A handshake is a short ritual in which two people grasp one of each others opposite hands, and most cases accompanied by a brief up and down movement of the grasped hands. The handshake is initiated when the two hands touch, immediately. It is commonly done upon meeting, greeting, parting, offering congratulations, expressing gratitude, or completing an agreement. In sports or other competitive activities, it is also done as a sign of good sportsmanship. Its purpose is to convey trust, balance, and equality.
Shaking hands in different countries
In some cultures people shake both hands, but in most cultures people shake the right hand. It is generally expected in Western culture that a handshake should be firm. Weak handshakes are sometimes referred to as limp or cold. In some Oriental countries (such as Turkey or the Arabic-speaking Middle East), handshakes arent as strong as in America and Europe. Consequently, a grip which is too firm will be considered as rude. Among Arabic-speaking people, handshakes accompanied with the salutation As-Salamu Alaykum (peace be upon you) are an old tradition.
In Turkey faced business situations, shaking hands is not the standard greeting among men. In casual non-business situations, men will less likely shake hands and among women hardly at all. Kissing each other on the cheek twice is a more common practice. In some religions, such as Orthodox Judaism and Islam (according to some opinions), which discusses the opinion of various Halachic authorities on this issue, and notes a possible distinction, according to some authorities, between initiating a handshake and returning a handshake (i.e. where the other party extends his/her hand first). The prohibition against physical contact between members of opposite sexes precludes shaking hands. In these religions, men and women however do shake hands amongst people of the same gender. Between opposite genders, a short nod or bow is given. Moroccans also give one kiss on each cheek (to corresponding genders) together with the handshake. Also, in some countries, a variation exists where instead of kisses, after the handshake the handpalm is placed unto the heart.
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