How to Greet People in Haiti

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Throughout the world, people from different cultures and different countries vary on how they greet each other. People use different languages and expressions to say, "Hello." They also greet each other in their own special ways. Some shake hands. Some kiss a person's cheek. Some hug. Some bow. There are many different ways people can greet each other. Natives of Haiti, a country located on the Caribbean Island of Hispaniola, have their own rules on how to greet people. It is a Latin American country in which the people speak Creole and French. Here are some of the rules.

  • You

1 How to Greet People in Haiti

2 Say

Say, "bonjou" or "bonswa." Bonjou means good morning or good day in Creole. Bonswa means good afternoon in Creole. Greet the person according to the time of day. If a person enters a room, that person is expected to be the first one who says "bonjou" or "bonswa."

3 Shake hands

Shake hands. Men usually greet each other with a handshake. Strangers also greet each other with a handshake, whether it is a male or a female. Sometimes if men know each other very well, they can greet each other with a handshake and a hug.

4 Kiss the person on the cheek

Kiss the person on the cheek. If you are a woman or a child, you are expected to greet people in this way. You are expected to do this with elders, friends and families. Sometimes you are expected to do this with strangers. Even young girls are expected to greet older men with a kiss on the check. If women and children do not kiss someone on the cheek when greeting them, it could be considered a sign of disrespect.

5 Greet an entire group

Greet an entire group of people with a kiss on the cheek. If a group of people are standing together and a woman knows someone in the group, that woman is expected to greet everyone in the group with a kiss on the cheek, not just the one woman she knows.

6 Are a young girl

Shake hands if you are a young girl and a young guy about the same age. Usually, a girl must kiss the cheek of someone she knows. However, if the person is a guy who is around her age, she must greet him with a handshake. A kiss would be considered inappropriate.

  • A disrespectful way a male can greet a woman on the street is by making kissing noises or by whistling. A quick hello or ignoring the person would keep the negative situation from escalating.
  • Do not ignore someone who greets you in Haiti. It's polite to greet someone back after they have greeted you. It would be very nice of you to greet some in Haiti first. This would be very much appreciated.