Syrian Culture

Greetings

  • Syrian greetings are usually prolonged and include questions about each others’ well-being.
  • In formal settings, greetings involve a handshake with the right hand only. Arab men may shake hands very gently.
  • If an Arab does not touch someone he greets, it is usually because he perceives the person is unaccustomed to being touched.
  • Shaking a female’s hand is not appropriate unless she outstretches her hand first. Many Syrian men greet women by placing their hand on their own chest and saying hello.
  • Informal greetings between people of the same gender may involve a hug, or two kisses on each cheek between males.
  • To kiss one’s forehead or right hand denotes extreme respect, but it is not acceptable for a male to kiss a female in this manner if they are not related.

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