Top 10 Greetings From Around The World

19th April 2017, Charly Johnson

Ever come to that struggling moment in life when you don’t know how to greet a new person? The age, gender, nationality and many more features determine how to greet an individual. But what are the strangest ways individuals greet each other in different countries?

One of my main struggles in life is how to greet new people when meeting them, do I go in for the cheek kiss, the fist pump or even the three kisses!? I can’t count the amount of awkward situations I’ve been in when I’ve gone in for a hug to find a hand in front of me being waited to be shaken. In this blog I will talk about the my favourite top greetings I’ve found around the world.

1. Tibet – Sticking your tongue out

A polite greeting in Tibet is to simply stick your tongue out. Which is rather strange as I would always get detentions when doing this as a child! Should have told the teachers I was from Tibet. It’s apparently to prove you’re not the black tongued King on Tibet.

greetings around the world

2. Malaysia – ‘Where are you going’

Instead of the usual ‘Hey you okay?’ we are used to in the UK, Malaysians ask ‘Where are you going’. The correct response to this being ‘Just for a walk’. This isn’t really an actual question so your Malaysian friends probably aren’t stalking you wherever you go!

3. Philippines – Knuckles on foreheads

No they aren’t punching each other, this is how young children are greeted by respected elders. The young children will usually bow and receive the fist on the head. This gesture is known as Mano.

4. India – Touching their toes

This isn’t a a form of exercise or stretching routine. But is in fact a common way to greet people, this greeting gesture is known as Pranama. It is certainly a good way to keep in shape, it’s basically a workout every time you say hi

5. Greenland – Eskimo kisses

These sound super cute, but is actually a bit strange and involves the participants placing their nose and top lip on the cheek or forehead of the person they are greeting and then breath in. So they are basically smelling the other persons face. Lets hope they’ve showered and brushed their teeth before!

greetings from around the world

6. Bedouin – Nose kisses

In Bedouin men rub there noses together as a respectful greeting. This is very common amongst traditional Bedouin tribes, and I must say sounds adorable.

7. USA – Fist pump

Probably my favourite greeting ever, it’s friendly but adds a dash of cool in saying hi. It was first commonly used amongst motorcyclist gangs in the 1940’s but is recognised now around the world.

8. Niger – Shaking fists

The Kanouri tribe in Niger wave their fists near their head and say ‘Wooshay’. This sounds like a lot of fun and beats the standard hand shake we are commonly used to in the UK.

greetings from around the world

9. Kenya – Jumping dance

This greeting sounds fit enough for the Queen, but she may end up with an injury or two! The Maasai’s tribe warriors are known for to perform an elaborated jumping dance know as Adamu.

10. Botswana – 3 step handshake

I have definitely saved the best until last, but you will need to learn it first! Step 1: Extend your right arm, place your left hand on your right elbow, and press hands together. Step 2: Interlock your hand with the other person’s, interlacing thumbs; and then return to the original position and say “Lae kae?” which means “How are you?” in Setswana. Although pretty cool but I think it would be easier to solve a rubix cube.

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