Neighborhood etiquette when renting a residential apartment in Yerevan or Tbilisi
When traveling and settling down in your new accommodation, it is a wise idea to consider the neighborhood customs in order to avoid uncomfortable situations. While neighborhood etiquette is based on the people's cultural background, just like any other etiquette, it can largely vary from country to country. However there are basic rules that are kept almost in any civilized culture. I would be glad to tell you what to do and what not to do in every single culture in the world, but this time let's study the neighborhood etiquette in Armenia and Georgia.
The Caucasus has its own unique culture and etiquette and while it keeps developing it gradually adopts some of the Western norms, still preserving its own identity. So here is what you need to keep in mind when you just settle down in your new apartment in Armenia or Georgia:
1. Be conscientious about noises that might disturb your neighbors, such as vacuum cleaners, loud music, loud talk and barking dogs. While it is not quite popular to call the police for this matter neither in Armenia nor in Georgia, disturbing your neighbors can create problems.
2. Do not party at a very late hour. If the theme is suitable, invite your neighbors to it too. If they are partying at a non reasonable hour, bring the problem to them in a friendly manner: they are likely to understand you.
3. If you, your kids, or your pets break or soil anything that belongs to your neighbor, make sure to replace it.
4. Respect your neighbors privacy.
5.Be cunning to learn some cultural habits form your neighbors.
6. Return anything that you borrow from your neighbor, such as tools or appliances as soon as you can. Express your gratitude when you do so. Both Armenians and Georgians are rather hospitable, and may treat you with sweets, such as cakes or candies and try to socialize with you. It is an accepted habit that when they bring you something, you should give the place/pot back putting something sweet inside. This will be very nice of you and your neighbor will certainly appreciate it.
If there is something they borrowed and haven't returned yet, it is quite fine to go and ask for it without apologizing!
7. Always greet your neighbors if you have had a little contact before, as even from the little contacts Armenians and Georgians believe that your are familiar. When there is no time or convenience to say hi, just wave to them.
8. There are things that you might find fine in your own culture, but they might not be viewed as so in another. Always ask for permission before doing something that you are not sure is acceptable, such as opening the gate of the neighbor, inviting their kids to your house or playing with their dog. Armenians and Georgians are not extremely formal people, so most often your “good” actions will be welcomed, however all people are different and may have individualistic points of view. Thus making sure things are fine is always on your benefit.
9. Do not send your kids over without asking for permission or without being invited. Most people will be glad to babysit your child while your are away and with no payment involved, however make things clear first.
10. Teach your children to be polite with your neighbor and their kids.
Using the above mentioned ten tips, you should be really fine in Armenia and Georgia. As you see most people in this part of the world are not as picky or strict as people might be in some other countries, but following the simple and basic rules and learning some culture oriented habits will certainly keep you away from unpleasant situations.