Read the text carefully. Then choose three different methods of greeting: one which you have experienced, one you would feel uncomfortable with, one you would like to try.
Greetings from Around the World
Bangladesh – make a relaxed salute with the right hand.
Benin – young men often snap fingers when shaking hands.
Botswana – people touch hands, like a handshake that doesn’t include a grip, just lightly grazing palms and fingers. They ask each other: ‘How did you wake’.
Cambodia – put your hands together like praying hands holding them against your chest. The higher you hold your hands up, the more respect you show.
Bhutan – they ask, ‘Is your body well?’
Central African Republic – good friends slap rights hands, then grab each other’s middle finger using a thumb and middle finger, then snap the other person’s finger. Sounds painful.
Gabon – show respect by shaking a person’s hand with both hands.
Georgia – their word for hello literally means, let you win.
Greece – back-slapping takes the place of shaking hands in many greetings.
Grenada – sometimes friends tap clenched fists
Guam – there is a Filipino tradition on Guam to put your right knuckles against an older person’s forehead.
Iceland – their simple greeting means happy.
Jamaica – here they say Waapun which is the shortened version of what’s happening?
Malawi – among the Ngoni-Tumbuka people of Northern Malawi, you greet by either shaking hands or saying: ‘mwauka uli?’ Literally, this means how did you wake up? The positive response is ‘tauka makora’ or we woke up well.
This can be accompanied by a handshake where the greeter’s right hand shakes the other person’s right hand. To show more respect the greeter would support the right hand on the wrist with the left hand, as if the right hand is too heavy to stand on its own in the handshake. If the person one is greeting is more respected, the greeter might ask ‘mwauka uli?’ while kneeling.
Mauritania – here they greet you with on you no evil.
Mauritius – they get straight to the point in some villages here. Their hello literally means, speak!
Micronesia – the Yapese people greet with, it was good.
Moldova – some men might greet a woman by kissing her hand while saying, ‘I kiss your hand.’
Mozambique – northern people clap hands three times before saying ‘hello.’
Maori – some press noses together while closing their eyes.
Niger – the Kanouri people shake a fist at head level and call ‘wooshay! wooshay!’ which means hello! hello!
Niue – here’s a nice greeting, Love be with you.
Oman – after a handshake, men might add a kiss on the nose.
Singapore – greeters slide their palms together back toward their own chests, then end with the hand over heart.
South Africa – here’s another greeting shortened from English, howzit. Some in South Africa have a complicated handshake: Step one – interlock pinkies. Step two – clasp fists. Step three – back to pinkies.
Swaziland – they say, ‘I see you!’
Syria – children sometimes kiss the back of the hands of their parents or grandparents
Taiwan –many years ago, the traditional greeting was, ‘Have you eaten?’
Tuvalu – here relatives press a face to a cheek of the other and sniff deeply.
Zambia – some greet each other by gently squeezing a thumb.
Zimbabwe – the Shona people often show respect by doing a series of slow, rhythmic hand claps.