Greet the Locals

There are many weird and wonderful ways of greeting people around the world in different countries. ┬áHere is just a small selection of the more weird ways to greet the locals….

New Zealand – the traditional Maori welcome is the hongi – the rubbing of noses when meeting someone. Often referred to as the ‘ha’,or ‘breath of life’.

Tibet – poking your tongue out is good manners here. Dating back to the ninth century, this way of welcoming people stems from old Tibetan fear of Lang Darma – a nasty king with a black tongue. To prove you are not Lang reincarnated, you have to stick out you pink tongue.

Mongolia – Mongols present new guests with a piece of silk or cotton known as hada. Receive it graciously by holding it gently in both hands. Then bow slightly to signify mutual respect.

Japan – the bow is de rigueur here, from a little nod of the head to deep, right-angle bend at the waist – the longer the bow, the deeper the respect. Most young people use the nodding these days.

Kenya – the Masai warriors greet guests with a welcoming dance called the adamu, or jumping dance. You’re not expected to reciprocate, but you may be offered a drink of cow’s milk mixed with blood….

Greenland – the Inuit people greet friends and family with the kunik – one person’s nose and top lip is pressed against another person’s skin for a few breaths. If you are greeted in this way, consider yourself as one of the family.

China – use the kowtow greeting, you fold your hands together and bow and, if you are a woman, move your hands down to your sides.

Thailand – use the wai. Make a slight bow of the body and head with palms pressed together in a prayer like fashion and say Sawaddee (meaning hello). The higher the hands, the greater the respect.

Philippines – if greeting someone older than you, take their right hand with your right hand, say Mano po (mano for hand, po for respect) and they will gently guide your knuckles up to their forehead.

How do you greet the locals in your country? Why not let us know.