Shaking hands

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  • #10773

    Marion R.
    Member

    I run workshops to help people make business contacts – networking. Hand-shaking is part of the art of networking, but we are aware that some people/cultures do not shake hands. Could someone clarify which races/cultures do not, and with whom they do not, i.e. men not with women, women not with anybody, etc.?

    User Detail :  

    Name : Marion R., Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Born Catholic, now nothing, City : West Byfleet, State : NA Country : United Kingdom, Occupation : General Manager, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, 
    #20046

    Liz22544
    Participant

    Here in Holland I encounter a lot of Muslims in my business dealings. Males of this faith will not shake hands with any woman outside of their own family. I am not sure about other cultures but I hope this will help.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Liz22544, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Bisexual, Race : White/Caucasian, Age : 30, City : Breda, State : NA Country : The Netherlands, Occupation : Shop Owner, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #22851

    c.t.
    Participant

    in Germany, people shake hands at meeting and parting. Males and those advanced in age are supposed to initiate i.e. the man shakes hand with the woman, the older woman with the younger woman etc.. however, handshaking is thought generally nice and thus if you want to be considered more outgoing you stretch your hand out first, irrespective of the status. When meeting a group, you shake hands either by status (more important person first, least important person last) especially in a formal, business context, or simply by ‘order of appearance’ i.e. from left to right or vice versa, in a less formal situation. The status-relation of handshaking can lead to conflicts, when people who consider themselves important feel passed over in favor of others whose hand is shaken before theirs. Teenagers don’t shake hands, but nod toward each other, because this is considered less formal. The quality of the handshake (e.g. strong and solid vs. limp and fishy) is supposed to reflect on your character.

    User Detail :  

    Name : c.t., Sexual Orientation : Straight, Religion : Atheist, Age : 32, City : Munich, State : NA Country : Germany, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, 
    #35008

    S.Bradley
    Member

    I was told once that Orthodox Jewish men don’t shake a woman’s hand.

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    Name : S.Bradley, City : Rancho Cucamonga, State : CA Country : United States, 
    #43849

    Hayat R.
    Member

    I can’t vouch for all cultures and religions, but I do know that Muslims as a practice do not touch the opposite gender if they’re not related by blood. Most Muslim guys you meet probably won’t care either way, but the women are pretty conscientious about shaking hands. If you’re worried about how a man should greet a Muslim woman, a simple nod of the head will do and a direct address. Also it might help to not offer your hand, because it may alienate the woman. I recommend having your hands clasped in front of you or behind you, so they know of your intention not to shake. This is the advice I gave my principal at the high school I went to, where there were many Muslims. This really helped on graduation day. Lots of us weren’t comfortable with shaking hands, so the male principal very kindly gave the Muslim girls a little bow instead. It really made us feel welcome. Also, in most cultures from South Asia and the Middle East, even Christians and Hindus follow this social norm. They believe that touching is a privilege and not to be shared with just anyone.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Hayat R., Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : Caucasian/Asian mix, Religion : Muslim, Age : 20, City : Islamabad, State : NA Country : Pakistan, Occupation : Journalist, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #45210

    Laurie
    Participant

    Hassidic Jews do not shake hands with members of the opposite sex. Orthodox Muslims do not shake hands with members of the opposite sex. But I don’t know what they do in the business world.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Laurie, Gender : Female, Age : 56, City : Boston, State : MA Country : United States, 
    #21712

    As an Orthodox Jewish woman, I prefer NOT to touch or shake hands with non-relatives, and have perfected many a dodge to avoid giving offense. This is a particular problem if the hand proffered belongs, say, a differently abled person, or a person of another race, as I worry they may think that there is some other reason for my avoidance. I wish we could return to the days when it was proper etiquette that men offered their hands to other men and never to women and women offered their hands only if they chose to do so. Naomi

    User Detail :  

    Name : NaomiBen-Ari, Gender : Female, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Jewish, Age : 54, City : Jacksonville, State : FL Country : United States, 
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