Did you know that in one place people say hello by spitting at each other? Read on to discover where and other bizarre international greetings.
1. Hongi – New Zealand
The Maori are the indigenous people of new Zealand and have a traditional greeting called Hongi. Translated this means “the sharing of breath of life”.
The greeting is performed by two individuals gently pressing their noses against each other.
2. Hand Clapping – Zimbabwe
The people of Zimbabwe clap their hands as both a greeting and for saying goodbye. Men and women clap have to clap differently. The men clap with flat hands while the women cup their hands.
3. Salam – Malay
The Salam is a traditional greeting in Malay, it is similar to a handshake except both hands are used. The two individuals clasp each others hands and then bring both hands to rest on their chests as a sign of open heart and good will.
4. Kunik – Inuit
A Kunik greeting is also known as an Eskimo kiss and is very similar to the Hongi. It is a greeting that is usually only done between family and loved ones.
It involves the greeter pressing their nose and upper lip against the opposite person. While doing this, a slight sniff of the other person’s face is a sign of great affection.
5. Pressing Thumbs – Africa
In some parts of Africa a person greats another by gently squeezing the other persons thumbs. Both hands are used and both thumbs are slightly squeezed at the same time.
6. 3 Step Handshake – Botswana
The people have taken the traditional handshake greeting to a whole new level. They began with a normal handshake and then move hand positions slightly to lock thumbs and then back to a normal handshake.
7. Quick Light Handshake – China
The Chinese like to handshake but with a few small differences, the handshake has to be quick and light. And never look into the other person’s eyes while you are shaking, this is a huge sign of disrespect in China.
8. Bow – Japan
There is a lot more to a Japanese bow then you probably knew. The bigger the respect you have for the other person the bigger the bow. A casual bow can be just a small head nod were as a bow with huge respect can go as far as ninety degrees.
9. Wai – Thailand
The people of Thailand also bow as a greeting but with a slight difference. They place their hands together as if in prayer at the same time as they bow. The higher the hand position is on your body, the more respect is offered to the other person.
10. Sticking Out Your Tongue – Tibet
While in most places sticking out your tongue is a sign of rudeness in Tibet it is actually a greeting.
The tradition originates from when an evil black-tongued 9th century king named Lang Darma ruled. People would have to prove they weren’t the reincarnated king by sticking their tongues out to show it wasn’t black.
11. Spitting – Africa
The most bizarre greeting on our list is a tradition from the Maasai tribes of Kenya and Tanzania. They spit on each other as a greeting and as a huge sign of respect. But the younger tribesman must spit on their own hand before offering it to older members of the tribe. Lovely!!
Which one of these international greetings are you gonna try out?
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