Types of greetings around the world
People’s greetings can be quite confusing: should I shake hands? Shall I go hug? A kiss? If you go to a new culture, meeting someone can have an indecent experience. Get rid of embarrassment on your next trip, prepare for the appropriate greeting.
All countries are different, all have their own peculiarities in communication, let us consider them in more detail.
Italy, Spain, Portugal: a kiss on every cheek
A quick kiss on both cheeks is a normal welcome in Italy, Spain, Portugal, and almost all of Europe. Do not be surprised if you see two men kissing each other.
Germany: a firm handshake
Most Germans despise sticky notions. In fact, they hate it so much that they tried to find another way. Stick to handshakes. Effectively, and in pure German.
Japan: a bow
Bowing is the usual greeting of Japan. Bows vary in duration, declination, and style depending on the formalities. Peers can bow a little but do not dare to bow so easily to the eldest.
France: a kiss on the cheeks
The French kiss on the cheek two, three, or four times.
Netherlands, Belgium, and Switzerland: kiss three times from right to left.
Vague acquaintances hold on to handshakes and awkward silence, but if you are close, kiss three times: right to left to right.
Thailand: fold your hands and bow a little.
Pay attention to the only correct way – to greet in Thailand, put your hands in a prayer manner, and slightly bow to a friend.
Brazil: kiss carefully one to three times
Brazilians do not avoid physical contact. You will kiss one to three times, depending on the region; however, single ladies usually try not to blush.
Great Britain: a handshake
What upset the British more than the unorganized queues and the people on the left is a friendly welcome. A handshake, preferably with a little eye contact, with some Hugh Grant’s incoherent mumbling, is perfect.
UAE, Saudi Arabia: touch the nose.
In the UAE, Saudi Arabia, the greeting is the touch of the nose. A kiss may be intimate, but a nose-to-nose kiss is just a handshake for them.
Greece: a kiss and a slap
Nothing says “It’s nice to meet you” like being hit on the back. The Greeks usually give two kisses to ease the pain.
India: Fold your hands and say “Namaste”
Put your palms together like a prayer, tilt your head forward and say “Namaste”, which means, “adore you.”
Most Western people get a handshake, but if you want to seem less tourist, this is all about Namaste.
The way we welcome friends, acquaintances, or people we meet says a lot about us and our culture. Once you get acquainted with the culture of other countries, now you will not find yourself in an incomprehensible and unpleasant situation.
The wrong greeting is one of the most common mistakes tourists make. You can read about other mistakes that almost all tourists make in our article.