Thursday, July 29, 2021
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Handshake etiquette

Brian P. Bach, an American, in his book “Grand Trunk Road” narrating about his journeys through the sub-continent observes “…ninety percent of those with whom I shook hands in the sub-continent have undeniably limp grips”. He regrets that the firm grip so typical in America, which is sign of sincerity and warmth, was missing in India. It shows that western society needs a lot in the quality of handshake. It is utmost important not to offer a limp hand. The clasp should be firm and full of warmth. At the same time, a handshake is not meant to show your physical prowess through a very tight grip that hurts the other person. Avoid violent swings in the air. A formal handshake is done with a single hand only. Gripping with both hands to show greater respect is a typical Indian custom. This is, however, done with people you know well, not during an introduction. It is also necessary to remove gloves before shaking hands. This should be anticipated in advance to obviate struggling with your gloves while the other person has already extended his hand. Making a person with an extended hand is bad manners. While shaking hands, do put on a smile, even if it is a fake one and look directly at the face of the person. A handshake not accompanied with this gesture is no good. In Indian conditions, gents should avoid shaking hands with ladies unless a lady herself offers her hand first.

(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)

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