Men will always shake hands with other men. Even if you are not introduced to everyone, a simple handshake substitutes for a formal introduction. A woman visitor may not receive a handshake unless she herself extends her hand. For the woman traveler, do not feel offended that you do not receive the same attention as the males in your group. As odd as it may seem to us in the West, it is only out of respect that you are not included in the hand shaking ritual. Women will often greet you with a big hug, and definitely with a handshake. For the winter traveler, gloves should be removed when shaking hands.

Etiquette is important and strictly followed. There are a multitude of ways to greet strangers, acquaintances, or even lifelong friends. Close friends or family members of the same sex will often greet each other with a more vibrant display of affection than a simple handshake. Kissing is the most common greeting seen among people of the region, and depending on where you are traveling, this is most often done two or three times on alternating cheeks. However, when a pair is exceptionally happy to see each other, or when one is showing a deep respect for the other, the exchange will most definitely continue past the requisite two- or three-kiss norm. As a sign of respect, elders will often receive a kiss from their less mature counterparts, whether acquainted or not.