Mama Lisa's World
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I’m fascinated by the differences in how people greet each other in different countries. What can be a show of affection among friends in one country, can signal an amorous advance in another.

Monique from France (of Mama Lisa’s World en français) came to visit me and my family earlier this month. While my husband and I waited for her to arrive at the airport, I remembered my days living in France. There, when people first see each other they faire la bise, which means “do the kiss”. The most common way to faire la bise is one kiss on each cheek. I clued my husband in on this custom. He was surprised and said, “Well, at least she’s a woman!”

When first meeting someone here in the US, at least in New York, most people will shake hands. Some women don’t follow this custom, but most younger women do. Most people in the business world shake hands when meeting a business associate – whether for the first time, or even if they’ve met before. But if two people work in the same office, they generally wouldn’t shake hands every day.

If you’re greeting a person you know, like a friend who you’ve seen recently, you’d probably just say hi. If it’s a family member, you might kiss them once on the cheek. If it’s a friend or family member who you haven’t seen for a while (or might not see again for a while) you might give them a kiss and an upper body hug. This would generally be between either two women, or a man and a woman, or sometimes two men who are related to each other (like a father and son).

I asked Monique for a clarification of the greeting customs in France. Here’s what she said…

The custom at a formal business meeting is shaking hands. (We wouldn’t kiss our boss.)

With friends and family, we’d usually give 2 kisses. In some places it’s 3 kisses, in other places, like Paris, it’s 4 kisses. But I couldn’t find a map of France with different colors to show how many kisses they give in each town!

We call it faire la bise even if there are several kisses. Une bise means a smack on the cheek. Un baiser means a kiss that refers more to a lovers’ kiss. (Take care: as a verb, it means something way more than a kiss!)

One kiss in France usually means a very close relationship, usually romantically involved.

We kiss, or faire la bise, “all the time”. That is, every day, if we meet every day. But only once a day.

This is between two women or a man and woman. Men usually shake hands or hug and pat each other’s shoulders. If they’re father and son, or close friends who haven’t seen each other for a long time, they would kiss.

In some families, people even kiss each other’s cheeks when saying good morning and good night.

I also noticed, when I was in New York, that you don’t hug the same way. Yours would rather be a “shoulders hug”. I mean that you push the top of the body (head and shoulders) forwards and you hug. We do that only when very moved, like at funerals and long time departures. For us, all the upper part of the body sticks together in the hug. I personally can only do that if the emotion is strong enough = we share a very close relationship.

When I introduced Monique to my parents, I told them about giving one kiss on each check, as is the custom of French people. That’s how they greeted Monique (and vice versa) the first time they met.

I asked Monique if she had met my parents under normal circumstances (that is, without me having discussed greeting customs beforehand) would she have kissed them twice on the cheeks (since she sort of knew them through me), or would she only have shaken their hands. Here’s what Monique said:

About meeting your parents: given that they’re your parents, I could have done either (shaken their hands or kissed them on each cheek) when meeting them, because we’d never met before.

Actually, it depends on what you feel.

According to the way I “felt” about them as people, independently of the fact that they’re your parents, my first “feeling” would have been to kiss them twice when meeting, and when leaving. But we step here into personal relationships, besides the customs.

There is some “grey” area about customs in general. They can be interpreted differently depending on the region and also the individual.

One thing is sure, be mindful when greeting an individual from another culture. That one friendly kiss we’d give to friend in New York, would signal something more romantic in Paris.

You’re welcome to comment below about greeting customs where you live.

Many thanks to Monique for her clarification of French greeting customs.

-Lisa

Note: Check out my later post about the importance of giving a firm handshake.

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This artilce was posted on Thursday, September 14th, 2006 at 12:10 pm and is filed under Countries & Cultures, Customs and Traditions, English, Faire la bise, Faire la bise (To do the kiss), France, French, Greeting Customs, Languages, Mama Lisa, USA, Words & Phrases. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

71 Responses to “Greeting Customs – How do you greet people where you’re from?”

  1. Janice Says:

    im old school, and from hawaii…we always greet people with a hug and kiss on the cheek…same for leaving…i find that i do the same at work, unless the person has a very straight arm stuck out at me…then i will shake it…tho, i do remind them where im from and watch out…:)

  2. Virginia Says:

    In the Dominican Republic women greet friends with a kiss in the cheeks (regardless of sex). Man usually greet other men with a hand shake and an upper body hug. Business men usually just use a hand shake or just say Hello.

