Discuss different cultural variables

Eye Contact/Eye Movement

In India, the practice of maintaining steady eye contact during meetings is not followed as it is considered inappropriate to look straight into the eyes of seniors or women. It is a mark of respect or cultural etiquette in India. Even in Indonesia, China, and Japan keeping one’s eyes lower is standard practice. Contrary to this in U.S.A and U.K., maintaining eye contact during business dealings ensures confidence and builds up trust.


Shaking hands with someone is a form of greeting or you acknowledge a person’s presence. In some countries, it is a standard practice but in countries like India or China, shaking hands with seniors or women is not considered appropriate. With women, it somehow is derogatory as it marks the unequal status of men and women within an organization.

Saying Yes/No

Saying a simple ‘Yes’ or `No’ also is different in various cultures. In India when the head is moved from left to right, it means ‘No and if the head is moved up and down, it signifies a ‘Yes’. Americans and Canadians shake their heads back and forth while in Japan, people move their right hand to say No’

Sign language

Universal audio or video symbols are recognized. Traffic and road signs, signs for public utility, and public services accessible to both literates and non-literates.

Body language

Certain gestures are culturally specific. Chewing of paans is considered a Bengali’s habit whereas loud voices and aggressive gestures are linked to people belonging to the Haryana side.

Audiovisual language

Nowadays a fusion of both Hindi and English languages has given way to the newly evolved ‘Hinglish’ language. ‘Yell Dil Maange More’ is one such example of an advertisement jingle using Hinglish language.

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