The importance of hospitality in Greece
In Greece, foreigners are said to be always welcome, treated as guests of honor. This is where the so-called philoxenia was born in ancient times, a form of hospitality understood not only as a duty but as a form of care and respect for the foreign guest.
In fact, it was considered sacred and there was even a patron god of guests and hospitality, Zeus Xenios. People were careful not to disappoint him by refusing to welcome an unexpected guest, wether known or unknown.
South Africa’s “Ubuntu”The word “Ubuntu” refers to what we could define as a life philosophy, according to which “I am what I am by virtue of what we all are”. An ideology based on loyalty and mutual relations according to which no human being can exist isolated from others, recognizing the importance of interconnection.
In South Africa, but also in other African states, this philosophy is celebrated with manifestations of kindness and compassion, especially towards people of different cultural backgrounds. Nelson Mandela was also a staunch supporter of this philosophy.
Japan’s “Omotenashi”In Japan, guests are considered very important and the tradition of hospitality also has a name, Omotenashi, which must be understood as dedication to the guest, the desire to entertain him or her with all your heart. It can be experienced almost everywhere, not only when you are welcomed into a house, and it is expressed in various ways, for example with bows, warm welcomes and various gestures of kindness, especially aimed at foreigners.
The “cafè suspiso” in Italy
Italians too can boast a tradition of pure generosity and it is that of the “‘O cafè suspiso” (suspended coffee) practiced in Naples, which has spread elsewhere as well. It consists of paying for two coffees and leaving one to a stranger, who may not be able to afford it.