  3. Katherine Says:

    I’m from the San Francisco area and we usually greet each other with a handshake or just say hi, but some girls greet their friends with a quick upper body hug.

    When I went to New York for an Estonian funeral I had a lot of trouble dealing with how much more intimate the greetings were. Everyone (complete strangers) did a handshake and a kiss (NOT an air kiss) on each cheek. One person in the greeting line forgot to do the kiss my dad reminded them that they were supposed to kiss the girls and I had to assure them that it was more than all right. Every time I had to go to an event while I was there I had to wash my cheeks as soon as the greetings and partings were done. I’m not sure how much of that is an East Coast thing or an Estonian thing, but when I asked my mom about it she said that several people she knew from the East Coast also did it and it really annoyed her too (she’s originally from the Mid-West).

  4. Lucyna Says:

    In my country (I come from Poland), we shake our hands when it’s business meeting. We also do that when we introduce people to each other. But that is not a rule of course. Sometimes when there is a feeling of a stronger relations we can give a kiss on one cheek. When that feeling is more obvious ( we are family or close friends) we usually do the same (one kiss). If we haven’t seen each other for a long time (because of the distance), we give three kisses. Maybe there are some difrences between different regions of Poland. I live in a small village.

  5. JK Says:

    Here in Japan you usually bow when first meeting someone. If you are friends though you usually just say, “Hello,” and maybe wave at each other. There tends to be much less body contact here than in other places I’ve lived.

  6. Viren D'Sa Says:

    well here in India we normally greet people with a handshake or a simple hi for business and friends respectively; but traditionally we welcome guests with a bow and joined hands stating “Namaste” meaning welcome. Besides a kiss on each cheek is given to close family elders. but each variation of our indian culture has its own list of variations!!!!

  7. saihui Says:

    Today in China, we just shake hands in formal situations, and say hi in informal ones, but traditionally men usually make a bow with hands folded in front, and women bend the knees a little with their hands levelled at one side of their waists.

  8. Lafolie Says:

    In Haiti, we kissed each other on the cheek, strangers and family; we are expected to. To not kiss someone on the cheek is a sign of disrespect. If there’s a group of people together and a friend of yours happen to be part of that group, you not only have to kiss her, but you have to kiss everyone in the group.
    Young girls greet older men the same way. However, if a young girl and a guy are the same age, they shake hands. Kissing will be inapropriate.
    Men shake hands if an stranger. Other time they shake hands and hug if they know each other very well.

  9. Dado Says:

    I’m from Egypt.In Arab countries :how to greet differs too.It even differs in Egypt itself .Between women the most common thing is to kiss once on every cheek.Between men :they shake hands ,but may kiss also (especially if relatives),,,me myself i don’t like seeing men kissing ..But you never can find men and women (even girls) kissing unless fathers and daughters,sisters and brothers (or vice versa)
    In other regions in Egypt they may kiss 3 or 4 times.
    To me;it’s fine to kiss because it is a way of being friendly .

  10. Pdje Says:

    what bout italy?

  11. Linda Says:

    A map with France colored to show how many kisses?

    Why here’s one!
    http://strangemaps.wordpress.com/2007/12/02/210-french-kissing-map/

    :)

  12. Suzu Says:

    According to Spanish etiquette, people also kiss (one on each cheek) when meeting. I’ve also had this happen after eating. (Like, when we leave resturant or something.)

    In Filipino culture, you’re supposed to take the hand of someone older than you and press it to your forehead. I’ve done this to grandparents and such, but in some families you have to do it to ANYONE older than you- even siblings!

    All this is according to my experience, so it may not be the same for everyone.

  13. Marijka Says:

    Hello! How interesting! I, too, would like to add a little something . . .

