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Touch

Americans like to touch, kiss, embrace, take people by the arm, pat them on the back. In many other countries, this behavior is totally inappropriate, particularly in business. Chinese do not like body contact with strangers at all, even a quick pat. They, like other Asians, are particularly offended by a touch on the back, head, or shoulder (even children). It’s also inappropriate to put your arm on the back of a chair in which an Asian is sitting. In general, keep touch to a severe minimum when doing business with people from other cultures. And, unlike Americans, who find it unusual for people of the same sex to hold hands, it is a perfectly acceptable sign of nonromantic friendship for Asians, Latinos, Middle Easterners, and the French, so don’t be surprised or make comments about it.


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