A Global Guide To Handshakes


Greetings are tricky. Especially if you travel or move a lot across the world. Every country has its own way of greeting and it also varies depending on your relationship to the person and the gender of the person. It’s good to learn beforehand how greetings are commonly done whenever you travel or move to a different country. 

Handshakes are very common around the world, but even the handshake is tricky. Firmness varies from country to country, and how long do you grip? Do you make eye contact? Do you shake a woman’s hand?

Some cultures place more value on how a greeting is done, with a higher risk to be offended, and the order of who you greet first can be very important. For example, you may have to greet the eldest person first, and in some places you should wait to be prompted. For example in Morocco, wait for a woman to offer her hand. Same goes for Japan, with everyone. And in Britan, the least amount of body contact is always preferred.

Whether you travel for business or for pleasure, it’s good to achieve good first impressions with new people from different cultures. You’ll find helpful greeting tips for 19 different nations in the infographic below.

A Global Guide To Handshakes

(A Global Guide To Handshakes by Expedia Canada)

Have you had any awkward greeting experiences?

5 thoughts on “A Global Guide To Handshakes

  1. This was very good. In France male friends kiss each other on the cheeks.
    With women, it depends on the region: 2, 3 or 4 kisses!


    1. 4 is too much. Haha. 1 is good for me. That’s what I’m used to in Mexico.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Si, acá es una. Sencillo. 4, dices, “bueno! Ya, no?” 😉


  2. Another good article, thanks for it.

    In the Czech Republic, it’s a short, medium grip handshake with eye contact. Age and seniority don’t really matter, but it is a good idea to shake hands with everyone in the room upon entering and leaving. It’s not typical to shake hands with someone everytime you meet them. Shake hands with both men and women, a man can offer his hand to a woman to shake with no need to wait for her to offer first.

    There is no kissing between men. Kissing is reserved for close female friends and relatives and is typically limited to one light kiss on each cheek.

    Don’t use a person’s first name unless they tell you that you can. There’s something of a Germanic influence with regards to that. If a Czech outside of your family or close circle of friends tells you that you can be on first name terms with them. you know you’re definitely in good with them.

    The younger generations of Czechs seem to play quite fast and loose with using first names. However, older generations, 40 somethings and older, still place great value on being spoken to formally until they say you can do elsewise.


    1. The shaking and kissing actually sounds quite similar to Mexico. The name thing, on the other hand is quite interesting. Thanks for sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close