While it's unclear from the
video exactly how German chancellor Merkel took U.S. President Bush's brief shoulder massage at the G8 Summit (some of the snarkier members of the blogosphere are calling it a
Vulcan nerve pinch), most agree that it was a bit of a cultural gaffe.
To avoid making a similar mistake, here's a country-by-country guide to the basics of each country's etiquette. Culturosity also has some good articles on the topic, and Simone at Something Extra often posts thought-provoking cross-cultural information (here's a link to her collection of cross-cultural posts).