Ways of Greeting in Different Countries

Do you ever wonder how people greet in other countries? A warm handshake is usually the way of greeting in many western countries, while in other places they have their own unique ways of greeting. Below are 5 kinds of greetings from Tibet, Middle East, Africa, Malaysia, and Asia.

  • Tibet: Tibetans stick their tongues out as a greeting in traditional Tibetan culture to show that they come in peace, and to also show that they are not one of the cruel kings that have black tongues.
  • Middle East: Middle Easterners shake hands to greet. Just a heads up fist bumping can be considered rude. You also might want to say, “As-Salaam Alaikum,” which means “peace upon you.” 
  • Zimbabwe and Mozambique: In Africa they clap as the way of their greeting before saying “Hello,” and when saying “Goodbye.” A few quick claps can also mean “Thank you” in their culture. The way it works is that the first person claps once, and the second person claps twice in response. 
  • Malaysia: They have a formal way of greeting. They touch the other person’s hand and then in return place the right hand to the heart which symbolizes, “I greet you from the bottom of my heart,” which is one of the sweetest ways of greeting in the world based on what Malaysian travelers have said.
  • Cambodia, India, Japan, Laos, and Thailand: In these countries, they put their palms together in the prayer position, right before bowing. It might seem like a simple greeting, but there is one thing a person should know about this bow. In Thailand, the higher you place your hands the more respect you’re showing. In Japan, the deeper the bow, the more respect is being shown. These two countries have strict rules being followed on how to show respect.

Wherever you are going, make sure to learn the proper way of greeting before traveling to that country because taking the time to learn how to greet is the perfect first step to making a meaningful connection. Remember to make that first good impression and establish a good relationship, whether it is with your friend or boss.