    Ukrainians greet each other with an embrace and three kisses. Usually, you would kiss the right cheek, then the left cheek, and then the right cheek again. This signifies the Holy Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. You’ll find that many Ukrainian customs are done in threes for this particular reason. Kissing on the cheeks is for both men and women. It is not uncommon to witness two men embrace and kiss each other three times – this is very acceptable and, for the old timers, expected.

  14. Jannah Says:

    I am from the south and we normally say hello, hi, bye-bye-, good night, good morning. We give people hand shakes and a hug. We don’t give people kiss maybe our mothers a kiss good- night. Some people do it diffrent but down here in Ga we keep it simple!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. Mónica Santos, 27 Says:

    Hi. I´m Portuguese. Here we kiss twice, beginning with our right cheek (this between women!) Men often shake hands or hug if friends. Men only kiss eachother when they are father and son!

  16. indah tusmiati Says:

    hello..I’m Indonesian. When we meet each other we just say hello and sometimes shake hand when it’s a formal situation

  17. Claudio Orzán Says:

    I`m from Argentina, I studied in Cordoba.There we shake hands with friends and we sometime give a kiss on one cheek.-
    If we haven`t seen each other for a time, we give a hug.-
    In a business meeting, we shake hands and say “hello”, how are you? or Nice to meet you.-

  18. Victor Says:

    I’ m from Reconquista, Argentina, and usually a man greets other men with a hug and pat. Here, women give two kisses to other women or men. Business people greet with a hand shake and say, ” how are you?”

  19. Jorge Martinelli Says:

    I’ m from Argentina, in my country in the city Capital Federal is common to greet people with one kiss. But in other regions of the country, for example in the north east is usual to greet friends and parents with two kisses.
    In all the country we normally greet people with a handshake or a simple “good morning” or “good afternoon” for business.

  20. nico mello Says:

    i´m from portugal here normally women kiss twice on each cheek and men hug and give a little pat on eachother´s backs. father and sun( regardless of the sex ) always kiss to leave or arrive. I come from and English school in portugal called ST Julian’s!!

  21. CJ Says:

    Hi, I’m from Germany,
    in Germany girls kiss friends (must not be close friends) with 1 kiss on each cheek – regardless which if the person is male or female. guys usually give a handshake or hold the right hand with the other male person and with the other arm they hug with a more or less hard pound on the back of the other person. if you meet someone new you just say hi and and while introducing you also shake hands regardless which sex it is.
    pretty interesting to me how countries differ in this custom. i like it though!
    greetings from germany!

  22. Tarun luthra Says:

    hi this is tarun luthra from india, i am a MBA STUDENT and marketing professional. we always greets people either they are customers, friends or anybuddy with a very cool smile. after that we shake their hand. this is a very formal way to greet them. but now a days as we adopted the westurn Culture thatswhy in high profile society people greet to their friends, buisness patners, customers and their relatives with a kiss on each cheek mo matter they are male or female.

  23. sophi3 Says:

    in wich country ado they rub noses with each other?
    cuz i have to know its for my home work on monday.

  24. Monique Says:

    If it’s your home work, I suggest that you put “greeting rubbing noses” into Google!

  25. Lisa Says:

    It’s my understanding that the Eskimos kiss by rubbing noses.

  26. luis Says:

    hey what about to puerto rico? in puerto rico men shake hands.
    woman say hi and a give hug that means hi, or men at work will shake hands and say hello (how are you).

  27. Steve Says:

    Here in Kentucky Men say “Hello” how yall doing “, women say “hi”, men may shake hands or hug upper body, same with women, here men do not kiss men even for fathers and sons it must be a special emotional moment seldom in public. I am researching christian church greetings does anyone have greetings that are acceptable in a General Baptist church, let me rephrase, do you have any greetings I can have fun with and make the preacher or deacons uncomfortable with?

  28. Connie Says:

    Hi, im from Australlia as i moved there a year ago from the Uk. In oz we just say good day mate to each other, we only kiss someone when we haven’t seen them for a while or if they are family members. What’s the point kissing people if your only popping to the mall?

