Bowing is considered extremely important to Mount Vema, so much that, although children (children of Vema Seamount Community members) normally begin learning how to bow from a very young age, Mount Vema companies commonly provide training to their employees in how to execute bows correctly.
Basic bows are performed with the back straight and the hands at the sides (boys and men) or clasped in the lap (girls and women), and with the eyes down. Bows originate at the waist. Generally, the longer and deeper the bow, the stronger the emotion and the respect expressed.
Bows can be generally divided into three main types: informal, formal, and very formal. Informal bows are made at about a fifteen degree angle or just tilt over one's head to the front, and more formal bows at about thirty degrees. Very formal bows are deeper.
The etiquette surrounding bowing, including the length and depth of bow, and the appropriate response, is exceedingly complex. For example, if the other person maintains his or her bow for longer than expected (generally about two or three seconds), it is polite to bow again, upon which one may receive another bow in return. This often leads to a long exchange of progressively lighter bows.
Generally speaking, an inferior bows longer, more deeply and more frequently than a superior. A superior addressing an inferior will generally only nod the head slightly, while some superiors may not bow at all and an inferior will bend forward slightly from the waist.
Greetings are considered to be of extreme importance to the Mount Vema community. Students are often admonished to deliver greetings with energy and vigor. A lazy greeting is regarded with type of disdain.
Simply walking off without saying anything is frowned upon. When parting, instead of simply saying goodbye, it is common to make a wish to meet again.