Handshaking in China

Handshaking, is a kind of silent language, which is especially more important in China, although it is a popularly used form of greeting in many countries worldwide. It is the common propriety on most social occasions as an expression of courtesy and greeting when people meet or say goodbye to each other. Besides, handshaking is also a way to express congratulations, thanks and encouragement to others. Generally, you can make a simple address or beckon and then shake hands with each other, simultaneously with exchange of greetings.

As for the question as to who should offer his hand first, there are some basic principles you should follow. Generally speaking, the elder, the senior, the teacher (compared with the students), the female, the married (compared with the unmarried), the superior should reach out their hands first. If you have to shake hands with more than one person, you should shake hands in succession with the senior and superior to the junior and inferior, from the nearest to the furthest.

Specially, when the host meets the guest, the host should shake hands first to show his welcome; however, when they say goodbye with each other, it is the guest who should offer his hand first.

There are also some exceptions. If someone, no matter whether he is superior or not, offers his hand before you, it is courteous to give an unreserved response.

Then how to shake hands with others? Generally, you should pay much attention to the time and strength. It is inappropriate to shake hands too long or too short, three to five seconds is the best, not exceed to 30 seconds at most. Handshaking should be simple and light, without over exertion.

There are also some things that are unacceptable when shaking hands:

a. Shake hands absent-mindedly.
b. Shake hands with left hand.
c. Shake hands while wearing a hat, gloves or sunglasses.
d. Shake hands crossways.
e. Having your other hand in your pocket.
f. Shake hands while seated unless disabled.
g. Refuse to shake hands with others.

 Further Reading : Chinese Names

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