- Apr 30, 2021
The problem here is that you mentioned a dignified gesture.I have heard of bowing, prostrating, curtsying, kneeling. and hand kissing.
But what is according to your opinion the most dignified gesture or sign of respect a person can demonstrate or show to another of higher authority or power?
However that crane yoga stance from Hoodwink Alien and Bookworm Ascendance is a no go cause no one can just stand on one foot with arms out and not lose their balance as a prayer or a gesture to respect. Hard to not laugh it off.
This doesn't seem like a problem until you understand that the most sincere gestures are those that cause the person performing them to lose dignity, that is to humiliate themselves. Sitting on the floor with head bent over, bowing lower than a person definitely shows intent to honor someone, but it lowers oneself in the process.
The most dignified gesture, might not be the most respectful, because your dignity primarily includes yourself. If you are groveling on the floor, that isn't very dignified, but very respectful to that person. A simple bow would be dignified, but it just shows a bit of respect to the other person.
The best position is respectful AND dignified. Because of this, I recommend nothing lower than sitting, so somewhere between a bow and a kneel. Curtsy, hand kiss, and sitting bow all apply. Unless the character in the story is addressing a deity (and not a fake one, like the Pharaoh), no kneeling, and a bow is too casual unless the person isn't someone you respect personally but are ordered to bow too. Then a standing bow lets other characters know that you can't be bothered. Of course, it also depends on the society. Modern era, casual bows are fine.