History of Hospitality

 Etymology
 History
 Contemporary usage
 Global Concepts
 Celtic culture and India
 Minnesota Nice
 The Southern
Group members
from Latin, hostis (stranger) and
hostire (equalize or compensate)
Strangers were rare in those days;
the concept of hospitality helped
ease the encounter
Literally, the meaning of “host” can
be read as “lord of strangers,” have
to manage and serve strangers
History of Hospitality
In Homeric age, Hospitality was the chief deity
under the protection of Xenios Zeus
The sacredness of hospitality in Greek concept
was illustrated in the story of Telemachus and
Nestor, in which Nestor welcomes Telemachus
and his party (strangers), lavishly providing
them protection and guidance
The host should make the stranger feel
protected and taken care of, and guide him to
his next destination
Contemporary usage of Hospitality
Rather than protection and survival, it now
has more to do with etiquette and
entertainment, but still involves showing
respect to the guests, satisfying their
needs, and treating them as equals
Hospitality service industries offer
guidance and comfort; related institutions
like hospital, hospice, and hotel preserves
more connotation in personal care
Lot’s story:
Biblical and Middle
A mob wanted to rape his
it was considered
his own daughters
norm to
take care of the strangers
as substitute
In Middle
a cultural
and foreigners living among you.
The Biblical commands and examples :
Genesis (the most extreme one)
The obligations of both host and guest are
an Arab story
The distinction is
formed by eating
salt under the roof.
Classical World
To the ancient Greeks and Romans, hospitality
was a divine right.
Xenia (foreign), the ancient Greek concept of
the importance of hospitality
the tale of Baucis and Philemon
Zeus and Hermes are visiting the town of
Phrygia, disguised as simple peasants →
meet a lot of closed doors → the house of
Philemon and Baucis → act as good hosts
→→ the rest of the unhospitable town was
flooded while P and B were saved
Concept of hospitality
→100% Protection
Story of the Scottish Clan
Macgregor from the early
seventeenth century. Fighting
clans reached peace only when
one member of one clan showed
hospitality toward a member of
the other clan.
 Concept of hospitality:“Atithi Devo
guest is God
“What goes around comes around”
Minnesota Nice
courteous, reserved and mild-mannered
Polite friendliness
Aversion to confrontation
Tendency toward understatement
Not making a fuss or standing out
Emotional restraint
Negative Qualities?
1. passive aggressiveness
2. resistance to change
Despite the two negative qualities, a
national study in 2008 indicates that
Minnesota is the second most
agreeable and fifth extroverted state in
the U.S.A.
Social Norms
Isn’t really about being “nice”
Keeping up appearance
Maintaining the social order
Keeping people in the place
no confrontational verbs or statements of
strong personal preference
Southern Hospitality
Definition: Residents in Southern
United States are particularly warm
and welcoming to visitors to their
Conversation flows cheeringly—to
make the guests happy
After dinner, one will be urged to pass
the afternoon and night.
Hospitality in Food
1. a cake or other delicacy
—for the new neighbors as a mechanism of
instruction about rules of the community
2. clubs and church functions
—include a meal or at least a dessert and
3. when death or serious illness occurs
—people would provide free food to the
bereaved family for a period of time
4. Cooking enough food for everyone
Critical examination
Sociologists characterized Southern
Hospitality as a masquerade designed
to cover up deficiencies in southern
culture, such as slavery, discrimination
widespread poverty
Also reflected as deeply-held religious
beliefs of the region
Minnesota Nice beats Southern
Hospitality at a stick, what’s the trick?
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