How to greet people in different countries
Going on a trip to another country, we think how to choose a hotel, what attractions to visit and what souvenirs to buy for the gift to friends and colleagues. However, we rarely consider, how to behave in a foreign country, and even the most elementary – how to greet people meeting on the street before you asking for direction, for example. But we should be polite, at least in order to leave a pleasant impression of our country.
The force with which you shake hands, and energy which you transmit at the same time, are able to tell a lot. As well as the accompanying gestures – they are very important. So, you can offend a foreigner just inadvertently. So, do you want be courteous? Then let’s go!
The most habitual gesture of greeting is of course a handshake, which originally demonstrated that people had no weapons in the hands. However, not all so simple! In Russia a man should greet first, and extend a hand to a woman if she deems it necessary – it usually happens at business meetings; in ordinary life, a man can kiss a woman’s hand. In England, everything happens in reverse order. But in any case, a man removes the glove from the hand, and the girl – not necessarily.
If you go on a visit to the Tajik family, owner of the house will shake your extended hand by two of his as a sign of respect. In Saudi Arabia, after a handshake owner of the house will put his left hand on the right shoulder of his guest, and kiss him on both cheeks. Sincere Iranians after usual shaking hands put the right hand on the heart (in general, this applies to all the Muslims).
Residents of Congo also extend both hands to each other in greeting, blowing on them at the same time. But be cautious, greeting in Africa may end not only by blowing – African Maasai spit on hands before shaking. Kenyan Akamba act even easier and do not trouble themselves by extending their hand – they simply spit into each other in greeting.
In some North African countries people first put their right hand to the forehead, then to the lips and then to the chest. This can be translated from the sign language in this way: I think of you, I’m talking about you, I respect you.
People in the Zambezi area clap their hands, crouching at the same time. In Morocco – slight shaking hands, and only between the interlocutors of the same sex.
Of course everyone knows how people greet each other in India: Namaste and similar Namaskar, when you need to connect the palms in the position with your fingers up. It is also important at which level your hands are located – on the chest, on the eyebrow level or overhead (depending on the interlocutor). It is also customary to do in Thailand. Although, nowadays young people in India use more western style of greeting and farewell, but in many parts of the country traditional greeting is still popular.
Japanese do not shake hands in order not to penetrate into the private space of the person. They use bows: the more important person it is, the lower and longer the bow will be. As well as in India, the certain kind of bow you perform also has a value – Saykeyrey – the lowest (most respectful bow), medium and light. Koreans and Chinese also prefer bows, although the latter ones as the Indian people are increasingly switching to a handshake.
If you are in Tibet, do not be alarmed to see the following picture: man takes off his cap from the head with his right hand, and lays his left hand behind his ear and sticks out his tongue. Thus, the person proves the absence of bad intentions.
The Eskimo males hit each other by fists on the head and back. Not very strongly of course. Emotional Latin Americans embrace in greeting, the people of Lapland rub each other by their noses, people in Polynesia rub by noses and stroke each other on their back. The Samoans sniff each other.
In Egypt and Yemen, a welcome gesture reminds saluting in the Russian army. Egyptian, putting a palm to the forehead, turns it to the side of interlocutor.
Every nation has its own customs to greet one another, but in general, when meeting, people wish each other good and well-being, a nice day, or success in their work. Be benevolent, it will come back to you twice!