Luxembourgers cherish their independence and separate identity in
Europe. Modesty, friendship and strong national pride are valued.
They enjoy a slower pace of life than most of northern Europe.
Family is very important. Parents influence every aspect of their
children's lives; however, this is weakening as more young people
leave the country to study/work abroad.
Meeting and Greeting
- Shake hands with everyone present--men, women and children--at
a business or social meeting. Shake hands again when leaving.
- Good friends kiss cheeks, one on each side.
- Luxembourgers are friendly but reserved.
- Do not put your hands in your pockets.
- Luxembourgers take punctuality for business meetings very
seriously and expect that you will do likewise; call with an
explanation if you will be delayed.
- Meetings are brief. Luxembourgers usually get right down to
- People are reserved in both their business and private lives.
Business/private lives are kept clearly separate.
- Traditionally, older, more established companies have had a
strict hierarchy, but union representation on the board has become
more common and a consensus-oriented decision style has been
Dining and Entertainment
- Luxembourgers insist on punctuality for most social occasions.
For evening dinners, arrive 15 minutes later than what is stated
on the invitation.
- Dinner is usually a social occasion and a time to enjoy good
food, wine and discussion.
- When finished eating, place your knife and fork side by side
on the plate at the 5:25 position. To quietly signify that you are
not finished or that you would like more food, cross your knife
and fork in the middle of your plate. Leaving food on your plate
- Cleanliness and neatness are very important.
- For business, men should wear suits and ties, sometimes hats,
or just a sports coat/blazer and dress pants.
- Women should wear dresses or suits.
- Always bring a gift to the hostess when invited to someone's
home. It will probably not be unwrapped immediately (unless no
other guests are present or expected).
- Give: bouquets of flowers (but not chrysanthemums), bottles of
liqueur (but not cheap ones, ask the retailer to recommend one),
- Small business gifts may be exchanged, but usually not at the
- It is acceptable, but not expected, to give a Christmas gift
to a Luxembourger colleague, but never send it to a Luxembourger's
- Give: books, music, good quality liquor.
- Recognize Luxembourg's uniqueness and its nationality. Do not
lump the Luxembourgers together with the French or Belgians, and
especially not with the Germans.
- Expect the pace of life to be less hurried than most of
- Don't chew gum in public.
Especially for Women
- Foreign women will have no problem doing business in
- A foreign woman does not have to think twice about inviting a
Luxembourger man to dinner.
- Make arrangements in advance with the waiter to pay for