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They will tend to smile and you will think that you are “getting away with it”, but suddenly you may find that you have been transferred or that your contract is not renewed, because you did something to offend.
Just stick to the rules, be sensitive about the culture and do not offend. [Source: expat-blog.com] According to uk: “The role of face, shame and honour is crucial to Bruneians.
Hierarchy is revered, so older businesspeople should be greeted before younger ones. Therefore, the communication style tends to be indirect and somewhat ambiguous.
Things are done at a slower pace with much form-filling and red tape.
The Government structures and hierarchy work, so don’t try to change them or get impatient – it won’t help anyway.
Consequently they are very polite and well-mannered.
Maintaining face is of upmost importance and they do their best not to cause issues or problems which could jeopardize this.
4) Don’t bring up the topic of the scandals involving the Bruneian royal family or the political system: They are both sensitive subjects.
As a tourist, it is best not to criticize the government or the royal families.
If you are uncomfortable discussing such matters, it is important to handle the matter diplomatically so neither party loses face.
Such conversations are meant to get to know you as a person, they are not meant to make you uncomfortable.
Therefore, it is incumbent upon the foreigner to refrain form showing his/her inner feelings.
Bruneians commonly ask what would be considered intrusive personal questions such as about wages or the like.
In order to maintain face their communication style is very indirect and can come across as somewhat ambiguous to those from a culture where direct communication is the norm.