  29. Xander Says:

    Hi! I’m from Indonesia. People in here, when we greet each other, we just shake hands, both in formal and informal situation. Sometimes women can hug each other, if they haven’t seen each other for a long time or if they are family members. for men, it’s kinda disturbing view if a man hug another man… haha!

  30. Lilly Says:

    I’m from Chicago Il, we normally greet people with a “hey”, “hi”, or “Hello”. If one is a teenager they might say “What’s up”.
    Has Anyone else noticed how up tight America is compared to other countries? It is often akward to recieve a hug from people. Were in some countries it is expected to kiss eachother.

  31. André Says:

    I am andré, I am a student, I am from Brazil.
    Here in Brazil shake hands is common in formal situation or business.
    In informal situation people kiss on the cheek, hug, and shake hands.
    Among friends its very common to given one kiss on the cheek every time they meet each other.

  32. Johann Says:

    Hi I am Johann from South Africa, Springbok country!!!! White men would shake hands- it should be a firm handshake and stern look in the eye. if not stern(you would think of the person as a softy with no guts or go. If you do not look the person in the eye, you would thought he is not a honest person and is hiding something. Kiss and hug as a greeting , smack bang on the lips, if you know the lady, or it could be family. Father and son’s kiss. Ladies would shake hands if bussiness or a first time introduction(also a firm hand shake).kiss, same as above and with a upper body hug.

    Black men and ladies have a ritual type of handshake (a soft normal shake, then both persons hands move over the thumbs, then back to a normal grip pulling the hand backwards until just the finger tips touch, pushing the thumbs against each other flipping the finger tips of each other, (they do not look each other straight in the eye and specially not an elder person because it will show disrespect). They would also hold hands in a normal shake position until they finished chatting going through the ritual again. Hugs are loud and upperbody touching without a kiss and that more the ladies.

  33. Inês Says:

    Hey!
    Unlike my fellow portuguese friends I’ve been raised to only kiss once! However I’ve left people hanging there, and I’ve given two kisses if I know the person is going to give me two kisses! It’s a family thing; we have many different social levels, and it just depends on how you’re raised! Men, however only shake hands, pat on the back if they know each other well, and kiss on the cheek if they’re direct family (grandfather, father, son). It sucks with women because for business you never know what to do…
    :)

  34. Asia Says:

    Hi im from the philippines and filipinos are very known to be warm and hospitable we always wear our big smiles especially when we see a foreigner but our culture when it comes to meeting people is to always (mano po) it means to kiss or press your forehead to the hands of the elders but dont do this to people whose same age or younger than you (po and upo) you always have to use this word as a sign of respect to the elders or the people you just met. But filipinos also adopted the modern way of hugging and a kiss especially to young people to girls specifically when they see each other at the mall for example its called (biso biso) where they hug and kiss one time on each cheek.

  35. mahima Says:

    how do christians greet each other?

  36. Lisa Says:

    I don’t think Christians greet each other universally in one specific way. There are greetings that are done as part of some church services. But remember, there are many Christian denominations, so greeting can vary from denomination to denomination and probably from country to country. Can anyone else help?

  37. Sumaya Says:

    Hello. I’m from Oman. People usually shake hands in formal and informal encounters. However, men don’t shake hands with women unless they are family members( father and brothers) or relatives (grandfather & uncles). Women usually kiss each other on the cheeks especially if they haven’t seen each other for a long time or if they are dear friends. Men do the same with men. As a sign of respect, we shake our grandmother’s and grandfather’s forehead after shaking hands with them. When we meet people, we usually say Salaam alaikum (Peace be upon you) even if we don’t know the other person/people which is part of our religion; Islam.

  38. Jit sheng Says:

    Hi, i am from singapore. in here, we usually say hi,good-bye. We only kiss if we are very very close like relatives and family members. It may sound weird but it is our custom.

  39. sara Says:

    Hi I’m from Brazil. Here women and men kiss each other even if you met that person for the first time. But men don’t kiss other men, they may shake hands and/or hug. We have some differences in the number of kisses on each cheek, it will depend on the region of the country you are.

