As for the length of a handshake, if we had to put a number on it, let’s say that the handshake should not exceed 3 seconds when we first meet; as a general rule, especially if you do not know the local customs, you should avoid holding the hand of a representative of the opposite sex for too long. No matter what country you are in, the most important thing is for everyone to feel comfortable meeting other people. The rules and boundaries may vary, but as long as you are considerate and polite, the details are not that important. The handshake is not an indigenous custom in China, but today it is hard to find a part of the country or even a culture that does not have this gesture. When shaking hands, moderate force should be used to show warmth and friendliness. In China, when a man and a woman shake hands, the man should wait for the woman to extend “her” hand before shaking it. Take the other person’s hand, close your fingers around it with moderate force, gently squeeze up and down three or four times, and then let go. Simple overly detailed instructions for what has become synonymous with business transactions the world over: if you’re reading this, chances are you know how to do it, and have practiced it thousands of times in your life. Young men should wait until the older man holds out “his” hand first. If the woman doesn’t extend “her” hand or doesn’t want to shake it, the man can nod or bow instead. Today we will look with you at the rules and customs of different nations, some more serious than others and hopefully more informative. Thank you for signing up for our free 1 on 1 live lesson on eChineseLearning. Our academic coordinator will contact you within one business day to schedule your free lesson. This topic is in every language textbook: “How to speak well to someone from country X or culture Y.” Stand about a meter away from your interlocutor, lean slightly forward, and extend your right arm. The host should be the first to extend “his” or “her” hand to greet guests. When Westerners meet, they usually do not ask each other long, complicated questions.