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Merry Christmas
A handshake is a short ritual
in which two people grasp one of each other's like hands, in most cases accompanied by a brief up and down movement of the grasped hands

There are various customs surrounding handshakes, both generically and specific to certain cultures:
The handshake is commonly done upon meeting, greeting, parting, offering congratulations, expressing gratitude, or completing an agreement. In sports or other competitive activities, it is also done as a sign of good sportsmanship. Its purpose is to convey trust, balance, and equality. If it is done to form an agreement, the agreement is only official until the hands are parted
Unless health issues or local customs dictate otherwise, usually a handshake is made with bare hands. However, it depends on the situation.

In Anglophone countries, in business situations. In casual non-business situations, men are more likely to shake hands than women.
In Belgium, handshakes are done more often, especially on meetings.
In Switzerland, it may be expected to shake the women's hands first.
Austrians shake hands when meeting, often including with children.
In Russia, handshake is rarely performed by opposite sexes. Man shaking hands with women can be considered impolite, since hand-kissing is preferred as a ritual for greeting a lady. However, kissing hand is considered unsuitable for business situations.
In some Muslim countries (such as Turkey or the Arabic-speaking Middle East), handshakes aren't as firm as in North America and Europe. Consequently, a grip which is too firm will be considered as rude.
Moroccans also give one kiss on each cheek (to corresponding genders) together with the handshake. Also, in some countries, a variation exists where instead of kisses, after the handshake the handpalm is placed unto the heart.
In China, where a weak handshake is also preferred, people shaking hands will often hold on to each other's hands for an extended period after the initial handshake.
In Japan, it is appropriate to let the Japanese initiate the handshake, and a weak handshake is preferred.
In Norway, where a firm handshake is preferred, people will most often shake hands when agreeing on deals, both in private and business relations.
In South Korea, a senior person will initiate a handshake, where it is preferred to be weak. It is a sign of respect to grasp the right arm with the left hand when shaking hands

The Hand Hug is a type of handshake popular with politicians, as it can present them as being warm, friendly, trustworthy and honest. This type of handshake involves covering the clenched hands with the remaining free hand, creating a sort of "cocoon."

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Additional Photos by Georgios Topas (TopGeo) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4050 W: 93 N: 8446] (38202)
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