o Like most cultures in the area, Azeris
like warm and friendly greetings.
o Men greet each other with a handshake, a kiss on the cheek and "salaam" (literally 'peace' but meaning 'hello').
o Women hug and kiss each other once on the left cheek. Azeri women do not generally shake hands among themselves, although many will shake hands with a foreigner.
o Males should wait and see if a woman extends her hand (although most will the more religious may not) - if they do shake it lightly.
o Always take a moment to ask about family, health and business.
o First names are generally used in social situations if the speakers are of similar ages.
o If you do not know the person well, use their first name followed by an appropriate title. For women, use "hanum" ("woman"). For men, use "bey" ("Mr").
o Younger people always initiate greetings with older people.
o Azeris mainly exchange gifts for
birthdays, weddings and anniversaries.
o In Azeri culture it is the thought behind the gift, rather than the price, that matters.
o It is customary to refuse a gift at least twice before reluctantly accepting it. Always insist it is too much and the giver should not have gone to any trouble.
o If you are invited to an Azeri's home for dinner, bring flowers or pastries to the hostess. Ask the shop where you buy them to wrap them for you. It is considered polite to reciprocate hospitality with a small gift.
o Always give an odd number of flowers. Even numbers are reserved for funerals.
o Avoid giving alcohol unless you are certain your host partakes.
o Gifts are generally not opened when received.
o Remove your shoes before entering the house. You may be offered slippers to wear.
o Punctuality is not paramount. Arriving within 30 minutes of the stipulated time is socially acceptable,
o Dress casually but smartly. Never wear tight or revealing clothing.
o If there are many people present shake hands with everyone.
o Table manners are fairly formal. If in doubt watch what others do.
o Remain standing until invited to sit down. You may be shown to a particular seat.
o Keep your elbows off the table and your hands above the table when eating.
o The hostess generally serves the food. The elderly are served first, then the guests, and finally the children.
o Use your right hand only to eat and to pass things.