Peruvian Culture

Greetings

  • In Peru, greetings are very important because they emphasise that an individual is acknowledged and welcomed.
  • The most common greeting is a handshake. The handshake is usually light and accompanied by eye contact.
  • Handshakes are particularly prevalent when meeting someone for the first time and in formal settings.
  • The ‘abrazo' is a standard greeting among friends and family. This consists of a handshake and a hug between men and a hug and a kiss on the right cheek between women. Among family and friends they are not so close to, they will give a kiss on the right cheek.
  • Peruvian men often add a pat on the back during a handshake with friends and family.
  • Friends address each other by the first name or by a nickname.
  • Professionals such as doctors are usually greeted by their title (e.g. doctor for men and doctora for women).
  • Older people are typically addressed as “Señor” for men or “Señora” for women followed by their surname.
  • When addressing older people with whom you have a personal relationship, it is common to refer to them as “Don” (for male) or “Doña” (for females) followed by their first name.
  • Typical phrases that accompany greetings include, “Buenos días” (“Good morning”), “Buenas tardes” (Good afternoon”) and “Buenas noches” (“Good evening”).

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