  40. Yed_Ped_Gab_Gab Says:

    Thailand
    Formal business: Just say [Men: Sawaddee Krub Women: Sawaddee Kha] While doing Wai.
    Friend: Just say Sawaddee or waddee
    Family: Just say [Men: Sawaddee Krub Women: Sawaddee Kha] While doing Wai.
    Traditionally: Slight bow, with the palms pressed together. The higher the hands are held in
    relation to the face and the lower the bow.
    Call: Wai

  41. Anton Says:

    In my counry it’s normaly to say “hello” (zdravstvuite) and handshake if you greet man. When you meet your friend you can give him a hug. You MUSN’T shake a hand if you are in gloves. If you greet a woman you haven’t known yet you can say “hello” (privet). P.S. If you’ll see a bear whith vodka, don’t worry, they a very friendly :))))). P.P.S. Excuse me for my not so good english.

  42. Tim Says:

    I’m from Oklahoma and a Native American. I’m a member of the Kiowa Tribe. Our custom, whether male or female, is to greet female relatives (mother, aunt, grandmother, etc.) with a hug and/or kiss on the cheek (at least a hug) and male relatives with a handshake and/or hug, usually both, sometimes a kiss on the cheek if it is a close father/son relationship. However, a man must not hug or kiss or have much otherwise intimate interaction his mother- or daughter-in-law and vice-versa.

    As for strangers, a handshake or simple “Hello, Hi, etc.” is appropriate.

  43. Robert Says:

    Hello!!! I’m from El Salvador, here we usually shake hands when we meet people by the first time, specially in bussiness or in formal meetings, with friends we have a peculiar form to salute, we always knock hands, not that hard but just like a tap and with relatives we always embrace specially mothers who in my country apreciate a lot.

    Greetings From El Salvador!!!!!!

  44. Liz Says:

    Hello from Washington State USA! Here it’s handshake with business, adults (who you don’t know very well) or any formal situation (weddings, funerals… even if you know the person) We actually learned a ‘good handshake’ in school! Friends who are younger (teens/childern) typicall ‘high-five’ (slap hands) or wave. Hugging is rare but if it happens it’s only between close friends who are female. Adults shake hands, occasionally may hug between family or a very very close friend of whom the hugger hasn’t seen in a while. Kisses are reserved fo intimate couples or young children with parents. Within a family most people hug or high-five. Now that i think about it as a culture we are rather distant…. please note these are just my personal experences.

  45. Johanna Says:

    In Nicaragua, people say hi with a kiss on the cheek, regardless if it’s a stranger or a friend. When it comes to guys, guys do the handshake with other guys give a kiss on the cheek to girls. Not a sloppy kiss though! kiss ur saliva tu urself! Is more like a cheek on cheek with a kissing sound.

  46. Alex Says:

    In the northern part of mexico you greet people with a kiss on one cheek, male/female female/female, male/male is usually a handsake or a hug if you are friends, etc. In west Texas u usually hug friends, and shake hands formally

  47. Amanda Says:

    HI!!! I am from Chicago, Illinois USA! Basically we usually just say Hey, how are you? or shake hands. Since i am big into hugging usually people i know i always hug and say hi how are you, how have you been? if i meet a stranger its usually just a hand shake and before we say goodbye i usually give them a hug (thats not like alot of Americans though) Sometimes if it is a close friend i also will give them “air kisses” or light kisses near their cheeks. : ) Hello to everyone around the world!!

  48. Leng Bun Meng Says:

    Hii!! I’m from Cambodia locating in Southeast Asia.. The way we greet is to put your hands together like “praying hands” and bend toward just a little bit. The praying hand, we can say, is similar to lotus.. In Cambodia, the word hello is “Sour Sdey” or “Jum Reab Sour”. Convey my greeting to everyone in the world ^^

  49. Luika Says:

    Hi,

    I’m french Canadian from Northern Ontario. For us in the buisness side we would shake hangs.

    Greating people on the street and such would be a hello, hi, bonjour, salut.

    Family and close friends:
    Man: shake hands, sometimes a hug
    Woman: hug and sometimes a hug and kiss on the cheek, if french families it’s a kiss on both cheeks.
    Man and woman: it’s a hug, a hug and a kiss on the cheek, if french friends or family hug and kiss on both cheeks.

