What is the etiquette for meeting in Pakistan?

  • Greetings among people of the same gender are pretty common. However, greetings between different sexes are becoming acceptable in the huge middle class.
  • Once you get acquainted to a person properly, the greeting may include a hug and shaking of hands.
  • Females use hugs and kisses are forms of greetings.
  • They may take a decent amount of time to get to know you. They will ask you about elaborate stuff pertaining to your family, health, and work.
  • While addressing someone, use a prefix which is suitable to his or her occupation and class position.
  • People often have elaborate names and could lose meaning if only parts are used. Thus, ask the person himself what he or she would like to be called.
  • People don’t address using first names unless they are very close.


What is the proper etiquette for gift giving in Pakistan?

  • If you get the opportunity to be invited to a Pakistani’s house, make sure you bring along quality chocolates or flowers for the hostess.
  • Men should refrain from giving flowers to a woman directly.
  • Avoid presenting white-coloured flowers as they are associated with weddings.
  • If a man has to give flowers to a lady, he must specifically mention that they are on the behalf of any of his female relative.
  • Do not give gifts which have alcoholic content.
  • Gifts are presented using two hands and are usually not opened in presence of the giver.

What is the proper etiquette for eating in Pakistan?

  • If you receive an invitation to a Pakistani person’s residence, remember to remove footwear outside the door unless the host himself is wearing shoes.
  • Clothe yourself in a conservative manner.
  • Try to arrive at least fifteen minutes late than the time allotted to you if invited to a household.
  • In case of a party, delay of up to one hour is acceptable. 
  • Greet the elders of the family first to convey respect.
  • In rural settings, the dining table may only be up to knee length. Diners have to sit on the floor in such conditions.
  • Even in urban areas, people do not use eating utensils such as spoons and forks on a regular basis. However, families which are westernized may do so.
  • Observe the hosts and then then follow suit if you are doubtful about how the food is to be eaten.
  • People are served in a certain priority sequence. First the guests, then the elders and then everybody in descending order of their ages are served.
  • Refrain from starting to eat before the eldest person does so.
  • Out of generosity, they may persuade you to take second or even third helpings. If you are satisfied, you may state so directly to the host.
  • Refrain from eating with your left hand.

Things you should know before going to Pakistan?

  • Religion constitutes a major part of the lives of Pakistanis, with Islam being the widely followed religion. Learn about their traditions and ways, and learn to respect it.
  • Foster good relations with your Pakistani counterparts as they prefer working with people whom they know on a personal basis. They have a group-oriented way of life, and such approach would surely prove helpful.
  • Get you recommended and introduced to the persons you want to do business with, by a local contact.
  • Be truthful and consistent in your work in order to establish a trust between you and your Pakistani counterparts.
  • Avoid striking down a person’s point in public, who belongs to a higher hierarchal position.
  • Never insult or bluntly embarrass anyone in public.
  • Higher educational qualifications are respected in Pakistan. But be very humble while stating those.
  • Be generous and welcoming. Regularly invite them to tea or meals.

Also Read: Business etiquette to follow in Pakistan

Last update on February 2, 11:26 am by Nidhi S.