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Depends on which culture they were brought up with. I had an exchange student from China in my class who bowed to the teacher everytime he left the class.

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I've been doing martial arts for over 13 years and I have bowed walked in and out of the bathroom, walking into my house, stepping off the curb, walking into a store, it's pretty embarrassing.

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I don't think there is anything embarrassing about bowing, seriously. It's just a form of greeting. It's not like you get down on your knees on the ground and prostern yourself in front of people. Bowing is pretty soft.

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I don't know why you're getting downvoted, but honestly, I don't see anything wrong or embarrassing with bowing. You might feel self-conscious because it is not the norm where you're from, but I don't think anyone would seriously mind or pay attention to it. It's just a polite greeting. No big deal.

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Sorry for your embarrassment, but that would've been pretty funny to watch! I'm guessing the principle wasn't smiling at you either which makes it even funnier. He sounds like a jerk though.

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He wasn't a jerk. He was actually a very nice man. He was just rather old and on the verge of retirement so I don't think he'd high fived anyone in a while. He just looked really confused when I put my hand up. After an awkward pause, I just went for the hand shake like everyone else.

I had a rather formal polite Japanese teacher once so shaking hands was awkward; we all just developed a small nod as a greeting. No one told the class we just did it and in hindsight it was respectful and befitting because he was an awesome teacher.

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