Irish Culture

Greetings

  • The most common greeting is the handshake. The Irish usually shake hands when being introduced or when greeting a friend or work colleague.
  • In formal situations or with people of higher status, titles and last names are used.
  • Among close friends and family, the Irish may hug and kiss each other on the cheek.
  • Women will kiss both male and female friends, while men kiss only female friends.
  • When addressing friends, family and acquaintances, the Irish will generally use first names.
  • In more rural areas, people will greet each other when passing on the street.
  • People in urban areas reserve such greetings for neighbours and people they know.
  • Common phrases that accompany greetings are, ‘Hello,’ ‘How are you?’ and ‘What’s the craic?’ (‘craic’ refers to news, gossip and conversation).
  • The Irish usually hold eye contact when greeting someone.
  • When being introduced to family, it is customary to shake hands with older children as you would with adults.
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