22 January 2011

Shaking Hands Is Not A Chinese Culture?

A trivial issue was brought up by a Chinese Malaysian leader who claim to represent the Chinese Malaysian community. It was about shaking hands between a man and woman, more so between a Muslim woman with a man who is mahram (unmarriageable kin).

I have watched many Chinese movies especially those about the stories of Chinese emperors or those related to the Chinese culture and Chinese kungfu movies. And I never see even a single time of hand shaking in those movies.

I put up over here two opinions (edited) from two readers which I excerpted from here, and I tend to agree with their opinions.

Shaking hands is not a Chinese custom. It is a Western custom. Refined Chinese culture does not encourage the shaking of hands even between man and man, much less between man and woman, Chinese greetings uses clasped hands in paying obeisance or bows to an elder, and ladies use a form of courtesy in a charming manner. Chinese accepts very well the Muslim custom of not shaking hands between man and woman. The Chinese Muslim women in Sinkiang China 10 times more in number than Muslim women in Malaysia do not shake the hands of man in greetings.

Shaking of hands is never an oriental culture.
They don't do it in China, India, Japan or Korea.
Its a hangover of the orang putehs.
Why are we so keen to keep this not so clean habit?
During SARS crisis, even the orang putehs don't shake hands.

Why such trivial issue was brought up? Perhaps this is the better way to poke into our mind to degrade others and to highlight the differences that consciously or unconsciously let us to be less tolerance and what else want to say of accepting others way of life. As such, what is the point of greeting each others with Salam 1Malaysia! Mere slogan shouting without genuine sincerity.

Read from the following links to know more about shake hands in Chinese culture.


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