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Writing about cultural practices - Essay Example

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This norm has been practiced for generations. The handshake is one of the most common gestures of communication around the world. It can either mean “hello”, “good-bye” or “we…
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Writing about cultural practices
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Download file to see previous pages Among friends or acquaintances, before parting, they sometimes shake hands as gesture of saying good-bye. For people who have had some misunderstanding, a handshake would mean that everything is ok with them already and that the conflict has been resolved (Kissell , par 6).
This social norm of shaking hands has persisted because it is an international norm which is accepted by all races. The handshake has been a mutual sign of goodwill and peace (Haymond , par 1). It is a socially acceptable way of greeting other people in public rather than kissing or hugging.
The handshake was believed to have originated as a way of showing that one’s right hand was not carrying any weapon; thus, if two men met and they both show their empty right hands, that means that there exists a level of trust between them (Kissell , par 3). Kissell goes on further to state that the shaking of the hands was supposed to remove any hidden weapon that may be kept in the sleeves.
In today’s modern world, the handshake is very difficult to avoid. Some even consider it an insult if the handshake is not accepted (Kissell , par 2). For example, if a person is trying to make amends with another person and he offers his hand and the other person refuses to shake his hand, this would convey the message that one is not accepting the other person’s apology.
The norm of shaking hands should be abolished because the world today is exposed to numerous sources of infection and the handshake is one of the most common ways of spreading infection. The handshake makes every person susceptible to be infected (Potty , par 4). Viruses such as AH1N1, Swine flu or Avian flu can easily be transmitted through a hand shake. Although frequent hand washing is always advised, one cannot avoid touching door knobs, grocery carts, elevator buttons, escalator railings, train handrails or money. It has also been a common practice to cover one’s mouth with ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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