Communication culture and gesture use
Speaking culture affects both verbal and non-verbal behaviour of children and adults. People use time, voice and space differently in communication, depending on their cultural background. In this chapter we introduce some features of speaking cultures and non-verbal communication that are characteristic to Eastern and Western cultures. Use of gestures, for example, reflects the typical communication style used in the environment. We present examples from Japanese culture representing Eastern orientations, and give examples from several Western cultures. Features of Finnish culture are introduced to exemplify the variation within Western cultures.. We make a special reference to children’s language development and current knowledge of the cultural differences between children’s gesture use in different countries. Emptiness (silence) in the area of nonverbal communication is exemplified by an absence of speech-accompanying gestures.