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I've known for a while that some people avoid shaking hands with people of the opposite sex. I don't know whether it's purely based on religion, nationality, or whether personal preference also plays a role.

Are there some countries in which I shouldn't offer to shake hands with people of the opposite sex, even if I am socialising with them? If so, are there substitutes for hand-shaking?

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closed as primarily opinion-based by andra, Dirty-flow, LessPop_MoreFizz, VMAtm, HaLaBi Dec 19 '13 at 15:53

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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@andra shopping question? It's possible to pay women to be able to shake their hand? –  Andrew Grimm Dec 19 '13 at 12:55
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And if you really want to know, wikipedia has an elaborate article on the matter: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Handshake –  andra Dec 19 '13 at 13:16
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@andra: as well as pasting it, try reading it: blog.stackoverflow.com/2010/11/qa-is-hard-lets-go-shopping –  hippietrail Dec 19 '13 at 13:32
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The question, in a more specific form and from a different perspective has been asked here. –  Bart Arondson Dec 19 '13 at 21:36