Viktorija Panovaite
Sitting

Main gestures and poses in Indonesia

There are the gestures and poses that Indonesian people do almost unconsciously. After some time living in Indonesia the foreigners starts do the same :). Some of them just because to show respect for local cultural manners, others – see so many examples around, that just assimilate (for example like me ;)). To make these gestures it’s not obligatory for foreigners but if you will do that, I think, Indonesians will appreciate it ;).

Greetings

Shake hands softly and then slightly touch your chest afterwards.

Men usually give a stronger grip than women when they are shaking hands.
Touching your chest after shaking hands demonstrates respect to other person (you’re taking their greeting into your heart).


Giving and receiving things

Always use your right hand when passing and receiving things. Using the left hand is considered very impolite. Slightly bow your head as you say “thank you”.

Giving and receiving

 

 

 

 

 

 


Walking past people

Slightly bow your body and put right hand in front of body as walk in front of someone and say “permisi” (“excuse me”).

Pass people

 

 

 

 

 


Calling someone over

Just waving fingers downwards if you want to call someone over.

Calling

 

 

 

 

 

 


Sitting

Indonesians like to sit just on the floor when they visiting people, eating, doing things at home and etc. Some of the local eating places “angkringan” mostly provides you only sitting places on the floor on carpets “tikar”. So even if you are not used to sit like this, soon (if you will stay longer in Indonesia) you will just adapt to this habit :).

Males: Sit with feet crossed at the ankles (it’s called “bersila“).

Females: Sit with feet tucked under them, turned down on the floor. The same like yoga “Diamond” pose. Most probably you will see more often women sitting like males, but more polite to sit like this.

Women sitting style

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Illustrations made by Hendra Arkan.

Useful? Great! :) You might also like these:

Indonesian people lifestyle
Good manners in Indonesia
How to use squat toilet

 

What's in your mind? :)