  50. yassine Says:

    hi there i am from morocco let me tell you a bout how moroccan greeting each other .for men whene you meet someone for the first time you tell him (salam alikom)means(peace up on you) and shake hand with him .women greet women with a kiss in the cheeks so welcome to morocco thnx to every1

  51. Danielle Says:

    Hey Im from Costa Rica (in Central America). Here men usually shake hands and pat each other on the back, and if they meet each other they shake hands and give the half hug. Women kiss on the cheek regardless of the sex (unless it is in a business or very formal).
    When you meet new people you are usually expected to give them a kiss on the cheek (unless its two males), especially if they are your friend’s family or other friends. Otherwise you’ll seem rude. Also, if you see your friend at the mall with a group of friends you dont know, you should also greet their friends with a kiss on the cheek or handshake. Youll also seem rude if you dont.
    Casual greetings are pretty important if you want to make friends. Although once a couple (a friend’s sister & husband) from the US came and I greeted them both with a kiss on the cheek. The husband seemed happy/confused (as in: “people’s greetings here are friendly”) but his wife was unreadable. I turned bright red since my greeting was completely impulsive. It was so embarassing for me!

  52. Mary Says:

    I’m from Louisiana, USA, and I must admit, this is all very fascinating! Here, we greet each other depending not on gender, but on how familiar you are and age. For younger girls and boys, when greeting a stranger, all you do is say “Hi” and maybe wave. If an adult is involved in anyway, when greeting a stranger, you shake hands. But, if you are at all familiar with the person (you don’t have to have a close relationship) you hug when greeting each other, no matter the age or gender. We rarely ever kiss each other as a greeting, but if so, only an adult man would kiss the cheek of a female family member (like his mother or sister). Besides that, I never greet any of my friends or family members without hugging them. It would almost be rude if I didn’t.

  53. new world Says:

    I am from the USA and it seams like we have lost contact with each other if you want to say hi or goodbye or anything in between you TEX! that’s what it has come down to. We don’t see each other we just communicate throw technology! What have we come to!!! Shame on everyone who has lost contact of being face to face with people. It is so sad when you tex someone if you are at the same table as them!!! We live in a sad detached world at least where I live! To all you other country’s don’t let this happen to you!!!!!

  54. Korea Says:

    in Korea, between single women and men, we kiss and get it on.
    between men, we bow. between unavilable men and women, we bow as well.

  55. april Says:

    I say that they should

  56. Nylatak Says:

    In Australia, we both greet and say goodbye to our friends and family by hugging them. If seporating from a group we hug everyone, and sometimes our closest friends we will hug a few times. With people he have never met we shake hands or simply raise a hand and give a verbal greeting.

  57. joanna Says:

    well iam christian.we greet brothers and sisters from church by kissing them on the ckeeks. except man to man they just shake their hands to eachother. but it depends of the country we live iam dominican so here is use to kiss or shake hands asswell….thanks

  58. kim Says:

    I am also from Canada – living in Quebec but I am and English Canadian (who happens to also speak French). In Quebec, a kiss on each cheek is standard – between women, woman to man and often times between very good male friends (brothers, best buddies, cousins etc.). If the guy is particularly macho, he will not be kissing his buddies in public. Family greetings are rather more intimate, as one would expect.

    However, there is a growing phenomenon in English speaking regions of all of Canada for men and women to do a kiss on one cheek greeting. I am seeing this more and more. It is only a greeting between the sexes (meaning I have yet to observe two women greet this way, or two men) and it is even being done in certain business environments. I say SAY YES TO THE KISS!

  59. Rachel Says:

    Hailing from the United States’s Northwestern corner, particularly from Oregon.

    Depending on what region of America you’re from, greetings tend to be a little different, but almost all of them seem to rely on voice and very little on touch. I was raised Christian within a semi-conservative family, and relatives are usually greeted with emphatic hugs. But when greeting strangers, it’s usually a smile and an earnest hello, and a little small-talk to be polite, sometimes a handshake depending on the formality of the situation.

