The Ar t Of Bowing
The degree to which a bowing or lowering of thebody is emphasized varies from one culture toanother . In many cultures today the full bow orother dramatic lowering of the body is generallyreserved for formal occasions such as greeting ahead of state or monarch. For example, Britishcommoners standing before the queen or beinghonored 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 Muslimskowtow3 , 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, ithas survived in German culture and exists to an even greater degree in modern Japan, wherebows 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 toconnote undue formality, aristocracy, and a nonverbal denial of egalitarianism. Nowhere isbowing more important to the process of communication today than in Japanese society. Asan 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 atdepartment store escalators and that many Japanese bow repeatedly to invisible partners atthe other end of a telephone line”. Bowing initiates interaction between two Japanese , itenhances and embellishes many parts of the ensuing conversation, and it is used to signalthe end of a conversation. Although Westerners, in a very general
sense, understand the meaning attached to bowing, appropriate bowing in Japan is anintricate and complex process. Reciprocal bowing is determined largely by rank. In fact, it ispossible 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 leanslightly to the right to avoid bumping heads. The person of lower status is expected toinitiate 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 andfinishing 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 acceptedaroundthe 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 thecountryside.
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
文化不同, 鞠躬或弯腰的角度也大不相同。在今天的许多文化里, 深深鞠一躬或大幅度弯腰通常只有在正式场合中才会出现, 比如向国家元首或君主致意。举例来说, 英国平民站在女王面前或被王室加封为爵士时应该鞠躬, 或行屈膝礼, 抑或屈膝下跪。在一些宗教仪式里, 基督教徒会下跪, 天主教徒会行屈膝礼, 而穆斯林则会跪拜叩头, 即将身体弯曲到极 限, 直到前额贴地为止。作为一种世界性的文化现象, 近几十年使用鞠躬这种礼节的人却越来越少, 但鞠躬却在德国文化中保存下来, 在现代日本社会更是大为盛行, 在那里鞠躬已成为日常社会交往不可缺少的一部分。然而, 在美国, 鞠躬或任何一种谦恭的身体姿势都让美国人极其反感, 因为这些举动往往意味着不必要的繁文缛节、贵族习气, 以及对平等主义的一种非语言性否定。当今, 没有哪一个社会像日本社会一样, 鞠躬在人际交往过程中如此重要。为了显示鞠躬在当今日本社会根深蒂固的程度, 一些专家指出,“ 在日本百货商店里, 一些女雇员的工作就是在商店的自动扶梯边向顾客鞠躬, 而且有许多日本人会向电话线另一端看不见的人 不停地鞠躬。”鞠躬是两个日本人交往的开端, 在随后的对话里鞠躬还起到推波助澜和锦上添花的作用, 它还被用来暗示对话的结束。尽管西方人大致明白鞠躬所包含的意思, 但在日本, 恰到好处的鞠躬是非常复杂、很难把握的过程。互相鞠躬主要是由社会等级决定的。事实上, 我们可以通过两个人鞠躬的幅度来判断他们相对的社会地位( 鞠躬幅度越大,社会地位就越低) 。当两个人互相深鞠一躬的时候, 按照常规他们会把头微微斜向右边, 以避免碰到对方的脑袋。两个人中社会地位低的那个人应该首先开始鞠躬, 而地位高的人决定鞠躬结束的时间。地位相同的人互相鞠躬的时候, 鞠躬的幅度相同, 并且同时开始, 同时结束。