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Body Language In The Culture Of Asian Countries



Research on body language usually just entail the general meanings and indications of the most common gestures and body movements that most people us in their daily lives. However, these signals of communication may mean differently in other countries and cultures. These are cultures that use a certain gesture as a positive sign, but there are other cultures, specially in Asian countries, that may see it as a rude act.

This article would discuss the accepted gestures of touch, forms of greeting, and signals of summoning in different Asian countries, specifically China, Japan, Korea, and Philippines.

China

China is one of the most conservative countries in Asia, thus touching is rare. You can rarely see public display of affection. Holding hands is alright, but only as a sign of friendship. Chinese have small personal spaces, thus unintended slight bumping or shoving does not need an apology.

Chinese usually greet themselves with a bow or nod of the head. Handshakes are also being used. They rarely use hugging or kissing during greeting. Greeting cards are also exchanged, but it must be handed with both hands. In terms of beckoning or summoning, they face their palms downwards and move the fingers back and forth. They believe that summoning with the palms facing upwards is rude and is only used to animals.

Posture is also very important in China. One must not slouch or put feet on stools or tables. They also try to prevent saying “no” to other people. They simply simply opposition by tilting the head back and sucking in air loudly through the teeth.

Japan

Japan, just like China, is not a touch-oriented country. Thus avoid public display of affection, especially prolonged touching. Japan is famous for their graceful bows as a form of greeting. Handshakes are also accepted, but bowing is a better sign of showing respect to another person.

The lower and longer the bow, the stringer you are showing respect, humility, or gratitude. H In greeting Japanese people, avoid kissing, hugging, or staring at them. Prolonged eye contact can be intimidating for them, thus they consider it as rude, as well as putting your hands in front of the pocket when greeting.

Summoning gestures in Japan are similar with that of China – palm facing down. Acts of body language that one must avoid in the public in Japan is spitting or blowing of the nose, opening the mouth, such as in yawning and laughing.

Korea

Bowing is the traditional way of greeting and departing in Korea. For men, they usually shake hands, bu for women, they just give a slight nod of the head. Korea is a conservative country, thus hugging and kissing is not acceptable when done in public. They beckon people with the palm facing downwards as well. They also rise when an elder person enters the room as a sign of respect. Knocking before entering and good posture is important as well in Korea.

Philippines

Unlike in other countries in Asia, Philippines is a touch-oriented country. Public display of affection is accepted, but with minimal limit as a consideration. When greeting, they do handshakes or simply raise their eyebrows quickly. In beckoning a specific object, Filipinos tend to point it with their mouth. Respect to the elderly is always shown, usually by placing their forehead onto the back of the hand of the elderly.

When interacting with Asian people or visiting the said countries, it is essential for you to be sensitive to their culture and acceptable body language. You may think that what you are doing is all right since it is accepted in your country, but Asian people may think you are being rude.







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