Kulture Keys: Waiting at the Door

In Peru there is a lot of waiting outside of doors. If you go to someone else’s house it is polite to wait for the host or hostess to invite you inside. Going to someone’s house and walking straight in would be really strange. This much is true for bedrooms also. When I lived with my host family, my host siblings would never just walk into my room. They would always be shy and wait at the door for an invitation.

It is also culturally correct to wait at the door of little tiendas or bodegas. This is probably because more often than not they are also the first floor of someone’s house. You knock and you wait for the señora or señor to tell you to come in. I do this practically every night when I go to buy bread.

In school it’s the same. If you go to visit someone at their office you wait in the doorway. If a student comes to class after it has started they wait in the door way. If you are the one who needs to allow them permission to come in and you forget, you will awkwardly have a long distance doorway conversation until you remember to tell the person to pasar.

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