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On Shaking Hands Essay by A.G. Gardiner Short Summary & Notes

 The piece of writing titled "On Shaking Hands" was penned by A.G. Gardiner. In this piece of writing, Gardiner makes some observations and judgments about the widespread practice of shaking hands. There are many different ways to greet someone depending on where you are in the world, such as the Japanese bow, the Indian "Salaam," the Chinese "grave motion of the hands," the Arab "touch with fingertips," and so on.

Gardiner draws parallels between the practice of shaking hands and other social norms. He provides some humorous insight into the Russian practice of kissing, which is quite common there. He recounts the hilarious situation in which Prince Kropotkin was greeted with cheek kisses from a group of elderly gentlemen. 

In addition to that, he tells some humorous anecdotes about the various ways that people shake hands. He claims that one should not favour shaking hands that are warm and clammy, hands that are listless and flaccid, or hands that are bony and energetic.

According to Gardiner, the custom of shaking hands is the most instinctive way to greet someone, despite the fact that there are some people who object to the practice on health grounds. He is of the opinion that a person's personality can be gleaned from the way they shake hands. 

Even a law passed by Parliament would not be able to stop the English people from extending their hands. Although it has some drawbacks, the practice of shaking hands is an acceptable compromise between the Eastern greeting of salaam and the Western embrace.



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