THE LUXEMBOURGERS CULTURAL BACKGROUND
Luxembourgers are often reserved and formal when dealing with outsiders although friendly and informal with close friends and family. They are private people and do not put their possessions or emotions on display.
Luxembourgers do not ask personal questions and will refuse to answer should you intrude on their privacy. Personal life is kept separate from business.
If a friendship develops at work and is carried into the personal arena, this camaraderie will not be brought into the office.
Personal matters are not discussed with friends, no matter how close.
Gift Giving Etiquette
If you are invited to someone’s home, bring a box of good chocolates or flowers to the hostess.
. Invitations to tea are formal and require the same gift, as would a dinner party.
. Flowers should be given in odd numbers, but not 13, which is considered an unlucky number.
. Do not give chrysanthemums as they are used at funerals.
. A small gift for the children is always appreciated.
. Gifts are not usually opened when received if there are other guests present.
Religion: The majority of the people are Roman Catholic, although Article 19 of the constitution guarantees freedom of religion. The church’s strong influence on the culture is reflected in the national holidays, many of which are religious observances. It is also seen in the respect for hierarchical relationships, the formal and ritualized behaviour, and the way that the family is seen as the basis of the social structure.
Cuisine: Luxembourgish cuisine reflects Luxembourg’s position between the Latin and Germanic countries, influenced on the cuisines of neighboring France, Belgium and Germany. Recently, the country’s many Italian and Portuguese immigrants have influenced it. As in Germany, most traditional everyday Luxembourg dishes are of peasant origin, in contrast to the more sophisticated French fare.
Meeting and Greeting
Shake hands with everyone present–men, women and children–at a business or social meeting. Shake hands again when leaving. Good friends kiss cheeks, one on each side.