I figured we should follow one for an orderly gathering and to avoid certain incidents from happening again.
Hetalia Day LA organizers have given me permission to adapt their code of conduct for everybody’s use, especially for those meeting in public places. If you have suggestions or corrections, lemme know in the comments.
BEHAVIOUR AND COMMON COURTESY
Gestures: Certain gestures and sayings may have a deep negative connotation and should NEVER been taken lightly. Keep your surroundings in mind. For example, if you see a Germany or Prussia cosplayer in a “Sieg Heil” or doing any such gesture, give them a warning. If they continue this behaviour, even if it’s a joke, they might be asked to leave the gathering. Bottom line, it is inappropriate and neither the time nor the place. What you do at home in private is your own business, but we will not tolerate it at this gathering. On that same note, please refrain from wearing Nazi or even Red Army attire at the park. It is a public place where people other than cosplayers will see you.
Harassment: Unfortunately, this topic has come up several times. We shouldn’t have to tell you to keep your hands to yourself, but… KEEP YOUR HANDS TO YOURSELF. Unless you know the person and they are completely okay with it, you should NEVER touch a fellow cosplayer in an inappropriate manner. We don’t care how in-character you think it may be. It’s also in-character for Russia to bludgen people with his pipe, or Hungary to hit people with her frying pan, but you don’t see those cosplayers actually doing that, do you? If we see any of that going on and the harassed cosplayer feels distressed, you will be asked to leave, no questions asked. ESPECIALLY if said “victim” is a minor. Bad Touch Trio be damned, we don’t want to see any bad touching.
Minors: If you are the organizer and have minors that are being dropped off but not supervised, you may want to make sure their ride arrives before you leave. There’ll also be cameras around, so be sure the minors have their parent’s consent to appear in the photos/videos.
Respect: Please respect the other people in the area. Some people will naturally be curious and ask what you’re up to, so don’t be rude to them. Some kids tend to be rude as well and will make snide remarks about your costumes. You may want to avoid that. We honestly don’t need to see a grown person arguing with a seven year old. =_=;
Weapons: We know you guys love your weapon replicas, but due to an issue we had last year, we’d like for you to leave them at home until further notice. We may come up with a few compromises. Keep in mind the usual weapons policies that most cons and large gatherings have. That means orange tips on the guns, and in the case of airsoft or cap guns, please DO NOT bring the ammo and DO NOT fire them. Mock fighting is also strictly prohibited. For swords and knives, NO LIVE STEEL. This also applies to the characteristic lead pipe carried by Russia and any other weaponry that would be made of metal (ex: wrenches, hammers, other tools, crowbars, signposts, etc…) If you fail to comply with this regulation, you will be asked to leave your weapon prop in your car/take it elsewhere. Should there be an incident in which this rule is ignored altogether, you will be given one warning before you are asked to leave the event.
Flags: This is a BIG issue. Last year we noticed the poor treatment of some of the flags people brought along as props. Bear in mind that the flag you carry as a prop is also the symbol of a country and must be treated with respect. You are allowed to bring a flag with you so long as you take care of it properly. We cannot stress this enough! If you bring a flag, please keep it on a flagpole or fold it neatly and place it in a bag when you are not using it for photos. DO NOT SIT ON THEM OR LEAVE THEM ON THE GROUND. Please have respect for the nation whose flag represents.
GENERAL ISSUES TO KEEP IN MIND
CLEAN UP YOUR TRASH: We would also like to point out that littering is against the law and making other attendees of the gathering clean up YOUR mess is really uncool. We’d like it if people could take initiative and pick up trash they see lying around even if it’s not theirs. In order to ensure that the park/mall/location staff feel comfortable with us returning next year and the year after and for as many years as we feel like doing this again and again, we cannot stress enough how important it is that you keep our area clean!
Additional reminders: Please do not bring alcohol to the meetups. I know some of you did (last year) and there wasn’t any problem reported, but we’d like to be careful starting this year.
Parents and Non-Fandom Individuals: Hetalia has fans of all ages, so we’re fairly certain some of our younger fans will join us for the day. We have quite a few high school aged friends and acquaintances due to the nature of anime and cosplay, and we know that their parents are VERY concerned about safety at events. There is also a high likelihood that “normal people” will ask us what we’re up to. Rather than being rude to them, here are a few suggestions for attendees that easily soothe the worried parental unit and spark the interest of the average Joe.
1. Encourage your parents to come along! – Even in other fandoms, we love it when the parent of a fan seems interested. Heritage is a really good conversation starter for older fans, so if you’re well-informed of your family tree, definitely play that up!
2. Have a positive attitude! – Smiles go for miles, so if a little kid says something to you, smile. If people cheer and wave and holler because they like your gigantic Spanish flag, smile and wave back. If someone asks what kind of party we’re throwing, tell them we’re celebrating World Peace! After all, when the whole world comes together for something as amazing as Hetalia Day, there’s no way you can get away with being sad for too long.
3. Have fun! – This is the most important guideline of all. We’re here to have fun, and if you’re not having fun people will notice. Have a good time, make new friends and talk about the fandom. We’re all friends here. <3