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Importance of Nonverbal Communication

Gestures

Dead Gestures

 

Importance of Nonverbal Communication

Nonverbal communication plays an important role in our daily lives, sometimes even more important and powerful than verbal communication.  Nonverbal communication is broadly defined as the act of communicating with facial expressions, gestures, and eye contact. Different cultures have specific gestures and emotions making it important for people from different nationalities and cultures to understand each others basic nonverbal cues in order to achieve effective communication

With the influence of Confuscius’ philosophical thinking, it is believed that the Chinese gestures over time have become less expressive and more reserved, yet still remain a important part of their communicative abilities.  Nonverbal gestures and codes are portrayed as “speaking the truth” in one sense.  Though verbal communication is considered most important and the Chinese do not have a lot of facial expressions, hand gestures and body movements are highly valued.

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Gestures

One common Chinese gesture is the traditional Chinese greeting, which is to cup one’s hands, left over right, and place them high above the chest while bowing to one another.  

Another important nonverbal code is the element of touch.  The Chinese culture, unlike Western cultures does not value public touch, especially signs of affection.  To see a list of different nonverbal gestures and expressions of the Chinese culture, click here.

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Dead Gestures

Although there are many gestures and nonverbal codes that are practiced in China today, there are also many codes that are known as “dead gestures”.   These are gestures that no longer have any use in modern China today.  To see a list and pictures of “Dead Gestures” click here.

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Information and pictures for this page were obtained from:

Internet Site:

http://www.csupomona.edu/~tassi/gestures.htm#asian

     Accessed May 1, 2003.

Internet Site:

http://www.ling.gu.se/~biljana/gestures2.html#dead

     Accessed May 1, 2003.

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Last Updated 05/08/03