The most dignified gesture to pay respect to higher authority?

bulmabriefs144

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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.
The problem here is that you mentioned a dignified gesture.

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.
 

LilTV1155

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The problem here is that you mentioned a dignified gesture.

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.
Thank you. Dignity and respect are nearly hard to separate at times.
 

TrashyHuman

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Military salutes are very dignified and are all the more impressive when done in mass. Individually, I guess bowing and speaking with head down? Though, that's not dignified much. Maybe you should refer to Godfather, there may be some good reference material
 

Mysticant

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Dogeza pyramid, respect level sky high, dignity level ground bottom.

1627480098104.png
 

Derin_Edala

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Really? Did no one get punched for it?
There's a difference between friendly/respectful swearing and aggressive swearing.

Subcommunities differ because of things like immigration, but the broader Australian culture is a reverse formality culture. Things like bowing, saluting (outside of the military), or uses of titles of respect (outside of certain ritualised places like courtrooms), are seen as quite rude. It comes across as saying "I don't like or respect you enough to talk to you as an actual person so I'm going to play-act with these dumb rituals instead."

Fortunately, we're also a melting pot culture, so we generally understand and aren't insulted by foreign shows of respect. If a Japanese person bows at you, you bow back, no insult expected or taken. But subtler expressions can be confusing; when I went to America I spent most of my time in a terrible mood because everyone had the gall to call us 'sir' and 'ma'am' and I had to keep reminding myself that they weren't making fun of us.
 

longer

Sadge
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Oral sex. At least that's what the spotty records about Empress Wu Zetian suggest.
 
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