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20 Ways to Say “Hello” Around the World

20 Ways to Say “Hello” Around the World

“Hello!”, “Hi!”, and “Hey!” are the three most common forms of greetings in use today. Greetings do not rely only on the language, but also on the way you express it. Different countries have their different customs of saying “hello” to each other.

Here are 20 ways to say “hello”  taken from around the globe. Next time you are visiting any of the countries, you will know how to greet everyone.

1. Encantado / Encantada (Argentina)

In Argentina, when you meet a person for the first time, it is a courtesy to put your right cheek onto your acquaintance’s right cheek and make a kissing sound only. Don’t repeat this on the left cheek, unless the person moves forward to do it. Since this is a formal greeting, if the person is a male, say “encantado”, and if they’re female, say “encantada”.

2. Dumela rra / Dumela mma (Botswana)

People in Botswana prefer to say “hello” to each other before proceeding to talk about other things. If you are meeting a man, say “dumela rra” (doo-meh-lah-rah), and if you are meeting a woman, say “dumela mma” (doo-meh-lah-mah). The custom they follow is a handshake with a twist, achieved by extending your right hand for a normal handshake, then once you hold the other person’s hand, change the hand position, grasp your friend’s thumb with yours, and return back to the handshake.

3. Bedouin men

Bedouin men are desert nomads, who are also Arabs. They are a huge tribe, and live all of their lives in the desert, maintaining their very own culture. According to them, rubbing noses with an acquaintance is the only way they greet each other. This act is done by both men and women alike. In the case of women, they do it as well, except that they prefer to do so behind the curtain.

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4. Nin Hao (China)

This is the first thing you learn as a beginner when you start learning Chinese. “Nin Hao” means “hello” in a more respectful way other than “Ni Hao”. As for the custom, people in China bend forward by kneeling down on the floor, and touching their forehead on the ground. This custom is dying out, but many still do this out of respect to elders.

5. Bonjour (France)

Saying “hello” to everyone is a common form of greeting in France, regardless of whether you are traveling on the bus, or dining out, or even walking down the road. A common custom of greeting is a kiss on each cheek, but there are other rituals when people kiss four times (twice on the right cheek, twice on the left).

6. “Eskimo Greeting” (Greenland)

Eskimos (or Inuits) have a special kind of a greeting, known as Kunik. An Inuit will put their nose and upper lip on their companion’s cheeks or forehead, and inhale their companion’s smell.

7. Namaste (India)

Indians fold both their hands together and say “namaste” to each other. A common custom of greeting is to bend down and touch the other person’s feet.

8. Ohayo (Japan)

The Japanese bow when they are saying “Ohayo” (hello) to each other. Apart from being their culture, it is also a form of showing respect to the elders and other individuals.

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9. Selamat.. (Malaysia)

Malaysia is a multicultural country with the majority of people being conservative. Despite various cultures, people generally follow the same manner in greeting each other. They will lightly touch their companion’s hands with both of their hands, and pull back their hands toward the heart. Meanwhile, they use the word “selamat depending on the time of the day (for example: “selamat pagi” means “good morning.

10. Tena Koe (Maori)

The first thing Maori tribal people do to address each other is to perform hongi. This is done by pressing the forehead and the nose against your companion’s. This is mostly done out of respect for each other.

11. Micronesia

Micronesia consists of many islands put together. Each island has its individual way of ritual and custom when greeting people; however, residents of Marshall Islands acknowledge the presence of each other by raising their eyebrows. Interesting, isn’t it?

12. Salaam (Middle East)

The custom of greeting in Middle East is to shake hands and kissing cheeks 2 to 3 times. This has to be done to the same gender.

13. Kamusta (Philippines)

The young Filipinos will bow, take a hand, and touch the knuckles of the elderly on their forehead to show respect and a way to say “Kamusta” (hello). This form of greeting is known as Mano.

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14. Zdravstvuyte (Russia)

As a tradition followed for generation after generation, Russians greet their guests with bread and salt. This is known as Kleb da sol. Russians respect bread the most out of any food, and salt means “long friendship” to them.

15. Aybowan (Sri Lanka)

When saying “Aybowan” (hello) in Sri Lanka, the people will hold their hands in front of their guest.

16. Tashi Delek (Tibet)

Funny enough, a courteous greeting in Tibet is to stick out your tongue, and it isn’t even considered rude!

17. Sawasdi Ka (Thailand)

If you have traveled on Thai Airways or have seen their ads, you already know how they greet people. Their custom is to fold their palms at the chest, bow their head at such a level that their thumbs touch their chin and the fingertips touch the forehead.

18. Dobryy den’ (Ukraine)

Ukrainian men remove their gloves before shaking hands with their male guest. As for women, a way of showing gallantry is by kissing a woman’s hand. Men don’t shake women’s hands because it does not fall into their tradition.

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19. Hey (USA)

Nowadays, Americans shake hands on formal occasions, and everyone smiles at each other. As far as tradition goes, they mainly hug, but there is a trend for men fist bumping with their male friends. Actually, fist bumps first stemmed out of the 1940s by motorcycle gangs.

20. Bwanji (Zambia)

There is no specific way to say “hello” in Zambia because Zambians directly ask “How are you?” which is “Bwanji” in their language. As for the tradition, in the West and the North West, people clap on each other’s hands and gently squeeze the thumbs.

Featured photo credit: Tech. Sgt. Shane A. Cuomo via en.wikipedia.org

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Sumaiya Kabir

Sumaiya is a passionate writer who shares thoughts and ideas to help people improve themselves.

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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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