Greetings vary quite a bit depending on the culture, and if you’re traveling, you don’t want to be caught off guard. The New York Times has a useful guide to common greetings in different countries.
If you’re from the U.S, you’re probably used to a simple handshake or a hug, but in a lot of cultures, kissing is the go-to greeting. How to kiss varies depending on the country, too, though. They explain:
In much of Latin America, Europe and the Middle East, air kissing between strangers is common, but each nation, and in some cases each region within a country, may have its own habits.
Argentine men will cheek-kiss one another, but only if they are friends of friends. In most of the Arab world, a double air kiss is obligatory, though only between people of the same sex.
…In Portugal, the kissing usually progresses from left to right, but in Strasbourg, France, it’s right to left.
In Japan, a simple bow will do, and as the article explains, most of north Europe greets with either a handshake or a single kiss for friends. It’s a quick, useful for travelers, and you can check it out at the link below.
A Traveler’s Guide to Customs: When to Shake Hands, Hug or Kiss | The New York Times
Photo by Tim Gouw