In the United States people customarily greet each other with a handshake. A hug is acceptable among friends and family. Other cultures say, “Hello” in ways that might surprise those who are unprepared for the greeting.
Tibet: Tibetans consider it polite and appropriate to stick their tongues out at each other. This dates back to the 9th century when Tibetan King Lang Darma, who was known for having a black tongue, cemented his place in history through his viciousness and cruelty. Sticking one’s tongue out and proving it is not black is a way of showing that you are not the reincarnated king.
Mongolia: Guests to one’s home receive a strip of silk or cotton known as a hada. The appropriate response is to grasp the hada gently with both hands while bowing slightly. The exchanging of pipes and snuffboxes is also common.
Tuvalu: Avoid eating garlic right before your arrival in Tuvalu. The traditional welcome involves pressing one’s face against the other person’s cheek and taking a deep sniff.
Greenland: The kunik is the name given to this traditional greeting among the Inuit people. It involves pressing one’s nose and upper lip against the other person’s skin and breathing.