Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s “manner legs” pose with his stance widened to match the eye level of the Korean National Assembly Speaker Kim Jin-pyo last week triggered contrasting reactions from media here and abroad.

During his three-day visit to Korea last week in celebration of the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries, Trudeau spent his second day in Korea, May 17, at the National Assembly to deliver a speech at the plenary session and met with Kim and lawmakers.

While having their photos taken, both were standing upright initially. However, in a playful move, Kim, who is reportedly 170 centimeters tall, stood on his tiptoes to match Trudeau’s height. The Canadian Prime Minister towers over the Korean National Assembly speaker by almost 20 centimeters.

In response, Trudeau bent his knees to align with Kim’s height. He then proceeded to widen his stance to level his gaze with the Korean delegate for the photos.

The gesture, dubbed “manner legs” in Korea, is a common practice among tall Korean male celebrities. They utilize this pose to match the height of those who are shorter, such as their makeup artists, interviewers, fellow actors and fans. The posture, which momentarily makes them appear shorter for certain camera angles, is seen as a gesture of respect towards the shorter individual.

Trudeau’s pose went viral in Korea and abroad, earning praise from the local media as a kind gesture.

Chosun Ilbo reported on May 17 that it was a “heartwarming scene,” where “the 20-centimeter difference in their height has unexpectedly created a cordial atmosphere,” and noted that the lawmakers and officials in the room “burst into laughter.” Local broadcaster YTN also reported the Canadian PM to be “as caring as he is tall.”

Canada’s daily news media Toronto Star reported, May 19, that the “wide stance Trudeau assumed is a sign of respect, according to Korean culture, and a way to discreetly lower one’s height.”

“Popular among Korean celebrities, the stance is a sign of respect and a way to accommodate for an individual’s tall height,” it said, quoting a Korean Canadian Lee Young-mi’s explanation that his attempt to match eye level could be considered appropriate in Korean culture.

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