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Body language in different cultures

When you go abroad you need to be aware of cultural changes, language differences and what your body language is saying. There are some famous examples where body language was misread including the one in our next image.

Travelling to Japan

Photos: YouTube.com

In 1975 US Vice President Walter Mondale gave a speech to Japanese listeners. He was disgusted when they closed their eyes during his speech. When he told his advisors that the audience went to sleep, he was informed that they were closing their eyes to shut out everything else so they could hear his speech clearer.

Travelling to Japan

Photos: YouTube.com

Kissing is a sign of love and affection in the West. In Asia, it’s viewed as an intimate act so it’s not permitted in public.

Travelling to Japan

Photos: YouTube.com

Kissing is a sign of love and affection in the West. In Asia, it’s viewed as an intimate act so it’s not permitted in public.

Travelling to Japan

Photos: YouTube.com

A handshake is commonly carried out when people meet in Western culture and it’s accepted in Asian culture too but they still prefer guests to bow. A strong grip during the handshake, which are necessary in the West, suggest aggression in Asian cultures.

Travelling to Japan

Photos: YouTube.com

Sitting cross-legged is common in Europe and North America but it’s seen as disrespectful in Asia and the Middle East. In these cultures pointing the sole of the shoe towards another person is considered rude and that’s far too easy to do when you cross your legs and rest your ankle on your knee.

Travelling to Japan

Photos: YouTube.com

The method of waving goodbye changes from place to place. In some parts of Europe the wave goodbye that’s commonly used in the US could be misread as “No”. The Italian wave is often misread in the UK to mean “Come here”.

Travelling to Japan

Photos: YouTube.com

The method of waving goodbye changes from place to place. In some parts of Europe the wave goodbye that’s commonly used in the US could be misread as “No”. The Italian wave is often misread in the UK to mean “Come here”.

Travelling to Japan

Photos: YouTube.com

Tapping your nose in the UK means “confidential”. In Italy, the same gesture means “watch out”.

Travelling to Japan

Photos: YouTube.com

In most countries nodding the head means “Yes”. In places like Greece, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Turkey, the same gesture means “No”.

Travelling to Japan

Photos: YouTube.com

In most countries nodding the head means “Yes”. In places like Greece, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Turkey, the same gesture means “No”.

Travelling to Japan

Photos: YouTube.com

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