Taiwanese Culture

Greetings

  • The oldest or most senior person should be greeted or introduced first out of respect.
  • A slight bow of the head is usually an accepted form of greeting.
  • Handshakes are also very common among acquaintances and friends. Men typically wait for a woman to extend her hand. Note that the handshake may not be held as firm as is anticipated in countries like Australia.
  • Generally, Taiwanese look directly at their counterpart and maintain eye contact when greeting another person. Maintaining eye contact is seen as a sign of respect.
  • Use formal titles (e.g. Mr, Mrs, Doctor) when greeting someone for the first time. People do not address one another by their first name unless they have been invited to do so or they are familiar with the other person. When greeting a professional (such as a doctor at a medical clinic or a teacher at a school), Taiwanese generally address them by their surname followed by their title. For example, Lin Laoshi. However, when translated into English, the title appears before the surname, e.g. Teacher Lin.

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