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Etiquette and protocol guidelines in Cambodia

Cambodia is a collective society - individuals take second place to the group whether this is the family, neighbourhood or company.
. In such societies, etiquette and protocol guidelines are used to maintain a sense of common harmony - for example subtle communication styles are employed in order to minimize the chances of causing offense to others.
. The concept of face also ties in with this collective outlook.
. Protecting both one's own and other's face is extremely important.
. Face can roughly be translated as a combination of honour, dignity and public reputation that is attributed to a person.
. Face can be lost, given and accrued.
. Foreigners in Cambodia need to be aware of the mechanics of face to ensure they do not cause anyone to lose face as a result of unintentional actions.
. Face is lost when someone is criticized, embarrassed or exposed in public.
. It can be given by complimenting someone publicly, i.e. for their business acumen or hospitality.

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