body language meaning in Colombia

Body language meaning in Colombia

Today we will discover the body language meaning in Colombia

  • Colombian women will often substitute the gesture of holding forearms for a handshake.
  • Men shake hands with direct eye contact.
  • Once a friendship has developed, greetings become warmer and a lot more hands on –  men will embrace and pat each other on the shoulder (known as an “abrazo”) and women kiss once on the right cheek.
  • If you are visiting on business and happen to tour a factory, it is polite to shake hands with those workers nearest you.
  • Etiquette and propriety are important that is why these Colombian girls sit up very straight! - Body language meaning in Colombia

    Etiquette and propriety are important that is why these Colombian girls sit up very straight! – Body language meaning in Colombia

    Etiquette and propriety are important in Colombia, therefore, avoid placing your feet on a table or other piece of furniture, and avoid yawning in public and eating on the streets.

  • Tapping the underside of the elbow with the fingers of the other hand suggests that someone is ‘stingy.’
  • To indicate that you have finished eating, place the knife and fork horizontally across the plate.
  • Hands should be kept visible when eating.
  • Resting elbows on the table is considered bad manners.
  • Women visitors should be especially sensitive about making any glance or gesture that might be considered flirtatious.
  • Colombians are termed as ‘indirect communicators’ – this means there is more information within body language and context rather than the words, i.e. if you ask someone to do something and they reply ‘I will have to see’, it would be up to you to read their body language and realize that they can not do it.
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do your thing

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7 replies
  1. Manuela Rodriguez
    Manuela Rodriguez says:

    Etiquette and propriety are definitely a must in Colombia. Great body language article.

    Reply
    • Havi Goffan
      Havi Goffan says:

      Really appreciate your comment, Manuela. Colombia is a country where you better learn what is acceptable and what isn’t if you want to do business or get ahead. Especially in Bogota. And this is also reflected in the propriety of the language.

      Reply
  2. Andrew
    Andrew says:

    Would it be culturally acceptable for a man and woman to shake hands and then keep holding hands for a while? Is this supicious behaviour? I am not emotionally connected to either except as friends, but one is married and I need to know what is going on and whether I should be worried.

    Reply
    • Havi Goffan
      Havi Goffan says:

      Dear Andrew,
      It is culturally acceptable for people to shake hands and maintain this for a few extra seconds. Sometimes more. It could denote interest in friendship or simply it could be a gesture to make you feel more welcome. To properly interpret body language beyond a gesture more elements need to be considered.

      Reply
    • LeonSand
      LeonSand says:

      We do that indeed; it’s to make you feel comfortable. Bogotans can take a few seconds more. If she lets her her fingers scroll “accidentally” along your palm when releasing the handshake with a stare and a slight smile, well, be careful. That would be a request for sex.

      Reply

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