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Monday, Jun 27, 2011

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Education Plus

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For refining social graces

A look at finishing schools

Finishing schools give tips on home management, table manners, social etiquette, diet and nutrition, fitness and ikebana

Right attitude: Soft skills enhance our personality

The importance of finishing schools — synonymous with etiquette, communication skills, personality development, grooming, and finesse — is gradually showing an upward trend.

These schools train and counsel young girls to refine their social graces and mannerisms.


The tradition dates back to the Victorian age when girls received little or no formal education and thus were taught the refinements of society through such etiquette schools. But nowadays, such schools groom even young boys in order to help them excel in professional life.

Initially only the elite made use of these schools, but now even the common crowd is quite attracted towards them.

Sapna, marketing head of a private finishing school, says, “Our three-month course aims to enhance the girls' personality, make them confident and beautiful from within.

We help them attain perfection in areas such as home management, fashion styling, table manners, personal and social etiquette, diet and nutrition, fitness, and ikebana.”

In this modern era where mere two-year-olds are left to survive on their own in crèches and boarding schools apart from existing within the limited world of nuclear families, kids rarely get the opportunity and exposure to acquire the Ps and Qs of society.


In such a scenario these finishing schools come to the rescue. Tripti of another finishing school states, “If a candidate scores a 95 per cent but lacks good communication skills, can he excel professionally and personally?

The school aims at transforming young girls into independent individuals by instilling in them the knack of understanding people, of segregating the good people from the bad and of diplomacy. In short we prepare girls to conduct themselves appropriately in society and to face the big, bad world. Apart from the usual etiquette stuff, necessities like first aid, cooking, stitching, yoga and meditation, car driving, and party organising are also taught in the school.”

As education is to knowledge, soft skills are to identity and social status. Body language and gestures convey a lot about a person inadvertently. So it becomes even more important to mind one's behaviour, especially for girls who in the name of modernity and forwardness at times invite unwanted trouble from undesired quarters as they are ignorant of their mannerisms. In short, finishing schools arm us with decorum, protocol and elegance, the essential ingredients of a well-rounded personality to successfully glide through these tough, competitive modern times.


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