Etiquette

Although largely informal in their every-day dealings, Réunionnais do observe some (unspoken) rules of etiquette.

  • Greetings Shake hands with men and women when meeting for the first time and when saying goodbye. Female friends are greeted with cheek kisses.
  • Clothing Although beachwear is fine for the beaches, if you dress skimpily elsewhere you will cause offence and may end up being pestered. Nude bathing is forbidden.
  • Temples & Mosques Dress conservatively. It's normal to remove your shoes.
  • Island Time Impatience will get you nowhere in Réunion, where time flows with the tides. Slow down and always start with 'bonjour' before launching into a conversation.
  • Photographing People Always respect the wish of locals. Ask permission to photograph if a candid shot can't be made and don't insist or snap a picture anyway if permission is denied.