    Another point that might be worth researching for you is the ill-famed “Christian Side-Hug,” which I’ve never seen enforced/adopted by Christians I know, but it’s out there and it’s pretty silly.

  60. Ehsan Says:

    hi i am from Iran .when we see some one for first time just we say salaam,but with friends they do handshake,hugk ,kiss for same sex . but with oposit sex just we say salaam except family ,relations and close friend.

  61. mais Says:

    i come from jordan and here greetings are abit defferent women kiss each other on the cheek twice normaly but it could be more in holidays and happy events while men only shake hands
    however men never shake hands with a woman unless she’s realated like a neice an aunt or sth like it
    by the way my country is in the middle east

  62. chamorrito Says:

    i am native Chamorro, from Guam/Marianas Islands. We greet usually with a kiss on one cheek. But when you greet the elders we do what is called, MA’NGI’NGI, which means, to sniff or inhale. You take the hand of your elder and bring it to your nose and sniff their hand. It is an act of inhaling the wisdom and goodness of your elders. Elderly people will do similar when greeting young children or babies. What appears to be a kiss on the cheek is actually a small sniff. Perhaps a way for the elder to steal a little of the child’s vigor and energy as a way to extend their old age. It is usually a very short sniff as not to take all of the life from the baby. hehehe.

  63. ELLA Says:

    I am from the PHILIPPINES, kissing with strangers is not appropriate here in our country. We usually handshakes and just say “Hi” or “Hello” to people we met for the first time. Kissing and hugging is only for friend and families. We also have a tradition for greeting elders especially our grand parents, we do what is called “PAG- MAMANO”, which means we take the hand of the elder/grand parent and bring it to our forehead, it’s our sign of our respect to them.

    I just want to share our simple way of greeting to those people who want to visit our country someday!
    so they already have an idea on how to greet Filipinos.

  64. Chika Says:

    I’m from Norway and although it’s normal for us to greet with a hug, we only do so with friends we know. It actually also depends on the person. Its quite seldom that I greet a person I don’t know with a hug unless they’re a friend of my friends.

    Where I’m from originally (Nigeria) it is not really a custom to hug someone, which is why the hug may seem distant if you do receive one. But it also depends on the person I guess. Some people like hugging and some don’t, and some people just aren’t used it.

    Since I am very interested in Korean culture, I am very wary of hugging a Korean upon our first or even second meet, even if it is to say goodbye – as I was once a little offended by having received a rejection from a Korean I had asked to hug upon his leaving for his country. I know not to ask now, or take offence if the answer is no ^^

  65. Ariel Says:

    Hi! I’m From Virginia (USA) we greet people by how well we know each other. I always greet my Grandma/mama (Yes I still call her mama) with a hug and kiss. My dad with a hug and kiss. My friends with a hug and kiss as well.

    Other people great with a handshake or a hug, or a ‘hello/hi/what’s up’ or some form of a greeting. So I guess it depends on how comfortable with someone here in the states mostly.

  66. Alex Says:

    I’m from DFW, Texas and we just straight up shake hands. In less its an old lady and she might give you a kiss on the cheek if she knows ya.

  67. golshan Says:

    Hi!
    I’m from Iran. If you’re a man and wanna greet a woman you shouldn’t shake hand or kiss or something like it. The reason is our belief that doesn’t allow us to touch. But if both of you are a man or woman there’s not any problem and if you become more intimate it would be better.

  68. Kissing Culture-How Many Kisses Do You Give In Each Country | Street Talk Savvy Says:

    [...] you meet the female partner of a male acquaintance, no kissing is the polite standard. This blog Mamalisa.com sums up the greeting given in the United [...]

  69. scotland? Says:

    WHat about scotland?!?!

  70. farbod faramarzi Says:

    i am a teacher from iran a exactly an english teacher.our custom in greeting part to part is different.if it is for the first time and formal situation between 2men or 2women shake hands.becausmahrame of our religion we cant touch to namahram
    but for relatives it is different kissing hugging are common

  71. Mary ann Says:

    What about Korea, the Netherlands and Spain? Also which countries is it important to keep a certain distance from the person u are greeting? Home work then you all ;-)

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