Samoan Culture

Greetings

  • Strangers are greeted with a handshake and a warm smile or by raising the eyebrows and smiling as a sign of acknowledgement.
  • Strangers or community leaders are greeted respectfully by a title.
  • If the person you are greeting has a title, such as chiefs (Matai), you would use their title regardless of the length of time you have known the person.
  • Many chiefs do not advertise their status, so it is important to enquire and call them by their appropriate title. 
  • The typical greeting among friends and family is a hug and kiss on the cheek.
  • When greeting friends and family, usually one would use their first name followed by “Talofa” (“Hello”).

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