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11 ways to say hello from around the world

In some parts of the world, simply saying 'hello' can be a complicated matter

11 ways to say hello from around the world

Over much of the planet, people shake hands when they meet. In some cultures, they kiss. In the following places, greeting someone can get a little more complicated

1. Tuvalu

The Tuvalese press their face to the other person’s cheek and take a sniff. In other parts of Polynesia it is common to take the other person’s hand and stroke your face with it.

2. Belize

People greet each other by pressing their fists together

3. Tibet

People greet each other by poking their tongues out. It dates back to a myth about an evil king who had a black tongue. Poking your tongue out proves you aren’t the reincarnation of that king.

4. Thailand

The traditional greeting is known as the wai and involves bowing the head and body with the palms pressed together while saying ‘Sawaddee’.

5. Botswana

People touch hands, like a handshake, but only lightly grazing palms and fingers

6. China

The tradition is to greet with the ‘kowtow’, which involves bowing the head with hands folded. It’s not used often these days, but is still a sign of respect.

7. Zambia

People greet each other by gently squeezing thumbs.

8. Mozambique

People from the north clap their hands three times before saying hello

9. Maori

Maoris press noses together while closing their eyes. This custom is called the Hongi.

10. Georgia

The Georgian version of hello means ‘Let you win.’

11. The Philippines

Younger people greet respected elders by pressing the knuckles of their right hand on the elder’s forehead.

Have you come across any other unusual greetings in your travels? Have you ever been caught out in a social situation abroad? Tell us about your experiences in the comments below.

Main image: Nepalese greeting. From Shutterstock.com.

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