Having followed very different life styles over the course of pretty much all my adult life — living, studying and working in a number of different countries and travelling in many more — I have picked up a number of behaviors, habits and views on people and their cultures etc., all which I most likely would not have had I spent my life in Nepal.
For instance, I greet people in a number of different ways. What’s more, how I greet someone says something about not only the nationality and culture of the person, but also how I see/view them! 🙂
Here’s a tongue-in-cheek look at what how I greet a person says about the region they come from or their nationality.
|A handshake, unless I know or am close to him, in which case a handshake and a hug.||North American man|
|Also a handshake unless I know or am close to her, in which case a hug.||North American woman|
|A handshake.||British Man|
|Also a handshake unless I know her then a hug.||British Woman|
|A handshake. (It’s awkward hugging them, what with the height differential!)||Dutch/Belgian man|
|Three kisses on the cheek.||Dutch/Belgian woman|
|A handshake, unless I know or am close to him, then a hug.||Other European (except Italian and Spanish) man|
|Two kisses on the cheek.||Other European (except Italian and Spanish) woman|
|A handshake, unless I know or am close to him, then a hug.||Latin American man|
|A handshake, unless I know her then a hug and possibly a kiss on the cheek.||Latin American woman|
|A bear hug.||Italian and Spanish man|
|Two kisses on the cheek and a bear hug.||Italian and Spanish woman|
|A Namaste (Nepalese and Indian greeting) unless I know him then a handshake, and if I am close to him, then a handshake AND a hug.||Nepalese (or Indian) man|
|Also a Namaste, unless I know her well, then a hug.||Nepalese (or Indian) woman|
|A handshake…if he offers his hand, unless I know him well in which case there would certainly be a handshake and possibly even a hug!||Arab/Muslim man|
|One of the above depending how well I know her. If she is hidden behind a veil of fabric (i.e. a burqa) then of course nothing! Just a, “Hello!”||Arab/Muslim woman|
Of course, where I meet the person (whether somewhere in Europe, Africa, Asia or North America), the make-up of the social setting (whether mostly expats or locals) and what I think how the other person sees me also affects the way I greet them!
Sometimes, going for the hug and/or kiss confuses them because of my nationality!
Hugs, I must however add, are my favorite mode of greeting! What about you?
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