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Hospitality is the relationship between the guest and the host, or the act or practice of being hospitable. Specifically, this includes the reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.
The word hospitality derives from the Latin hospes,3 meaning 'host', 'guest', or 'stranger'. Hospes is formed from hostis, which means 'stranger' or 'enemy' (the latter being where terms like 'hostile' derive).
In the West today hospitality is rarely a matter of protection and survival, and is more associated with etiquette and entertainment. However, it still involves showing respect for one's guests, providing for their needs, and treating them as equals. Cultures and subcultures vary in the extent to which one is expected to show hospitality to strangers, as opposed to personal friends or members of one's in-group.
Hospitality ethics is a discipline that studies this usage of hospitality.
The Pakhtun people of South-Central Asia, pre-dominant in the all provinces of Afghanistan have a strong code of hospitality. They are a people characterized by their use of an ancient set of ethics, the first principle of which is Milmastiya or Hospitality. The general area of Pakhtunistan is also nicknamed The Land of Hospitality.
To the ancient Greeks, hospitality was a divine right. The host was expected to make sure the needs of his guests were seen to. The ancient Greek term xenia, or theoxenia when a god was involved, expressed this ritualized guest-friendship relation. In Greek society a person's ability to abide the laws to hospitality determined nobility and social standing.
Celtic societies also valued the concept of hospitality, especially in terms of protection. A host who granted a person's request for refuge was expected not only to provide food and shelter to his/her guest, but to make sure they did not come to harm while under their care.4
In India, hospitality is based on the principle Atithi Devo Bhava, meaning "the guest is God." This principle is shown in a number of stories where a guest is literally a god who rewards the provider of hospitality. From this stems the Indian approach of graciousness towards guests at home, and in all social situations.
- Backpacking (travel)
- Hospitality management studies
- Hospitality services, modern day hospitality networks.
- Hotel manager
- Reciprocal altruism
- Reciprocity (social psychology)
- Reciprocity (cultural anthropology)
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- Wade, William Cecil (1898). The Symbolisms of Heraldry. London: G. Redway. pp. 31, 67.
- Lower, Mark Anthony (1845). The Curiosities of Heraldry. London: J.R. Smith. p. 73.
- C. Lewis, Elementary Latin Dictionary (Oxford Univ. Press, 2000), p. 371.
- Charles MacKinnon, Scottish Highlanders (1984, Barnes & Noble Books); page 76
- Danny Meyer (2006) Setting the Table : The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business
- Christine Jaszay (2006). Ethical Decision-Making in the Hospitality Industry
- Karen Lieberman & Bruce Nissen (2006). Ethics in the Hospitality And Tourism Industry
- Rosaleen Duffy and Mick Smith. The Ethics of Tourism Development
- Conrad Lashley and Alison Morrison. In Search of Hospitality
- Hospitality: A Social Lens by Conrad Lashley and Alison Morrison
- The Great Good Place by Ray Oldenburg
- Customer Service and the Luxury Guest by Paul Ruffino
- Fustel de Coulanges. The Ancient City: Religion, Laws, and Institutions of Greece and Rome
- Bolchazy. Hospitality in Antiquity: Livy's Concept of Its Humanizing Force
- Jacques Derrida (2000). Of Hospitality. Trans. Rachel Bowlby. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
- Steve Reece (1993). The Stranger's Welcome: Oral Theory and the Aesthetics of the Homeric Hospitality Scene. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press.
- Mireille Rosello (2001). Postcolonial Hospitality. The Immigrant as Guest. Standford, CA: Stanford University Press.
- Clifford J. Routes (1999). Travel and Translation in the Late Twentieth Century. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
- John B. Switzer (2007). "Hospitality" in Encyclopedia of Love in World Religions. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO.
- Immanuel Velikovsky (1982). Mankind in Amnesia. Garden City, New York: Doubleday.
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