7 Ways to Say Hello Around the World

PHOTO: Britains Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, left, receives a hongi, a traditional Maori welcome, from Maori Elder Hiria Hape, at their official welcome ceremony, in Wellington, New Zealand, April 7, 2014.
Ross Setford/SNPA/AP Photo

Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge were given a traditional welcome on a family trip to New Zealand this week that included an intense warrior ritual, primal wailing and haka powhiri dancing. But first the prince and princess had to rub noses with New Zealand leaders, in keeping with the Maori custom for greeting friends.

Pressing noses together is just one of many ways to say hello throughout the world. The following list of countries will shed light on when to kiss, hug, shake or bow while traveling.

PHOTO: French President Nicolas Sarkozy, kisses German Chancellor Angela Merkel upon her arrival for a joint Franco-German cabinet session at the Elysee Palace, Feb. 6, 2012, in Paris.
Eric Feferberg/AFP/Getty Images

Whether you're planning a trip to the City of Lights or the Loire valley, get ready to pucker up in France. The French greet each other with a kiss on each cheek. Don't know whether to go left or right first? When in doubt, let the other person lead.

PHOTO: Japans Mitsubishi Heavy Industries president Hideaki Omiya, left, and Hitachi president Hiroaki Nakanishi exchange bows at a press conference in Tokyo, Nov. 29, 2012.
Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images

When meeting others in Japan, the preferred greeting for men and women is to bow to one another, as Mitsubishi Heavy Industries president Hideaki Omiya and Hitachi president Hiroaki Nakanishi do in this photo from 2012.

PHOTO: Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, right, meets with Foreign Minister of Iran Dr. Mohammad Javad Zarif, left, during the Developing 8s (D-8) Council of Foreign Ministers meeting, Dec. 19, 2013, in Islamabad.
Hakan Goktepe/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The Turks go all in when welcoming one another. Men embrace men in a hug, and women also give women they know a light hug upon greeting. Physical contact between the sexes in public is rare and considered obscene by some. It may also be prohibited by one's religion, so proceed with caution.

PHOTO: Russias President Vladimir Putin, shakes hands with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, during the Expanded Cabinet Meeting in the Kremlin in Moscow, Jan. 31, 2013.
Dmitry Astakhov/AFP/Getty Images

In Russia, a firm handshake is the standard way to greet one another in public.

PHOTO: George W. Bush bumps fists with USA Freedom Corp volunteer Robbie Powell, 12, after arriving on Air Force One at Adams Field in Little Rock, Arkansas, July 2008.
Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

First appearing in America in the 1940s, fist bumping was originally a way for riders on motorcycles to greet one another on the road. Since then, the practice has been adopted by many as a friendly way to say hello while also helping to prevent spreading germs.

PHOTO: President Barack Obama waves as he disembarks from Air Force One in Toluca, Mexico, Feb. 19, 2014.
Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images

In many countries, waving one's hand from side to side is considered an informal way to say hello to strangers. And if all of this hugging, kissing, bowing and nose rubbing has worn you out, a wave works just as well for goodbyes.

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