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Here’s How People Greet Each Other Around the World

In many Western countries, a firm handshake with eye contact—or sometimes even a simple fist bump—is considered a warm, respectful greeting when meeting strangers. But in other places in the world ... not so much. Taking the time to learn how locals meet and greet is the first step to making a meaningful connection no matter where you are. After all, there’s a certain kind of beauty in knowing that the common greeting varies so much depending on where you are.

From bumping noses in Qatar to bowing in Laos, here are 10 traditional greetings across different countries and cultures.

1. Stick out your tongue


Blame this greeting tradition on a really bad king. It all began with monks, who would stick out their tongues to show that they came in peace—and weren’t the reincarnation of a cruel 9th-century king named Lang Darma, who was known for having a black tongue. Needless to say, the greeting caught on.

2. Bump noses

Qatar, Yemen, Oman, United Arab Emirates

Want to demonstrate that you view a potential business contact as a peer? Forget shaking hands; instead, bring your nose in for a few friendly taps. Just remember: Sniffing isn’t part of the equation.