Country Greeting/Protocol

Find out more about different country's greetings, faith and protocol

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Greeting Assalaam alaikum (peace)
Languages Pashton, Dari
Faith Mostly Muslim

Passing with left hand is unclean
Pointing with single finger or soles of feet is rude
Modesty: covering shoulders and knees is important


Greeting Ni hau ma? Commonly have you eaten or where are you going’ rather than how are you

Family name first then given name
World’s largest population and largest Asian country
Gifts are opened in private
In formal situations, the most senior person leaves first
Rude to touch people you don’t know
Impolite for youth to address older people by first name
Rude to use palm up or single finger gestures
Open expression of emotion is not shown


Greeting Konnichiwa (Hello) Ohayo gozaimas  (Good morning)
Many language sounds are the same and rely on body language for interpretation

Shoes are not worn in house and should be left at door facing outwards
Gifts are accepted with both hands and opened in private
Seldom say no or answer directly
Shaking hand from side means ‘no’
It is impolite to eat or drink while walking
Impolite to blow nose in front of someone
Given names are only used between family and friends


Greeting Annyong haseyo (do you have peace)
Language Korean – one ethnic family, many Chinese terms – b and v sounds aren’t distinguishable

Children bow or nod when meeting adults
Shoes are removed in home
People are addressed by titles
Girls/Women hold hands
Objects passed with both hands
Pointing with single finger or hand is rude
Feet should not be placed on chair or table
Eye contact is important
Bare feet, blowing nose, eating while talking or touching opposite sex in public is rude
Open disagreements are frowned upon


Greeting Assalaam alaikum (peace)
Languages English, Urdu
Faith Mostly Muslim

Foot or shoe should not be pointed at person
Men do not shake hands or touch women in public
Men hold hands
Objects are passed with right hand or both hands


Greeting Talofa

Shake hands when meeting someone
It isn’t common to ask people how they are yet is
polite to ask after those who have passed
Remove shoes when entering home
Discussion/meetings only happen once everyone has been greeted and welcomed
A ‘Matai’ or leader is selected by family and holds authority and is related to family by birth, marriage or adoption
Food is often eaten with hands and prepared in an earth oven
A person will bow from the waist when walking in front of someone
It is rude to gesture with hand unless hand down and fingers/thumb together
Any public display of affection is rude
Eating or drinking while walking is rude
Raising the voice is disrespectful
Thanks isn’t usually said but shown
It is rude to have any prolonged eye contact


Greeting Nobad (peace)
Language Somali
Faith Mostly Muslim
Henna to decorate body & celebrate special occasions
Urban men wear trousers, embroidered caps
Women qwear dereh (long billowing dresses), guntino (wrapped cloth) shawls, headscarves (usually not veiled)
Men and women don’t look at each other when conversing
Girls do not swim with boys
Extending the thumb is offensive
Dogs are considered unclean