Bowing  

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Allegory of the World (1515) from the studio of  Joachim Patinir
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Allegory of the World (1515) from the studio of Joachim Patinir

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Bowing (also called stooping) is the act of lowering the torso and head as a social gesture in direction to another person or symbol. It is most prominent in Asian cultures but it is also typical of nobility and aristocracy in many countries and distinctively in Europe. Sometimes the gesture may be limited to lowering the head such as in Indonesia, and in many cultures several degrees of the lowness of the bow are distinguished and regarded as appropriate for different circumstances. It is especially prominent in China, Korea, Taiwan, Japan, and Vietnam where it may be executed standing or kneeling. Some bows are performed equally by two or more people while others are unequal - the person bowed to either does not bow in return or performs a less low bow in response. A nod of the head may be regarded as the minimal form of bow; forms of kneeling, genuflection, or prostration which involves the hands or whole body touching the ground, are the next levels of gesture.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Bowing" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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