ok, so the concept of taarof is something my friends and I discuss all the time, and how North Americans do not have this concept at all. It’s hard to describe the concept to my Canadian friends, because it almost seems backwards. It’s also a hard thing to define. It just is in our culture. From a young we just sort of know it and how it works because our parents taarof with family members and thier friends. Here are some examples of taarof-ing:
- Inviting someone to your house, when you really don’t want them to come, but you almost feel like you have to invite them
- when you go to a grocery store the cashier will say something to the effect of “no go ahead, it’s a gift” at which point the customer will say oh why thank you, and proceeds to pay because obviously its NOT a gift
- when you go to someone’s house and you are sitting at the dinner table, dinner plate full, and the host offers you even more food
I’m sure there are more examples and if you can think of any, add them in the comment section. There is also a Wikipedia link on Taarof for more information.