When you travel to other places in the world, you can find customs and traditions that surprise you. The way of greeting is not spared and varies greatly depending on the culture in which you are. With these illustrations by Two Little Fleas, I show you how complex it can be to greet in other countries. Which one do you find most surprising? Thank you :)
Type reverence (if you are in the Philippines)
To respectfully greet older people, young Filipinos bow, as a reverence, take the old man's hand and bring their knuckles to his forehead.
Palm with palm and tight thumbs is the friendly way to greet in the west and north of Zambia.
You kneel and bow your head and hands to the ground (you will do this in China)
Physical contact in Eastern countries to greet is rare, not the following. The usual is to lean forward. The more respect you feel for the other person, the more you lean, to the point of kneeling and touching the ground with your hands.
'Hongi', press your nose with your partner's (Maori tribe)
People belonging to the Maori tribe (an indigenous people of New Zealand) greet each other by gently pressing their noses, and attention: then they inhale the air that the other expires. It is the 'breath of life'. Although it may seem a very intimate greeting, in this culture, this approach is nothing more than a handshake.
Ask 'where are you?' (if you are in Malaysia)
It really does not translate as a question, but if you are asked that question, the ideal is to answer: 'walking' or 'nothing important'.
Kiss of the nose (in the desert of North Africa)
Ahem ... Omani men press their noses to greet each other, mouths close together, and repeat it a couple of times.
Touch the feet of an old man (if you travel to India)
Hindus feel admiration for the elders, to such an extent that to greet them they kneel before them and touch their feet.
The gesture of 'salame' (Malaysia)
Grab your partner's hand and gently touch his hand ... Then, as a gesture of courtesy, ATTENTION, you put your hand to your heart.
Shock those five (in South Africa)
There are twelve Shona ethnic groups in South Africa who use this gesture to greet each other.
Shake your fists and say 'Wooshay!' (Kanouri Tribe)
A curious and cheerful way to greet in Nigeria.
Raise your eyebrows (if you were in Micronesia)
Raising the eyebrows is a gesture of recognition towards another in this region of Oceania. In Spain we also do it, although it resembles more with an informal greeting and sometimes we resort to it when we feel like greeting the other.
Put your palms up and stick them to your chest (if you visit Thailand)
It is known as 'wai' and it is the universal greeting in Thailand. To do this, you have to raise your hands, put your palms together and bring them close to your chest. You should also lean your head forward a little. Thais would like tourists to respond with another 'wai', even if we don't know how to do it correctly.
Eskimo kiss (you in Greenland)
It is another curious way to greet. People in Greenland rub their noses as a gesture of courtesy.
Fist Crash (United States)
A way of greeting that has its origin in the motorcycle gangs of 1940.
Stick out your tongue (if you're in Tibet)
This Tibetan tradition has its origin in a legend that said that people should teach their language to others to prove that they were not the reincarnation of a fearsome king who was recognized for having a black tongue.