Bowing is not a new phenomenon of culture in the modern or contemporary culture. It is one of the few cultural gestures that cut across more than four continents. It is a show of respect and courtesy. The person who bows will usually be the one on the humble end and meeting a an individual on the higher social status.
Showing respect and courtesy can come in various forms. This would differ from one society to another. The funny part of this is that some gestures may be conflicting in terms of what they mean. For example, beckoning would not be considered kind in Asia as it would in Africa. This is where bowing emerges as one of the unique cultural gestures that is known in most part of the world. It is cross cutting and has been understood as a good sign.
There are places where bowing may actually be considered in bad taste. In today’s world, those with no background of bowing would not appreciate bowing as a sign of strength. It may be considered as a sign of the submission and servitude. The essence is far from these assumptions. It is in fact a sign of strength and maturity. It is a sign of respect that is exuded by those who have matured and have nothing to lose. It also works magic in creating good relational capital.
A perfect traditional bowing involves both a bow and scratching of the right leg. This involves bending a little and lifting the right leg backwards. The left hand is then placed on the lower abdomen and the right hand lifted higher. Now this is a classical bowing that does not have to be between a servant and master relationship. It is a perfect thing to do for good buddies.
If you thought that this is a culture that is practiced only in the East or Asia, you will be forgiven for you ignorance. In fact, Europe is more known for this practice than the East. In Europe, bowing has been practiced mainly by the aristocrats. In the initial time, it was considered an act for the servant to their masters. But overtime it has become a show of respect. The women were originally expected to show this as a sign of respect to husbands, but later, the men are also seen doing this. It is not unique to see a man giving a flower to the woman while bowing.
Countries such as China, Korea and Japan or India have practiced bowing as part of the religious practices. This has an element of the worship and therefore emphasized among those in the religious centers. This religious aura has been taken to the social cycles too.