Greeting people when traveling can be a tricky situation, yes a simple gesture of Greeting. But, it does makes sense, its the start of either a Great communication which can be continued ahead with friendship or if done wrong can be doomed badly. Traveling national is generally, not much of an issue. But when traveling internationally, remember you are going to meet people with completely different mentality and with different set of life and thus their ways to communicate may mostly differ not just language wise but also in terms of gestures and body language.
Not all are going to be normal with Hugs and kisses, some places also take offense in handshakes. So following is the guide line for places where prominently unique way of greetings is followed and knowing it would benefit you more than you may know.
In India, it is the Anjali mudra is a salute in India, often accompanied by the greeting “Namaste.” To perform it, press your palms together over your heart, and utter the word “Namaste.”
In Thailand, it is customary to press the hands together, hold them in prayer fashion, and slightly bow to your acquaintance. This is called the wai.
When greeting an elder in the Philippines, take his or her (usually right) hand gently and press it to your forehead. This gesture is called Mano, and is used to show respect.
In Japan, people will greet each other with a bow. Bows differ in duration and in angle of decline according to formalities. Men typically bow with their hands at their sides, whereas women will bow with their hands touching on their thighs.
One traditional greeting in Botswana has three steps: (1) Extend your right arm, place your left hand on your right elbow, and press hands together; (2) Interlock your hand with the other person’s, interlacing thumbs; and (3) Return to the original position and say “Lae kae?” meaning “How are you?” in Setswana.
The Maori people of New Zealand will greet visitors with a beautiful gesture called hongi (pressing foreheads and noses together, with eyes closed). Maori will perform this move to initiate newcomers, and exchange the breath of life with them.
In Tibet it is conventional to, upon greeting someone, stick your tongue out just a bit. This practice comes from the belief in reincarnation: a cruel 9th century Tibetan king had a trademark black tongue. When you stick your tongue out to others, it signals that you’re not a reincarnation of the king.
In Greece you’ll see a lot of men patting each other on the back or at shoulder level when greeting each other.
Upon receiving a new guest in their home, a Mongolian will offer the newcomer a hada (a cut of cotton or silk). To receive this gift appropriately, take it up gently with both hands and bow slightly.
The Masai warrior tribe in Kenya performs an elaborate ceremony to welcome visitors, not least amazing of which is the adamu or jumping dance. It involves the warriors forming a circle and competing to see who can jump the highest.
Many Malays will touch fingers with a person they are greeting, and then return their hands to their hearts.
In Saudi Arabia, as in other Middle Eastern countries and around the world, Muslims will very often greet each other with a handshake and the words “As-salamu alaykum” will be spoken. Men may follow this with kissing cheeks, and placing the left hand on the other’s right shoulder.
The United States of America:-
In America, a common greeting practice for newly acquainted individuals to merge hands in what is colloquially known as a “handshake.” Crucial to the success of this salutation is if the hands of each party are matched: right for right, or left for left. Once clasped, the hands — now as one — can oscillate up and down for as long as feels appropriate.
So, now that you are educated with all the variety of greetings, go ahead and make new friends from around the world and learn their stories. And if ever you come to a situation where you din’t do the right greeting, just sincerely apologizes.