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Hospitality, guests, and hosts

Hospitality, guests, and hosts

Merriam Webster’s Dictionary defines hospitality as, “generous and friendly treatment of visitors and guests or hospitable treatment.” It also refers to the industry in which hotels, caterers, and event planners largely operate.

In India, it is said, “Atithi devo bhava” which means “the guest is God”. The Bible also has a similar thought. Hospitality plays a big role in the increase or decrease of tourism.

In life, you can have good relations with good hospitality.

It will be interesting to know a few synonyms of hospitability. They are friendliness, generosity, reception, entertainment, sociability, welcome, cheer.

Among these, I find the word cheer very important. One should look cheerful while interacting with the guests otherwise your guests may have the feeling that they have been invited but are not welcomed. This becomes important because as a host you might be under stress sometimes.

Hospitality is considered as one of the soft skills, which is now used by business people to further their interests.

Hospitality is an important soft skill employed by international diplomacy.

I found it very interesting when I read in an article that in international diplomacy, they discern and interpret every gesture minutely. For example, there are different types of handshakes, by which things can be conveyed or you may give away your concealed thoughts inadvertently. In such an atmosphere host and guest, both have to play their role well. The similar may hold good for corporates. But there are well trained professional people to deal with the matters regarding hospitality.

Now let me talk about the hospitality of a common man in social functions like wedding ceremonies or any other social parties. The people, who can afford employing event managers to manage the parties. The others manage this on their own.

In a society, the matter of hospitality is no less important. We can say it is of utmost importance because we have to deal with our relatives and friends, which is an essential part of our social life. We need to maintain a cordial relationship with them.

Hospitality has two sides. One side is a host, who gives hospitality and the other side is a guest, who receives it. Host and guest can be individuals or groups of people.

First, I will talk about guests from a host's point of view.

After hosting my daughter's marriage party., I felt the following things are necessary to be a good guest.

  1.  Do not complain of any deficiency in the host's hospitality. He might be doing everything possible for him to entertain you.
  2. The host will provide his hospitality to you according to his capacity, do not make expectations according to your capacity.
  3. You, do not measure love and respect with just comfort.

You can decide now how nice a guest you were the last time.

Now somethings for hosts.

  1. Plan your function sufficiently in advance and detail.
  2. Book the venue of the function much in advance to avoid disappointment. If it is a small party, which you are going to host at your residence, arrange the required number of chairs and do the necessary cleaning and decoration at least one day before the party.
  3. Invite as many guests, as you can comfortably accommodate and welcome them.
  4.  If you intend providing food, decide the menu in advance by keeping in mind the general liking of your guests.
  5. Try to welcome all the guests personally or deploy some people to take care of the guests.  No guest should feel that they were neglected.
  6. In a social gathering the guests may be from different classes or backgrounds. The host must follow the Constitution of India, which says there should be no discrimination based on caste, creed, gender, or sex.

Sometimes you become a guest. Sometimes you become a host.

When you are a guest, be sympathetic towards the host and when you are a host, be caring and respectful toward the guest.

About the Author

Ravi Ranjan Goswami is an IRS officer, a poet and writer. His published titles include Palayan, Asht Yogis and The Seven Shades. Presently he is working as Assistant Commissioner of Customs (Preventive) Cochin, Kerala.