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Different cultures have different greetings

By Mary M Mitchell

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thunderboxes, oh you mean outhouse. You Aussies have a lot of slang that we don't use in USA and probably never will. I had an Aussie teacher before and he would always call the trash can a 'rubbish bin.' We all got a nice chuckle out of that one. I wonder if you guys still thunderboxes over there. Only very rural locations use it in USA, like hillbillies use them.

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In Klingon culture, biting someone indicates a desire to mate!

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yeah, eye contact can be a challenge, in the animal kingdom it is mostly so biologically i suppose keeping your eyes down from people you don't know too well might be the 'normal' reflex. As for complexities. For instance when you meet someone here, there's just hi, there's nothing to make the difference between someone you met before or someone you meet for the first time like you get in japanese. You also don't have the many nuances by suffix here, it's just the 'you', or the polite 'you', nothing in between. My guess is more capability of nuance leads to better expression so i consider japanese culture to be richer than what we have here. It's way more black & white here, bipolar culture so to speak. No -kun/chan, -san, -sama, -dono, what not i dont know how many you have.

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This article might be best suited for a foreign newspaper. Slow news day anyone? You are an ambassador to your country, but don't take yourself that serious. She should have stopped at smile. Most people don't care how you greet, as long as you are pleasant and smile. The Olympic village in nothing but a large classroom for cultural exchange."After all, it’s the moment of greeting when crucial first impressions are made." This actually could be a wonderful "ice breaker" and great anecdotes come from these so-called mistakes. My first "ohayou", I corrected the person "No, I'm from Florida. To this date, my students and I still get a good laugh from that "mistake." The classic "hand extended to a bow" doesn't seem to be that uncomfortable anymore. It almost seems like the "new foreigners" are bowing to the extended hand of the host, these days.

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Never met a man from any culture who didnt like to shake my hand when we first met. I find Asian men think it is especially cool because they dont do it amongst one another. Give em a big smile, nice open hand kept closer to me than him and they usually give you the double-handed, quadruple pump.

As for Asian women, the meeting hug is just about the most cringeworthy things you will encounter. Big, fat gaijin girls (or even worse, grubby dudes) going for the meeting hug on a petite, nervous Japanese girl who throws her hands up in shock and may give an awkward pat on the back. Weve all seen it.

I watched someone give my roommates girlfriend a meeting hug and she actually had her elbows up around his neck but she smiled politely through the whole thing. I resolved never to hug her and she instantly took to me.

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Thunderbird, you basically proved my point..."a lot of cultures still use troughs and thunderboxes." ie, not toilets.

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No, it IS a Western toilet... a lot of cultures still use troughs and thunderboxes.

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"Unfortunately, in some situations, this could mean making three mistakes all at once."

Sorry, but no - I really can't stand seeing this kind of nonsense. The western greeting is never a mistake. This is the global standard and people from other countries need to get up to snuff if they want to participate in the global markets. This is like saying, "The western calendar" when all one needs to say is "the calendar," or "western toilet" when simply "toilet" or "real toilet" will suffice.

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