President Obama got a lot of approval from the Japanese for this body language. In Japan the lower you bow means the more respect you have for someone. As you can see he has bowed very low indicating extreme deference. In a culture where age is revered, Emperor Akihito, who will soon be turning 76 was shown a sign of admiration. So Obama’s very low bow was a good thing for intercultural relations.
I am a firm believer that if you go to someone’s country<
a. know the rules and protocol before you go
b. follow the rules and protocol while you are there and
c. continue to show respect for the people and the country while you are there.
Perhaps the President leaned from the faux pas his wife Michelle made a while back when she casually patted England’s Queen Elizabeth on the back when they visited the Queen their Buckingham Palace . While I personally thought it was a very sweet gesture of affection on Michelle’s part- a gesture that a warm American would make, she was not in America. She needed to follow the protocol of what is expected when dealing with a Queen of England.
As Michelle unknowingly put her arm in back of the Queen like we do in the US, the Queen ‘s body language showed she was uncomfortable . She did not like what was happening. The Queen’s body is turned away from Michelle and her arm is stiff and in an awkward position (near Michelle’s buttocks}. The Queen does not reciprocate and put her hand on Michelle’s waist as one would expect. No doubt this an awkward moment for the Queen as her body language showed. She was not used to people breaking protocol which was established among the British Royalty for centuries.
There is no question that the queen wasn’t too happy about this as you can see her clenched fist on Michelle’s buttocks. That is a clear sign of inner anger and upset. It indicates that she was not happy with this. The Queen was not alone in her feelings as the British press gave Michelle a lot of flak for breaking protocol and as they saw it, not showing respect for the Queen.
Tomorrow Obama goes to China where they will be doing something that most Americans would find offensive. Apparently they have constructed a huge bust of Obama modeled after his Man of the Year photo in Time Magazine. They will be lighting him on fire very few minutes. They have constructed holes for gas to escape as the stature will ignite every few minutes. In the US that would be a huge insult to burn a President but apparently it is not in China. There it is the biggest compliment. It means he is “ so hot right now.” In fact the artist who constructed the work said “this piece represents energy and life that Obama has given to the world.”
So as the saying goes ”when in Rome do as the Roman’s do.” http://www.drlillianglass.com