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Non-verbal Communication

•   Many South Africans are more old fashioned and formal in their mannerisms.
•   Bad habits in SA: Yawning without covering your mouth, gum chewing, stretching in public, slouching, leaving your hands in your pockets while speaking to someone, or leaning against objects while you are spoken to.
•   Gestures: Making the victory sign with the palm of the hand towards yourself or making a fist with the thumb between the index and middle fingers are inappropriate.
•   Many African cultures regard it as polite to hold out both hands when being given a gift. Doing so with one hand shows ingratitude.
•   For a lady, men will open doors, stand up when she enters the room, and wait for her to extend her hand before they will greet her with a handshake.
•   Kissing: In some Afrikaans circles, especially among close friends, women are often kissed on the lips in greeting. In city culture this might not happen.