Greeting from East to Middle East

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Greetings for Successful Communication from East to Middle East

Seung Bong Kim, Alihesam Azari, Jung Eun Kim, Umer Jawaid, Seyed Nasir Mortezaei Kerahroudi, and Bilyana Martinovski

School of Business and Informatics University College of Borås, Sweden

Abstract Intercultural communication and meetings with new cultures play a significant role in the process of globalization. In that context, initial greetings are important as they affect first impressions and as they give the first emotional tone of a relationship. What factors affect initial greetings in a more profound way, national culture and language or type of interpersonal relationship? The present article approaches this question by describing cross-cultural differences and similarities in opening greetings from three Asian cultures, namely Iranian, Pakistani and South Korean. Relations between factors are explored through introspective observation of four parameters: gesture, posture, eye contact, and proximity. Interpersonal relationships are divided into three categories: family, friends and authority. The study finds that greetings are more similar across national culture than across relationship. KEYWORDS: Cross-cultural communication, Intercultural communication, Greeting, Gesture, Posture, Proximity, Eye contact, Interpersonal relationship

1. Introduction

Today, we can easily hear the word “Globalization”. Barriers among countries are being eliminated and cultures from various countries are being integrated. People from around the world work together in multinational groups, organizations and companies, so they need to communicate with each other more effectively. They make many decisions in business, politics, education and health which are these days usually affect citizens of more than one nation and the question is that whether communication between people of different nations is effective or not. According to current situation, it is obvious that the understanding of intercultural communication is becoming a big issue. We have to study cultures of other countries to understand intercultural communication correctly. Greetings as an element in intercultural communication are the first impressions in the human communication. For instance, when someone meets people for the first time, they might want to express their feelings by saying or showing something. It is also implied from the definition of the greeting “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.” The greetings can cause misunderstanding or offensive reflection by the differences of cultures. Therefore, it can be not only a basic issue but also the most important one for understanding intercultural communication. In addition, there are other reasons for choosing to study greetings. They have an important function in the management of relations between people. The greetings signal to each other their respective, social status, their degree of familiarity,their degree of linking for one another, and also, very often, what roles they will play in the encounter that is about to begin.[1] A form of greetings which is used in one country is the result of long-term accumulation of their country’s culture. It is obvious that the way of showing greetings could be various depending on different factors but it might be shown only within the range of the features of their own culture. This article will describe and analyze greetings in three different cultures which are Asian cultures that include somehow traditions, religions and languages. These greetings will be described on the basis of the nationality of participants who are from Iran, Pakistan and South-Korea.

2. Background

Before starting an explanation of greetings according to different cultures, it is essential...
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