The Ar t Of Bowing
The degree to which a bowing or lowering of the body is emphasized varies from one culture to another . In many cultures today the full bow or other dramatic lowering of the body is generally reserved for formal occasions such as greeting a head of state or monarch. For example, British commoners standing before the queen or being honored by royalty in a ceremony of knighthood would be expected to bow, curtsey, or kneel. As part of their religious practices some Christians kneel, Catholics genuflect, and Muslims kowtow , an extreme form of body lowering in which the forehead is brought to the ground. Although bowing, as a worldwide phenomenon, has been on the decrease in recent decades, it has survived in German culture and exists to an even greater degree in modern Japan, where bows are an integral part of everyday social interaction . In the United States, however, bowing or any type of submissive body posture is particularly irritating, for it tends to connote undue formality, aristocracy, and a nonverbal denial of egalitarianism. Nowhere is bowing more important to the process of communication today than in Japanese society. As an indication of how pervasive bowing is in present-day Japan, some experts point out that“ some female department store employees have the sole function of bowing to customers at department store escalators and that many Japanese bow repeatedly to invisible partners at the other end of a telephone line”. Bowing initiates interaction between two Japanese , it enhances and embellishes many parts of the ensuing conversation, and it is used to signal the end of a conversation. Although Westerners, in a very general
sense, understand the meaning attached to bowing, appropriate bowing in Japan is an intricate and complex process. Reciprocal bowing is determined largely by rank. In fact, it is possible to tell the relative social status of the two communicators by the depth of their bows ( the deeper the bow, the lower the status) . When bowing deeply, it is conventional to lean slightly to the right to avoid bumping heads. The person of lower status is expected to initiate the bow, and the person of higher status determines when the bow is completed. People of equivalent status are expected to bow at the same depth while starting and finishing at the same time.
Ⅰ. Are these statements True or False a ccording to the article ?
1. Nowadays the full bow or other dramatic lowering of the body is still widely acceptedaround the world.
2. Bowing is prevalent in Japan while the situation is quite different in America.
3. It is customary to lean slightly to the left to avoid bumping heads when bowing deeply.
Ⅱ. Complete the sentence s with the proper forms of the words given in parentheses :
1. There is a __________( tend) that more and more people will move from cities to the countryside.
2. He __________( repeat) fails to pass the exam.
3. A spirit of hopelessness__________ ( pervasive ) the country.
4. He is such a chauvinist that he expects his wife to be meek and __________( submit).
5. The government has__________ ( initial) a new house-building program.
Ⅰ. 1. F 2. T 3 . F
Ⅱ. 1. tendency 2. repeatedly 3 . pervaded 4 . submissive 5. initiated