Respect is in your hands.

Handshakes are often a foundation, in building relationships. Yet,

Distant handshake
Distant handshake

in religious and cultural terms there are many differences. 

If observed, relationships can be built at the first point of contact. Respect is definitely in your hands!

To shake hands, or not.

In some cultures, and religions, it is either not expected or it is taboo, to shake hands. For example, a man should not normally shake hands with a Muslim female.

Generally traditional Hindu woman will also not shake hands. In fact, if one uses the traditional Hindu greeting, of two hands held as if praying, one does not need to shake hands at all

Strength in a handshake.

Huge judgements, happen the point of a handshake.

In the more community-based cultures, handshakes are generally softer, and can go on for a long time. The more traditional men, may go on shaking your hand for a long time, or just holding your hand. Ladies generally, will only proffer a small portion of the hands with no pressure. The handshake will be brief.

Both genders may also use both hands. Their hands may be together, one under the other, or one hand touching their right forearm.

The more individualistic cultures, and in particular more Western groups, will assess the people that they meet by the strength, and brevity of the handshake. Normally only one hand is used in the greeting.

If one holds on, for too long it may cause discomfort. If the handshake is too soft, or too strong it is seen either as a weakness, or an aggression. If it is “just right”, a feeling of trust is created.

It is at this point, that a lack of understanding of culture, causes problems And understanding builds inclusion and respect.


Brian V Moore

Contact: Brian V Moore AKA Mthimkhulu
Mobile: +27 72 677 0208


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