A-3. Are there universal good manners? In other words, is there a core of good manners that polite people of all countries recognize? Or are good manners different for each individual culture?
Throughout human history, people cultivated many different cultures. Some of the cultures seem similar according to the distance of different civilization, but are mostly very different from one another. There are different styles of courtesy for each culture, too. People use different gestures and tools to pay respect, tribute, and condolences. Sometimes in some culture areas, how people show one's will can mean totally different or opposite in another culture. For example, if we make an Okay sign with our finger, it means three for Chinese and a swear word for Brazilian. And this is where misconceptions happen to each other. People who are not aware of other cultures may upset others even if showing a good will. In other words, it is a matter of style and appearances that conflicts occur, not the contents. In this respect, I believe universal good manners exist. Various it may seem, but the manner shares one idea inside.
Universal manners often can be seen to people who go overseas. When people travel abroad, one of the biggest reasons why they loved their trip and the country they visited is because of the warmhearted citizens at there. I have a personal example to support this. I once visited China when I was little. But I still remember the young lady at the Forbidden City, Beijing who showed her kindness to me. At the time when I have been there, it was in a middle of summertime and was very hot and humid. I was tired too much to sightsee all the travel spots at there. While I was exhausted and taking a rest by sitting on a bench, the lady next told me I look tired and let me grab some small fruits in her plastic bag. I took some apples and grapes and I ate it. I said the Chinese word Xiexie, which means thank you in Mandarin and the only word I know in Chinese at that time. Her face was like you are welcome. I was very grateful for her warm attitude and believed Chinese people are kind. Even though media say a lot of bad things about Chinese until these days, but I still believe their nature is not that bad.
This example shows there are manners that transcend cultural barrier that can move people who came from other culture areas. The woman in my case was nice to me and I could notice easily. It is not only just possible to have a courtesy for the people who have different cultural background, but also easy to do so if you have that will. It is because most of humans share all kinds of feelings that we know. Happiness, sadness, anger, anxiety, fear, and many other feelings are the things that every human has. In this respect, manners can be expressed to any person and make people moved.