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Greetings from around the World!

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Upon meeting someone in the United States, most individuals will greet each other with a smile and a hand shake, while saying something along the lines of, “Hello. Nice to meet you!” Have you ever wondered about the difference in cultural greetings around the world? We’ve spoken to some of our students to gain a better perspective on how they greet other individuals in their country!



Verbal Greeting

Biongiorno! Salve! Ciao!

Physical Greeting

Formal: hand shake

Informal: hug and kiss on each cheek (woman and woman or man and woman); hand shake and kiss on each cheek (man and man)

Saudi Arabia

Verbal Greeting

Hala Wallah!

Physical Greeting

One kiss on left cheek and two to three kisses on right cheek (man and man or woman and woman).

*It is not common for men and women to greet each other physically in public.


Verbal Greeting

Oi! Tudo bem? (Everything well?)

Physical Greeting

One kiss on right cheek; one kiss on right cheek and one kiss on left cheek (women and women or women and men). Hand-shake and occasional hug (men and men).

Korea and Japan

Verbal Greeting

Ahn nyung ha sae yo! (Korea) Konichiwa! (Japan)

Physical Greeting

Formal: slight bow and nod of the head

Informal: hug (woman and woman)


Physical Greeting

Hola! Mucho Gusto! (Nice to meet you!)

Verbal Greeting

Formal: hand-shake

Informal: kiss on right cheek


Verbal Greeting

Guten tag!

 Physical Greeting

Formal: hand-shake

Informal: three kisses, right-left-right (woman and woman); hand-shake or hug, no kisses (man and man)


For the students and staff members of EC San Diego, understanding these social customs will create more cross-cultural sensitivity within our schools!

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