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Because customs regarding forms of address vary greatly from country to country, no rules of official protocol apply across the board in the nations of the world, which number close to two hundred. However, before you leave for foreign shores help is at hand. The three main sources of information are the Washington, D.C., embassy for your country of destination, that nation's consulate in the major city nearest you, and their mission to the United Nations in New York. All are able and willing to provide information to facilitate your communication and dealings with people in their homelands.
Here are a few guidelines for American social or business travelers who have been invited to an official reception or ceremony and for hosts or hostesses who will be entertaining dignitaries overseas: