Respect

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A sign entreating "silence and respect" at Arlington National Cemetery Silence and Respect.jpg
A sign entreating "silence and respect" at Arlington National Cemetery

Respect, also called esteem, is a positive feeling or action shown towards someone or something considered important or held in high esteem or regard. It conveys a sense of admiration for good or valuable qualities. And it is also the process of honoring someone by exhibiting care, concern, or consideration for their needs or feelings. [1] [2]

Contents

Some people may earn the respect of individuals by assisting others or by playing important social roles. In many cultures, individuals are considered to be worthy of respect until they prove otherwise. Courtesies that show respect may include simple words and phrases like "Thank you" in the West or " Namaste " in the Indian subcontinent, or simple physical signs like a slight bow, a smile, direct eye contact, or a simple handshake; however, those acts may have very different interpretations, depending on the cultural context.

Signs and other ways of showing respect

Language

Respect is a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities and achievements.

An honorific is a word or expression (often a pronoun) that shows respect when used in addressing or referring to a person or animal.

Typically honorifics are used for second and third persons; use for first person is less common. Some languages have anti-honorific first person forms (like "your most humble servant" or "this unworthy person") whose effect is to enhance the relative honor accorded a second or third person.

For instance, it is disrespectful not to use polite language and honorifics when speaking in Japanese with someone having a higher social status. The Japanese honorific "san" can be used when English is spoken. [3]

In China, it is considered rude to call someone by their first name unless the person is known for a long period of time. In work-related situations, people address each other by their title. At home, people often refer to each other by nicknames or terms of kinship. [4] In Chinese culture, individuals often address their friends as juniors and seniors even if they are just a few months younger or older. When the Chinese ask for someone's age, they often do so to know how to address the person. [4]

Physical gestures

A wife touching the feet of her husband. Westindischer Maler um 1530 001.jpg
A wife touching the feet of her husband.

In Islamic cultures around the world, there are many ways to show respect to people. For example, it is recommended to kiss the hands of parents, grandparents and teachers. Also, it is narrated in the sayings of Muhammad that if a person looks at the faces of parents and teachers with a smile, he or she will definitely be rewarded by Allah with success and happiness.[ citation needed ]

In India, it is customary that, out of respect, when a person's foot accidentally touches a book or any written material (considered to be a manifestations of Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge) or another person's leg, it will be followed by an apology in the form of a single hand gesture (Pranāma) with the right hand, where the offending person first touches the object with the finger tips and then the forehead and/or chest. This also counts for money, which is considered to be a manifestation of the goddess of wealth Lakshmi. [5] Pranāma, or the touching of feet in Indian culture is a sign of respect. For instance, when a child is greeting his or her grandparent, they typically will touch their hands to their grandparents' feet. In Indian culture, it is believed that the feet are a source of power and love. [6]

In many African/West Indian descent communities and some non-African/West Indian descent communities, respect can be signified by the touching of fists.[ citation needed ]

Many gestures or physical acts that are common in the West can be considered disrespectful in Japan. For instance, one should not point directly at someone. [7] When greeting someone or thanking them, it may be insulting if the person of lower status does not bow lower than the person with higher status. The duration and level of the bow depends on many factors such as age and status. [8] Some signs of physical respect apply to women only. If a woman does not wear cosmetics or a brassiere, it is possible that she will be considered unprofessional or others may think she does not care about the situation. [7]

China

Chinese culture

Unlike Japanese culture, it is not necessary in Chinese culture to bow to one another as a greeting or parting gesture. Bowing is generally reserved as a sign of respect for elders and ancestors. When bowing, they place the fist of the right hand in the palm of their left at stomach level. The deeper the bow, the more respect they are showing.

In Chinese culture, there is not much participation in physical contact, especially when doing business because this can be seen as too casual, thus disrespectful. It is considered rude to slap, pat, or put one's arm around the shoulders of another. [9] However, affection in same-sex friendships in East Asia is much more pronounced than in the West. Same-sex friends will often be seen with their arms around one another, holding hands, and other signs of physical affection. [10]

It is uncommon to see very many hand gestures being used in Chinese culture because this is often considered to be excessive. [4] The Chinese sometimes do not smile or exchange greetings with strangers. Smiling or being friendly to someone you do not know can be considered rude and too familiar. It is also common to see Chinese women covering their mouths when they laugh. Traditionally, a woman who laughed too loudly was considered to be uncouth and ill-bred. [4]

Traditionally, there was not much hand-shaking in Chinese culture. However, this gesture is now widely practiced among men, especially when greeting Westerners or other foreigners. Many Westerners may find Chinese handshakes to be too long or too weak, but this is because a weaker handshake is a gesture of humility and respect. [4]

Kowtowing, or kneeling and bowing so deeply that one's forehead is touching the floor, is practiced during worship at temples. Kowtowing is a powerful gesture reserved mainly for honoring the dead or offering deep respect at a temple. [4]

Many codes of behavior revolve around young people showing respect to older people. Like in many cultures, younger Chinese individuals are expected to defer to older people, let them speak first, sit down after them and not contradict them. Sometimes when an older person enters a room, everyone stands. People are often introduced from oldest to youngest. Often, younger people will go out of their way to open doors for their elders and not cross their legs in front of them. The older you are the more respect you are expected to be treated with. [4]

Respect as a cultural value

Sign in Sao Joao da Barra saying "respect if you want to be respected". Respeitoplaca.JPG
Sign in São João da Barra saying "respect if you want to be respected".

Indigenous American culture

In many indigenous American societies, respect serves as an important concept valued in indigenous American culture. In addition to esteem or deference, respect is viewed as a moral value that teaches indigenous individuals about their culture. This moral value is treated as a process that influences participation in the community and also helps individuals develop and become integrated into their culture's community. The value of respect is taught during childhood because the process of indigenous children participating in and learning about their community is an important aspect of the culture. [11]

Respect as a form of behavior and participation is especially important in childhood as it serves as a basis of how children must conduct themselves in their community. Children engage in mature activities such as cooking for the family, cleaning and sweeping the house, caring for infant peers, and crop work. Indigenous children learn to view their participation in these activities as a representation of respect. Through this manner of participation in activities of respect, children not only learn about culture but also practice it as well. [12] [ need quotation to verify ]

See also

Related Research Articles

Salute Gesture or action used to display respect

A salute is a gesture or other action used to display respect. When saluting a person, as distinct from a flag or a national anthem or other symbolic melody, the gaze must be towards that person, also when returning a salute. Thus, the respectable salute includes a greeting. Not looking at the person, as with most gestured greetings, is likely to be interpreted as disrespectful or an eye deficiency. Salutes are primarily associated with armed forces and law enforcement, but other organizations, such as girl guides, and boy scouts and other civilians also use salutes.

Handshake Short human greeting or parting ritual

A handshake is a globally widespread, brief greeting or parting tradition in which two people grasp one of each other's like hands, in most cases accompanied by a brief up-and-down movement of the grasped hands. Using the right hand is generally considered proper etiquette. Customs surrounding handshakes are specific to cultures. Different cultures may be more or less likely to shake hands, or there may be different customs about how or when to shake hands.

Greeting Expression to acknowledge another person

Greeting is an act of communication in which human beings intentionally make their presence known to each other, to show attention to, and to suggest a type of relationship or social status between individuals or groups of people coming in contact with each other. Greetings are sometimes used just prior to a conversation or to greet in passing, such as on a sidewalk or trail. While greeting customs are highly culture- and situation-specific and may change within a culture depending on social status and relationship, they exist in all known human cultures. Greetings can be expressed both audibly and physically, and often involve a combination of the two. This topic excludes military and ceremonial salutes but includes rituals other than gestures. A greeting, or salutation, can also be expressed in written communications, such as letters and emails.

Cheek kissing Social kissing gesture

Cheek kissing is a ritual or social kissing gesture to indicate friendship, family relationship, perform a greeting, to confer congratulations, to comfort someone, to show respect.

Bowing is the act of lowering the torso and head as a social gesture in direction to another person or symbol. It is most prominent in Asian cultures but it is also typical of nobility and aristocracy in many European countries. It is also used in religious contexts, as a form of worship or veneration. Sometimes the gesture may be limited to lowering the head such as in Indonesia, and in many cultures several degrees of the lowness of the bow are distinguished and regarded as appropriate for different circumstances. It is especially prominent in Nepal, India, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, China, Korea, Japan, where it may be executed standing or kneeling. Some bows are performed equally by two or more people while others are unequal – the person bowed to either does not bow in return or performs a less low bow in response. A nod of the head may be regarded as the minimal form of bow; forms of kneeling, genuflection, or prostration which involves the hands or whole body touching the ground, are the next levels of gesture.

Etiquette in Japan

Etiquette in Japan form common societal expectations of social behavior practiced throughout the nation of Japan and is highly esteemed. Like many social cultures, etiquette varies greatly depending on one's status relative to the person in question.

Thai greeting

The Thai greeting referred to as the wai consists of a slight bow, with the palms pressed together in a prayer-like fashion. It has its origin in the Indian Añjali Mudrā, like the Indian namaste and Burmese mingalaba. The higher the hands are held in relation to the face and the lower the bow, the more respect or reverence the giver of the wai is showing. The wai is traditionally observed upon formally entering a house. After the visit is over, the visitor asks for permission to leave and repeats the salutation made upon entering. The wai is also common as a way to express gratitude or to apologise.

Etiquette in Asia Social customs

Etiquette in Asia varies from country to country even though certain actions may seem to be common. No article on the rules of etiquette, nor any list of faux pas, can ever be complete. As the perception of behaviors and actions vary, intercultural competence is essential. A lack of knowledge about the customs and expectations of Asian people can make even those with good intentions seem rude, foolish, and disrespectful.

Etiquette in Latin America varies by country and by region within a given country.

Sampeah Cambodian greeting

The Sampeah is a Cambodian greeting or a way of showing respect. It is very similar to the Thai wai. Both Sampeah and Thai wai are based on the Indian Añjali Mudrā used in namasté. Pranāma or Namaste, the part of ancient Indian culture has propagated to southeast Asia, which was part of indosphere of greater India, through the spread of Hinduism and Buddhism from India.

Hat tip Gesture of respect

A hat tip is an act of tipping or doffing one's hat as a cultural expression of recognition, respect, gratitude, or simple salutation and acknowledgement between two persons.

In Pakistan, Islamic culture is predominant, but Pakistan also has its own cultural etiquette based mainly on South Asian influence.

Sembah Indonesian greeting and gesture as a way of demonstrating respect and reverence

Sembah is an insular Southeast Asian greeting and gesture as a way of demonstrating respect and reverence. While performing the sembah, the person clasped their palms together solemnly in a prayer-like fashion called suhun or susuhun in Javanese; or menyusun jari sepuluh in Malay, and placed them in front of the chest, and moving the combined palms up to the chin, or all the way up until the thumbs touching the tip of the nose, while bowing slightly. Any of these two forms are made depending on the status of the person greeted.

Mano (gesture)

Mano or pagmamano is an "honoring-gesture" used in Filipino culture performed as a sign of respect to elders and as a way of requesting a blessing from the elder. Similar to hand-kissing, the person giving the greeting bows towards the hand of the elder and presses their forehead on the elder's hand. Usually performed with the right hand, the person showing respect may ask "Mano po" or "[Pa-]bless po" to the elder in order to ask permission to initiate the gesture. Typically someone may mano to their older relatives upon entry into their home or upon seeing them.

Traditions of Indonesia

Traditions of Indonesia are traditions, beliefs, values, and customs that belong within the culture of Indonesian people. Indonesia is a vast country of sprawling archipelago with a diverse demographic range of over 1,300 ethnic groups, and speaking more than 700 living languages.

Etiquette in Indonesia

Various codes of etiquette in Indonesia govern the expectations of social behavior in the country and are considered very important. Etiquette demonstrates respect and is a key factor in social interactions. Like many social cultures, etiquette varies greatly depending on one's status relative to the person in question. Some conventions may be region-pecific, and thus may not exist in all regions of Indonesia. The following are generally accepted contemporary customs in Indonesia.

Etiquette in South Korea

In South Korea, etiquette, or the code of social behavior that governs human interactions, is largely derived from Korean Confucianism and focuses on the core values of this religion. In addition to general behaviour, etiquette in South Korea also determines how to behave with respect to social status. Although most aspects of etiquette are accepted by the country at large, customs can be localized to specific regions or influenced by other cultures, namely China, Japan, and the United States.

Profanity in the Japanese language can pertain to scatological references or aim to put down the listener by negatively commenting on their ability, intellect, or appearance. Furthermore, there are different levels of Japanese speech that indicate politeness, social standing and respect, referred to, simply, as honorific form. Using the incorrect form of Japanese can, itself, be insulting to the listener.

Bowing in Japan Custom in Japan, used as a salutation, a form of reverence, an apology or expression of gratitude

Bowing in Japan is the act of lowering one's head or the upper part of the torso, commonly used as a sign of salutation, reverence, apology or gratitude in social or religious situations.

References

  1. "Definition of RESPECT". Merriam Webster. Retrieved December 13, 2017.
  2. "Definition of "respect"". Cambridge Dictionary. Retrieved December 14, 2017.
  3. "Top Experiences in Tokyo - Fodor's Travel". www.fodors.com. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Protocol Professionals, Inc. | Chinese Etiquette & Protocol
  5. DeBruyn, Pippa; Bain, Keith; Venkatraman, Niloufer (2010). Frommer's India . pp. 76.
  6. Chatterjee, Gautam (2001). Sacred Hindu Symbols . pp. 47-48.
  7. 1 2 "Lodging Options - Experience Tokyo". 31 October 2007. Archived from the original on 31 October 2007. Retrieved 22 October 2017.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  8. "Cultural Variations In Body Language". westsidetoastmasters.com. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  9. "China - Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette". www.commisceo-global.com. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  10. Kline, et al. "Communicating love: Comparisons between American and East Asian university students." International Journal of Intercultural Relations. no. 32 (2008): 200-2014.
  11. Fernandez, David-Lorente (2012). "Ser respetuoso es ser persona. El niño y la pedagogía moral de Los Nahuas del Centro de México". Revista de Dialectología y Tradiciones Populares. 67 (2): 431–452. doi: 10.3989/rdtp.2012.16 .
  12. "Official Guide to Government Information and Services - USAGov". usa.gov. Retrieved 22 October 2017.

Further reading