While good manners should always be the norm wherever you go, here in St. Croix giving a proper greeting is truly a must. Crucians are generally reserved and traditional in their manner, and they work to instill this tradition of common courtesy in the growing generations. While stateside “hi” or “hello” are our commonplace greetings (on the seemingly rare occasion when someone bothers to make eye contact with you), here on St. Croix you say “good morning”, “good afternoon” or “goodnight” to EVERYONE. In fact, it is important enough that there are public service announcement posters up in the post office and in some grocery carts reminding everyone to give a proper greeting.
When I first moved here from stateside it seemed very overwhelming to make it a point to greet everyone, but it is very important in making a good impression here on the island. You greet individuals such as friends, neighbors, anyone you pass on the sidewalk, cashiers that ringing up a purchase, the postal employee who delivers your mail, etc. But then again, everyone deserves a proper greeting don’t they? What took the most getting used to for me was addressing an entire roomful of people at once such as saying “good morning” to the entire room when you walk into the post office to check your mail, or saying “good night” to everyone at the bar when when you pop into a local bar or restaurant for a cocktail for example. Also, saying “goodnight” as an initial greeting still takes some getting used to for me. “Goodnight” is not just for when you are leaving somewhere and are saying your “goodbyes”, but is used in place of “good evening” (although “good evening” is perfectly acceptable, it is not as common to hear as “good night”).
You will be amazed at how simply using a proper Crucian greeting such as “good morning”, “good afternoon” or “goodnight” will have an increasingly positive effect on your experience in St. Croix. Not only will a proper greeting make you feel better, but it will get you better customer service in many cases and it can even open the door to meeting new people and having a more pleasant time here on-island.