Singaporean Culture

Greetings

  • Singaporean greetings vary between the major ethnic groups.
  • A handshake generally suffices as the appropriate greeting between two people. However, Malay or Indian Singaporeans may not wish to shake hands with the opposite gender.
  • A Singaporean’s handshake may be quite light and held for a longer duration.
  • Older Singaporeans may use both hands to shake, placing the second hand on the other person’s wrist or on top of the handshake.
  • Similar to the Australian habit of asking “How are you going?” during greetings, Singaporeans may greet one another by saying “Hello, have you eaten yet?” (or something to that effect). The question is customary and does not necessarily mean the person has a genuine curiosity about whether you are hungry or not. The usual reply is a short "Yes, thank you" or "I’m going to, thank you" with a nod and smile before moving onto the rest of the conversation.
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