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Opodo Travel Blog
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It’s impossible to learn all the languages in the world, but you can learn the basics suchas how to say hello! Greeting eachother around the world is much more than a wave or a handshake.

Every culture has a unique way of greeting people and we’ve found the most unique ways to say hello around the world!

Say hi in Tibet: Stick your tongue out

Tibetan monks stick their tongue out to greet people. They also press the hands together and place them in front of their chest to show that they “come in peace”. They started doing this to prove that they’re not the reincarnation of a cruel king from the 9th century that had a black tongue.

Greet in the Philippines: “Mano”

Photo by doc obee via Flickr

In the Philippines, elders are greeted by taking one of their hands gently and pressing it on your forehead. They call this gesture “Mano” (which is “hand” in Spanish) and it’s used to show respect.

Greet with a bow in Japan

People greet each other with a bow in Japan. Depending on the person their greeting, and their social status, bows differ in angle and duration.

Do a Nose “kiss” in Oman

Photo by Joetourist via Flickr

In Oman, men often greet each other by pressing their noses together.

Say hi in New Zealand with the traditional Hongi

The traditional Māori greeting, known as hongi, is similar to the oman greeting except they also press their foreheads together and look at each others eyes

How to say hello in Tuvalu

The traditional greeting in Tuvalu is to press their cheeks together and simultaneously inhaling.

A Malaysian greeting, heart to heart

Malays usually stretch out their hands and touch the other person’s fingertips and then bring their hands to their hearts. It symbolizes that they’re greeting you from their hearts.

Give the Kunik in Greenland

You know how everyone thinks they greet others by pressing the tip of their noses against each other? Well, forget about it. Actually, don’t even talk to them about it because it’ll bug them. But they perform a unique and traditional greeting with their loved ones called “Kunik” and it consists of placing their nose and upper lip against the cheek or forehead of the other person and taking a deep breath.

The welcome greeting of Adamu in Kenya

Photo by G.S. Matthews via Flickr

If you’re lucky enough to witness the unique welcoming greeting of the Maasai’s, you’re in for a treat! The tribe warriors perform an elaborated jumping dance.

Greet with a Wai in Thailand

In Thailand, people greet each other by pressing theirhands together in a prayer fashion and slightly bowing their heads.

The Botswanan Handshake

Now that you’re a pro of greeting people in different cultures, you’re ready for the Botswana handshake! To perform this, you have to follow 3 steps: extend your right arm, place your left hand on your right elbow, and press hands together; 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.

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