By Elizabeth Soos, Founder of Auersmont School of Etiquette
Today we see the rise of etiquette schools around the world from Africa to Asia via Instagram, teaching you in a few seconds how to sit elegantly. We have seen figures such as Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, transformed through their training in royal etiquette that improve their confidence, posture and body language and enable them to feel at ease and conduct themselves appropriately in a wide array of formal and non-formal events.
Finishing School’s of Yesterday
Finishing school where originally purposed to teach young women to enter society. For approximately one year they were sent to learn protocol, etiquette, languages, deportment, and household management. The point of this education, was to marry, conduct one-self with style and elegance and become the ‘face’ or positive representative of their family and/or husband.
Today etiquette and finishing schools are flourishing globally: migrants and businesspeople in particular have sensitised themselves to the reality that the respect and understanding of other cultures are the keys to unlocking the capacity to integrate and work successfully with others, for both themselves and their children. In doing so, they gain knowledge, confidence and the capacity to find that competitive edge within business and social situations.
The Global Etiquette and Finishing School Boom
By the 1970’s – 80’s they had slowly closed their doors, with wider society feeling the schools had little to offer. What, they wondered, did schools like the longest standing finishing school is IVP, Switzerland, where Madame Neri and family have dedicated their lives to teaching European etiquette to royalty, wives of diplomats, prime ministers, and society notables, have to do with them? With the advent of the Internet, globalisation and screens, the way in which we communicate has evolved rapidly – and some would argue that it has devolved. Etiquette schools themselves have adapted to such a change and now offer the ever-popular cross-cultural courses, business etiquette and open to anybody.
Their veritable explosion throughout Australasia is a testament to that, for etiquette schools offer courses that help one straddle the cultural divide between east and west through acquiring cultural sensitivity and competence. Programs detail western customs and expectations both within the private and work domains as well as more specific courses such as Continental dining and how to conduct a royal afternoon tea, which are all hugely popular and constantly sold out.