Different countries and different cultures call for different
greetings. Learning about how people greet each other during your adventures
can be fun, it can also avoid some embarrassing moments if you're well aware of
different cultures and forms of communication.
If you're a wanderer at heart or if you just want to be
culturally competent, go ahead and bookmark this page right away.
countries: It's a common practice in the Middle Eastern countries to greet
each other with a handshake. Men may follow this with kissing cheeks. If you
want to showcase a heartfelt greeting, you can place your palm on the person's
shoulder as you greet.
As a practice, physical contact between the opposite genders in
public is avoided. Hence, it's preferable to not offer a handshake to the
Native greeting: Asalaam Alaykum
Chinese tend to be slightly on the conservative side. When meeting someone for
the first time, they usually just smile and nod their heads or shake hands if
it is a formal situation.
Native greeting = Nǐ hǎo
When you meet someone, you have three options - shake hands with
a stranger, kiss friends or family or simply say 'bonjour.' It is usually
customary in France; too often to kiss on both cheeks, both upon meeting and
Native greeting = Bonjour
If you've known someone long enough you can embrace or kiss each
other on both cheeks and pat men on the back or at shoulder level when greeting
each other. Shaking hands firmly is the most appropriate greeting when meeting
someone for the first time.
Native greeting = Yassas
is a Sanskrit greeting still in everyday use in India. It is performed by
pressing hands together towards the midriff portion. Hugs are usually exchanged
for casual greetings.
Native greeting = Namaste
Japan, the common way to greet someone is to bow down, as opposed to a casual
handshake or a hug. Bow differs by gender - Men bow with their hands at their
sides, whereas women bow with their hands touching their thighs.
Native greeting = Konnichiwa
Spain: Most of
the Spanish-speaking countries are usually tactile - they're connected with a
sense of touch. They hug, exchange pecks and hold hands most of the time. In a
more formal situation, they would usually shake hands.
Native greeting = Hola
In Thailand, it is customary to press the hands together, hold
them as if offering prayer and slightly bow down to the one you're greeting.
Native greeting = Sawasdee ka (for girls to speak)
Sawasdee krab (for guys to speak )
USA: In the
USA, greetings are quite casual – a handshake, a smile, and a hello will do
just fine. In this country, it is unusual for men to kiss when they greet each
Native greeting = hello
meeting someone for the first time, British generally shake hands if it’s a
formal situation, or even just smile at each other. If it’s a friend or casual
acquaintance, they kiss on the cheek or hug.
Native greeting = hello
In case you forget all of the above, just remember to smile - it
will get you out of most troubles and the best gesture to greet anyone at