Greetings are an important part of every society. Different cultures treat greetings very differently but they all have very similar connotations of respect and acknowledgment of the person or persons you are encountering. The importance of greeting others cannot be overlooked. It’s the first opportunity a person has to focus on another person and the way we choose to use that initial time determines the tone of our interactions. When we greet someone and focus on them with our undivided attention it shows a sign of respect and acknowledgment. When a person mishandles a greeting, either intentionally, or unintentionally it suggests a sense of disrespect and un-thoughtfulness. Depending on the culture, some greetings may be as simple as the nod of the head or as extravagant as the use of the entire body. A greeting is not just used to show as a sign of respect but also as a sign of self-respect of the person expressing the greeting.

Even within a single culture, greetings may have many different forms. People may greet each other differently depending on familiarity; they may greet a friend much differently than an acquaintance. In addition, greetings can be altered due to the social status, ranking, or respect level of the people greeting one another. In the history of greetings, areas which had a strong catholic influence had beautiful, elegant greetings that involved a gesture, a respectful inclination of the head, and an elegant motion of the body, followed by kind words. Men would traditionally bow to a woman and in response, the woman would curtsy. After the French revolution, this degraded to a man simply removing his hat and the woman acknowledging with a slight head bow. As the styles changed and fewer men wore hats, this degraded further and became a simple head nod and a verbal salutation.

Throughout the world, different cultures greet in a variety of ways. In Japan it is common for both men and women to bow rather than...

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