A few minutes after preparing this post, I passed by yahoo news and saw something related to what I just did for today's Thursday Thirteen. It's about a Maine high school senior who was denied his diploma for blowing a kiss to his family. Non-Verbal Communication was one of the most interesting subjects I studied in gradschool. We had this reference book Gestures: The Do's and Taboos of Body Language Around the World by Roger E. Axtell, filled with fascinating info about greetings that do not involve words for the most part. My T13 post today lists different kinds of greetings, a tiny part of the global non-verbal communication deal.
~ practised in the Indian subcontinent; hands are placed in a praying position about chest high; which means "I pray to the God in you," "Thank you," or " Sorry"
~ in Thailand it is done similarly as the namaste but with variations: chest high for equals, nose level for superiors and forehead level for monks; it also means thank you or sorry
3. Hug or embrace
~ as with namaste and wai, it has a similar purpose from the time of the Egyptians through the Middle Ages: the assurance that no weapons are hidden
4. "Eyebrow Flash"
~ from the concept that anthropologists point out: when humans greet regardless of nationality or race, we open our eyes wider than normal, wrinkle our foreheads and move the eyebrows upward - all appear to be instinctive and signal openness and therefore, a form of greeting
5. Salaam (salaam alaykum)
~ in the Middle East, the older generation can still be seen practising this signal which means "Peace be with you"
7. Spitting at each other's feet
~ a form of greeting by some East African tribes
8. Sticking out tongues at each other
~ unusual and mysterious greeting by Tibetan tribesmen
~ most of us practise it
10. Bear hug
~ good male friends in Russia are keen on it; Finns reject it
~ the most courtly of all greetings. That's right - Japan!
13. Mano Po
~ young Filipinos press the back of their elders's hand on their forehead
Play Thursday Thirteen here.