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April 14, 2005 8:22 AM   Subscribe

The Business of Touch. Ever wonder the proper way to greet someone in, say, Korea? Australia? How about the Czech Republic? Here you can learn the proper (business) ways to greet people in 15 countries (including the U.S.).
posted by C17H19NO3 (18 comments total)

 
Interesting...according to the web page you'll get a "hello" instead of a handshake in "rural areas" of the United States...

What about the "howdy!"s in Texas, or the southern gentleman approach in the deep south?

What about the more urban greetings of the hip-hop culture?

Seems a bit general to me... regional differences, gender differences, ethnic differences (within at least the larger more diverse countries) would make it a bit shaky to rely on this.

And, Michigan wasn't listed at all... here we throw a fish in your face and hit you with a hockey stick...
posted by HuronBob at 9:29 AM on April 14, 2005


Liebe mein affe-mienke on Sprockets in West Germany?
posted by badger_flammable at 9:30 AM on April 14, 2005


So much of what I'd think would be common sense and could be figured out "on the fly" actually turns out to be wrong in many cultures! I was startled to see that Western women in Korea should offer their hand to Korean men (out of politeness) to start a handshake, even they they know that the man will not reciprocate and complete the handshake transaction.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 9:31 AM on April 14, 2005


What about the more urban greetings of the hip-hop culture?

A hip hop business meeting?
posted by nthdegx at 9:35 AM on April 14, 2005


HuronBob- Nah. We throw octopuses here.
posted by klangklangston at 9:38 AM on April 14, 2005


And, Michigan wasn't listed at all... here we throw a fish in your face and hit you with a hockey stick...

I have lived in the Enchanted Mitten my entire life and have yet to have a fish thrown in my face. Hit with a hockey stick? Well, that happen just this morning at my morning skate. It wasn't "personal", it was all "business".
posted by Armen Tanzarian at 9:38 AM on April 14, 2005


Have you looked at the United States handshake. Look CLOSELY at the hands at the end of the animation... it IS a hip-hop handshake!!!
posted by matty at 9:39 AM on April 14, 2005


I was startled to see that Western women in Korea should offer their hand to Korean men (out of politeness) to start a handshake

I thought the operating mode in Korea was to bow to everyone, and possibly to some inanimate objects as well.

Reminds me of the Japanese rebuke/joke: "Stop bowing! You're not in Korea!"
posted by clevershark at 9:42 AM on April 14, 2005


Large countries such as the US should probably be dividied up in much the same way EU countries are individually listed.

And even then it may be too general, considering the "hip-hop" handshake, for example, has its own variations.
posted by linux at 10:04 AM on April 14, 2005


In my experience, a simple "WHAZZZZZUUPPPPPP!!!!" crosses all cultural bridges in a genial manner. Maybe toss in a couple "Where's the beef?" jokes a little later to further break the ice.
posted by The Dryyyyy Cracker at 10:07 AM on April 14, 2005


The Dryyyyy Cracker : " In my experience, a simple 'WHAZZZZZUUPPPPPP!!!!' crosses all cultural bridges in a genial manner."

But remember that in some countries, English is not the native language, so you should make an effort to learn how to say it in the local tongue. For example, in Spanish, it would be "QUE ESTA ARRIBA!!!!"
posted by Bugbread at 10:09 AM on April 14, 2005


bugbread, You might want to be careful where and how you use that phrase. I don't know about the expression in Spain but in Mexico asking for the beverage 7-Up as "siete arriba" in a bar will get howls of laughter. It's a colloquialism for an erection....
posted by X4ster at 10:41 AM on April 14, 2005


Actually, in my country, the correct way for a woman to greet a man is to do naked cartwheels.

Please respect our venerable custom.
posted by jonmc at 10:44 AM on April 14, 2005


X4ster, that's just because you're forgetting that there's no space between "7" and "Up" in "7Up". If you say "sieteArriba" (note the capitalization), you'll get the drink just fine.

Little known trivia: The reason that "siete arriba" means "erection" is because, before the conquest of the Spaniards, the native Incas and Mayans (but not Aztecs) had seven penises. This was rapidly changed by the colonial imposition of European culture and genitalia quantities.

Jonmc: Up in Canada, it's quite a bit colder, so some clothing is allowed:


posted by Bugbread at 10:58 AM on April 14, 2005


sure...there are "hip hop" business meetings... there is a crapload of money in that segment of our culture and meetings happen, and you can bet that there are conventions of greeting that differ a bit from wall street.. (and, as far as I'm concerned, that's just fine with me, probably a bit more genuine...at least until it becomes as ingrained as the handshake is )...

I remember all the 'dap' (do I have that right) hand stuff that happened back when I was in the Army ('Nam time)... even us white guys were doing it (poorly, but we were doing it)...

sort of miss that stuff!
posted by HuronBob at 11:04 AM on April 14, 2005


HuronBob
I remember that stuff too; four count, six count and complex daps. Tryin' to be cool, hanging out in a bunker at Cu Chi.

In the Federated States of Micronesia a handshake showing respect is done with the left hand supporting your right forearm, almost as if your right arm were injured.
posted by X4ster at 11:32 AM on April 14, 2005


What about the "howdy!"s in Texas

I've lived in Austin for 12 years and have yet to be met with a "howdy". Then again, Austin is not exactly like the rest of the state.
posted by birdherder at 2:57 PM on April 14, 2005


More likely to get a "hello" instead of a handshake in rural areas?

It must be different in the South. We shake hands at both the beginning and the end of a meeting, and maybe one more time before we actually part.

Maybe in Oklahoma or somewhere they keep their hands in their pockets and just look at you. *shrug*

One thing northern transplants sometimes find odd here is that it is unusual to just start talking "business" immediately. We generally have a short conversation about how the person is doing, the weather, the Vols or the Crimson Tide, or something of that nature. Some sort of chit-chat.

Telephone conversations sometimes are hilarious, as you can tell the person on the other side is flummoxed when I ask "So how are you doing today?" or "Ah, it's a beautiful day in Tennessee, how is it in Chicago?" or whatever.

The feeling is that the meeting is mainly social in nature, but you have to get around to some dumb business talk before you get up and leave.

Many times I'll meet with someone and after a 10 min conversation about whatever, they will say "Oh, by the way, here's that contract." It's like it is an afterthought. Southerners don't really like to do business anyway, and doing business just to do business is offensive. I should like the person I'm doing business with.

I really like that about the South.
posted by Ynoxas at 7:25 AM on April 15, 2005


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