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Thursday Thirteen: Eyebrow Flash


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.

1. Namaste
~ 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"

2. Wai
~ 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"

6. Rubbing noses
~ a greeting from the Maori tribespeople in New Zealand, the Eskimos use the same gesture but with more personal meaning

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

9. Handshake
~ most of us practise it

10. Bear hug
~ good male friends in Russia are keen on it; Finns reject it

11. Abrazo
~ also an embrace by Latin Americans, it is often accompanied by a couple of hearty claps on the back. North Americans, Northern Europeans and Asians find it uncomfortable

12. Bow
~ the most courtly of all greetings. That's right - Japan!

Mano Po
~ young Filipinos press the back of their elders's hand on their forehead

Play Thursday Thirteen here.


Kristen said…
It's interesting how cultures view things totally differently. #7 & #8 would get some really weird reactions in the US!
jeng said…
Wow, I learned a lot from your T13 post ; )

Mine's here
Unknown said…
Pretty interesting stuff!
Happy T13!
Mia Celeste said…
Great topic. It's interesting to learn how greetings differ from culture to culture. Thanks for sharing.
galing ng list mo ah, very interesting, thanks for sharing,now i learned something. :)
My Thursday Thirteen
Alice Audrey said…
Does the boss do namaste chest high to employees? Or not at all?
Genefaith said…
i learned a lot!

Here's a CREATIVE MOM BLOGGER AWARD for you. Hope you like it. Have a nice day!
Anya said…
I learned a lot today,
so many differents
between all country's...
In Dutch is always Handshake
and close friends a hug ;)
Have a nice day !!
I am Harriet said…
Every day in Yoga we say Namaste but, I've never known for sure what it is I am saying. Thanks
Rasmenia said…
Wow. I've had that spitting at the feet thing all wrong. ;)

Here in France, they do that cheek-kissing thing. I'm American, so it's taken me a while to get used to it.

It gets confusing, though, because you never know if someone is going to do a total of 2, 3 or 4 kisses. It's a bit annoying.

Perhaps in lieu of the kissing, I should try the spitting thing. ;)

Happy Thursday!
Carleen said…
Cool post -- I love learning this kind of stuff.

Happy TT to you.
i beati said…
wonderful list sandy
PMKU said…
What a great TT post! I like the spitting at each others feet. lol
Anonymous said…
Very educational TT today. I can't believe they withheld a diploma over something so trivial.

Wishing you a scent-sational day!
The Bumbles said…
What about the fist bump?! ;0)

If I am ever in Finland I will at least know not to attempt a bear hug.

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