Ruud, I have a feeling you will do just fine!
It's great you are so willing to be respectful to the people your wife belongs to, and see it as a chance to grow.
It was interesting to read how the customs differ, especially spitting bones on a plate and table.
(So, where do you guys place your bones and how do you transport them there? )
In Asia people are much more strict, even for people you don't/hardly know, or older collegues, and therefore have specific respectful names for all of them.
Wow. Reminds me of:
In France, Spain and Germany you don't just have the "you" to adress somebody, but 2 different types. In German "Du" and "Sie". "Sie" is pluralis majestatis ( for Royalty you use even another form!) and absolutely necessary for dealing with any stranger or people you don't know as well as family and friends and haven't officially agreed to say "Du" to.
Offering somebody the "Du" can be informal, or a big act, sealed with drinking for "Brotherhood", with a hug, each taking a sip from his glass in a ritualized embrace and perhaps even a kiss on the lips.
Offering the "Du" is strictly regulated. (Amongst people who know the etiquette)
The older person can offer "Du", the younger must wait for it. The superior in rank offers to the inferior, and so forth.
To reject it is a GRAVE shame for the other. Don't expect further contact, unless you excuse yourself with having TOO much respect for somebody.
It happened to me once that I rejected a "Du" from an old Gentleman, simply because I respected him so much that I couldn't, I told him on the spot and asked him to please accept my deep veneration, that I'm flattered, but I can't, I would feel like insulting him. -- He smiled.
To call a stranger" you" is a grave insult. Equally, if you were on familiar terms with somebody and suddenly begin to use the formal form again, it is obvious this person has just fallen from grace and friendship is over.
I have heard loud protests before when a lady was called "Du" by a man, using it to show despise.
Sorry. Got carried away.