How different cultures greet people

Every culture has it’s own way of greeting people. Be it a kiss, handshake or verbal – we all do it differently.

This article explores how British, American, Indian and Chinese people greet each other:

British culture – Ways to greet in the United Kingdom

In the past, British people knew how to introduce themselves to unfamiliar persons. They would say “Hello, how do you do” and offer a hand for a handshake.


Anyway, this phrase is seen as old-fashioned these days is hardly ever used. So what do British people do instead?

Here are a few ideas about what you should do and say when you meet any person for the first time in the UK.


A handshake is still the most general way to greet someone, mainly if you are in a formal condition at work. Shaking hands is the most general greeting between women, between men and between women and men.

Anyway, the type of handshake is vital. Your handshake should be confident and strong, but it is not a battle to the death or proof of masculinity. You do not need to crush any person fingers. On the other hand, do not be too weak. Nobody like a lazy handshake. You want to show that you are sincere and confident.

It is forever a best idea to smile and make eye contact with the person you are shaking hands with. People might not believe you if you look away or down at the floor when you shake someone’s hand.

Time and punctuality

British people are extremely strict when it comes to punctuality. In British, people make a remarkable effort to arrive on time, so it is impolite to be late, even by a few minutes. If you are late, be sure to tell the person you are meeting. Here are some conditions when you are obliged to be on time, as well as some conditions when it is advisable:

For formal lunches, dinners, or appointments you forever come at the right time appointed.

For public meetings, concerts, plays, sporting events, movies, classes, weddings and church services. It is top to arrive a few minutes early.

You can arrive any time during the hours specified for receptions, teas, and cocktail parties.

General advice

Men should open doors for ladies and stand when a women enters a room, although it is usually accepted for women and men both to hold the door open for each door, depending on who goes via the door first.

It is vital to respect the British desire for privacy. Do not ask personal question about family origin and background, material status, profession, money problems, or political preferences. It is very impolite to violate a queue, so never push ahead in a line. It is also extremely rude to try to sound British or mimic their accent.

American culture – How American people greet

Americans are culturally diverse people. People in USA are extremely sociable and friendly. You can greet any random stranger on the street and they will react with the same interest unlike in many nations where people never look at another strange and greet them randomly.

American greetings are usually informal in social settings. Whether you are attending a business conference or meeting a friend, there will likely be some type of welcome exchanged between you and at least one other person. Mostly like “hi, how are you” are considered right etiquette. But in most countries, greetings are much more than that. It is not only your words, but your body language as well.

What American usually do

  • Most Americans shake hands firmly and in brief when they meet for the first time or in a formal condition.
  • When people are best family or friends, they will sometimes hug each other to say hello.
  • Kissing as a welcome, anyway, is generally only be done between relatives and near friends or between lovers.
  • A general greeting between male friends is the fist pump. This is the most common greeting among teenage boys grown men do it as well. There are different takes on this, including the hand explosion and fist pump. Fist pump between a female and male is rare though.
  • American usually use first names in primary introductions.
  • When meeting people, Americans generally describe themselves by their occupation.

Greeting rules in America or meet an American

  • Smiles are general signals of politeness, a non-verbal way of being friendly
  • Eye contact is vital when shaking someone’s hand.
  • Handshakes are generally brief. Firm handshakes are encouraged and show self-esteem rather than light handshakes.
  • American greetings are usually pretty informal. This is not intended to show a deficiency of respect, but rather a manifestation of the American belief that every person is equal.
  • While being introduced you should stand. Only the ill, elderly and physically unable persons remain seated while welcome or being introduced.
  • Although it is guessed in business conditions, some Americans do not shake hands at social events. Instead, they may welcome you with a casual “Hello” “How are you” or even only say “Hi” in bigger groups, many may not welcome you at all. In social conditions, Americans rarely shake hands upon leaving.

In other cultures, you may not say Hi to random street peoples and it is socially known as interfering someone’s personal space, but in the America it is very common and it is the way you do it.

Chinese culture – How to greet people

Chinese greeting ways tell how to say Hello to and begin a communication with Chinese people when you are traveling China. Just some amazing details below to learn:

Common greetings in China

In most cultures, when you meet friends for the first time during day, it is general to greet them. The key objective of this greeting is to build up a best relationship between the people concerned, each language usually had a number of set phrases which can be used for his objective.

The most general type of greeting in China is “ni hao”, commonly translated as “Good day” buit literally meaning “you are well”. The same welcome phrased as a question “How are you” is ni hao ma”. You may use it on any event regardless of the time of day or the social status of the person you are greeting.

Meeting the parents

But the rules get a quite more hard as the nature of the relationship deepens. If you are meeting your important other parents for the first time, for example, you must bring a gift that not just show your respect for your significant others family, but also presents that you have sufficient money to provide for your partner. If your comes from a rich background, you may have to save up for many months in order to give a gift deemed worthy. If your partner comes from more modest circumstances, then a right gift would be something simple like a vegetable or fruit basket. When receiving a gift from your significant others parents, forever do so with hands.

Meeting business partners

Bowing is traditional in Korea and Japan, but not in China. Instead, a firm handshake will perform just fine. A pat or hug on the back is not acceptable, as many Chinese people are uncomfortable with physical love. Often, even parents do not hug their kids, although this is changing as China becomes more international.

Meeting monks

The only time bowing is acceptable is when you are meeting a Buddhist monk in the temple. But even then, a complete bow is not necessary. Instead, place both hands over your heart and slowly bow your head in his direction.

Learning Chinese is not only about picking up a new set of phrases and words, it is also about understanding and adapting to a different culture. Given these phrases a try to begin off your conversations in Chinese.

Indian culture – How to greet people

Greetings are exchanged as wonderful pleasantries worldwide. While it seems uncomplicated, this “primary impression” greetings conveys your respect for others. How you may wonder? When you are alert of traditional greetings of a country, it sends a strong message about how you view and respect other cultures.

In this guide we will explain different techniques of greetings while including real greetings in Indian language.

Stand up to greet Namaste

Namaste translate to “I respect the Godhead within” or “I bow to thee”. In India, this traditional greetings is performed by pressing both the palms combine and touching the forehead to show your sincere regard. A hot smile is the icing on the cake. As Indian culture is based on hierarchical system so elders are welcomed first to show your reverence towards them. Ensure you stand up and greet the people unless you are fully bed-ridden.

Hearty handshakes

Handshakes are becoming a more famous and perfect way of greeting in India mainly in metropolitan cities. While firm handshakes are general among westernized Indian men, they reject greeting women the same way unless she gives her hand. This is largely due to the reason, even a brief touch is taken as a close action in orthodox Indian atmosphere. So, many Indian women reject contact with men in public conditions. And yes, give your right hand for a handshake as the left hand is prejudiced to be unclean.

Get blessed as you touch elders feet

In addition to saying “Namaste”, touching the elders feet has been a very old Indian tradition to show utmost respect regarding age, achievements and experience of the person. It has been believed for ages that if a young person touches the feet of the older then the former gets blessings for his long and prosperous life. The elders bless the person touching their feet for prosperous and long life. This sweet gesture shows your respect for the Indian customs which will get you some brownie points.

As Salam Ale Kum

This is another type of greeting that Muslim community follow. This Arabic word means Peace be upon you. This is one of the most general type of salutation followed by people of this religion. This welcome was deployed to Muslim people wherever and whenever they meet each other, be it place of worship or at social events. Whenever someone welcomes you with As Salam Ale Kum, you can return by saying WaAlaikumSalaam.

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