Venezuelan Culture

Greetings

  • The polite and traditional verbal greetings are ‘Buenos Días’ (Good Morning), ‘Buenas Tardes’ (Good Afternoon) and ‘Buenas Noches’ (Good Evening).
  • When greeting someone for the first time, it is expected that you will shake hands and maintain eye contact. This form of greeting is more common in business or formal settings.
  • Once people become acquainted, greetings become a lot warmer and Venezuelans often prefer to embrace (abrazo). This involves a hug accompanied with a pat on the shoulder or elbow (between men) or a kiss on the right cheek (between women and men).
  • This practice is repeated when saying goodbye.
  • People are expected to greet the oldest person first in group situations.
  • It is an expectation that people say goodbye to each person individually when leaving a group setting.
  • You are expected to address people by their surnames and titles until invited to use their first names. The formal titles for adults are ‘Señor’ (Mr) for men and ‘Señora’ (Mrs) for married women.
  • It is appropriate to kiss business acquaintances on the cheek during greetings if initiated by them.
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