Spanish cultural greetings

Spanish cultural greetings

In Spanish culture, the body language that accompanies greetings and good-byes is different from American customs. In both situations, it’s customary for men to shake hands formally or, if they already know each other, even embrace and pat each other on the back. Among women, the custom is to shake hands and, if they know each other, kiss each other in both cheeks in Spain and only one cheek in Latin America. When a man and a woman who know each other meet, they generally kiss on one or both cheeks depending on where they are.

In addition, when Spanish speakers of any ages greet each other or engage in conversations, they generally stand closer to each other than do speakers of English. This “closer” use of space is a normal, nonverbal behavior that Spanish speakers associate with greetings and leave-takings.

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