In the United States, where“casualness”is considereda great virtue, people often sit with feet on chairs oreven desks. They sometimes sit with their backsides( buttocks) on tables and desks as a way ofexpressing their individuality or career attitude.They feel comfortable crossing their legs and sittingwith one ankle on the other knee . Poor posture —slumping oneself over while sitting in a chair and placing feet on whatever object is around — isa common U. S. behavior. It is designed to show that the person is casual, honest, sincere,and“ just one of the folks ”. In the United States, even millionaires, corporation presidents,government leaders, and movie stars try to pretend they are ordinary people by using“the U.S. slouch ”and“ the feet-on-the -furniture”maneuver.
Unfortunately, other countries interpret this behavior as being sloppy and as reflecting ageneral lack of alertness, interest, and respect. People from the United States do not usuallyrealize that what they regard as casualness is viewed very differently and very negatively bymany people around the world.
People in many cultures are expected to sit erect. Such cultures include many countriesin LatinAmerica, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. In the United States, slouching is acceptable and isa positive sign of being casual and friendly. In the United States, crossing legs is a sign of goodetiquette . Many cultures say thatcrossing legs is okay, but placing the ankle on the knee whilecrossing one’s legs is totally unacceptable .
One reason for not putting the ankle on the knee is that when you do so, one foot or the soleof the shoe is usually pointing at someone . This is a very severe insult in many countriesaround the world, especially Muslim countries. Under few circumstances should you point yourfoot at anyone , because the foot is cons idered the least sacred part of the body in manysocieties. In some countries such as Nepal, pointing the foot at a cow is an outrage , becausethe cow is a sacred animal. In Buddhist countries, pointing the foot at statue of the Buddha isa severe offense. Moving objects with the feet is very rude in Thailand, Nepal, and Taiwan. InBangladesh, you should not touch books with a foot or shoe; if you do, you must make anelaborate apology.
As you can tell, posture is a very strong messenger. It conveys much about a particu larperson. Posture ( in many cultures) says something about the person’s honesty, alertness,intelligence, religiousness, respect, and overall decency — or the opposite of all of these !Posture tells people whether they want to get to know a stranger, and it also tells what to thinkabout the people already known.
Translate the sentences into English with the words in parentheses :
1. 这座纪念碑是为内战中牺牲的烈士们而建立的。( erect)
2. 我希望他不会因为我拒绝他的邀请而觉得受到了侮辱。( insult)
3. 他把我的沉默看作是软弱的标志。( interpret)
1. This monument was erected in honour of the martyrs during the civil war.
2. I hope he won’t feel insulted if I turn down his invitation.
3. He interpreted my silence as a sign of weakness.