gentlemen walking towards their cars with their clubs and carts. Maybe it is because I used to work as a lobby attendant in a resort hotel where I got used to greeting people from all walks of life. Anyway, as the last man was passing us, he made eye contact with me enough that I just said, “Hello”. He seemed (to me) to be pleasantly surprised and with a smile and a slight bow, he said hello back to me.
My husband was appalled and said that it was rude of me to say hello to this Japanese man, because in their country it is considered rude to even look them in the eye or initiate conversation. The reason my husband commented, and voiced his opinion about it, is because he has been to Japan for his job with the shipyard. Right now, many of our Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (NBK) personnel are working off-station in , Japan, and there have been strict guidelines for living and working in that country. When in Rome, as it were….
My reaction to his admonishment was that I am not in Japan. Rather, I am in my own country, and it is my custom to say hello to people to be friendly. I don’t feel I did anything rude. What do you think?