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Have you ever said hello or greeting to a stranger?
When I was abroad, people were very friendly even say hello or good morning to me. I was very surprised and happy that they were greeting to me. Later I said hello to people in this country, some people were very happy too, but some were shocked showed likely " do I know you?" That was very interesting to see people how they reacted.
I am very openminded when it come to that. Because, in my country there aren't many Japanese people, so whenever I see someone who could be Japanese I come to them, and say hello, ask how they are and such. Afterwards I ask where do you come from, it may be a bit strange and weird because I do it. But so far, many people have been very happy that I approached them, because they wanted to talk to natives more.
Where I live strangers always make eye contact and say hello as they pass by or at least give a nod. However, where I grew up in Dallas, Texas people do not usually act like that. They are scared of one another, and won't even make eye contact in public.
I do it often though I don't think it is a part of our culture(I'm Turkish) to greet people in the streets though chances are they'll always greet you back in case you tell them hello. I noticed this happens a lot in Norway. It came as a suprise as I've always thought Scandinavian people were a bit shy/cold. Nice to see they werent!
Markus: Hilarious story! Thanks for sharing! We all have those moments. I always find that I bumb into idiots at every corner I turn.
Sweetpotato: To answer your question, it depends on the setting/country. In Southeast Asia, I don't do that. In North America, I do. The mentality of the people is different.
Here you can say hello, sometimes it is appropriate, sometimes not, depending on how you do it and when.
If somebody is rushing by evidently in a rush... they have other things on their mind, so let them go!
But if someone looks like they are strolling for a walk, or walking their dog, in my neighbourhood it is quite polite to say Good Morning, or to nod the head in acknowledgment. : ) They often smile back as if you just made their day!
However I have sadly learned that with some immigrants this is not ok to do if they are of the opposite sex, as they seem to take it as an advance and not just a greeting! Some of them take it as an advance even if you just look in their direction! So I have to use discernment, but I love to smile and say hello to a passerby if it seems likely to me that the individual will not misunderstand it.
In my country, we often say hello, how are you to every one. Especially, the children always do it because their parents want them to be polite
I guess you have to check where you are and whom you are facing to . You greeting should be correspondent to your situation . I would not do that in my country all the time because I do not want to be recognized as a psycho . Your greeting party would feel what a strange man you are . But if I have met this guy for 3-4 times in my community or workplace , I could greet him without hesitation . A very simple hello can abbreviate your gap easily .
I would say in the UK that you generally don't say hello to everyone you meet walking down the street - especially in the cities, it would be crazy! However, if you're out walking your dog and you see someone else walking their dog, then most people would acknowledge each other if they are on a quiet street. If you go into a small shop then generally teh people working there will say hello to you and then you should reply - it's rude not to. One thing I do like is that motorbike riders will often wave to each other, even if they don't know each other :)In France, or at least where I was, you don't say hello to people on the street but you do say hello when you get on a bus and go into a store or up to the till. If you don't then you are very rude.Where I am in Spain, if you say hello to someone on the street then they will most likely stop and talk to you for half an hour, even if they don't know you! So if you have the time and want to improve your Spanish then that's a great way to do it :)
From my experience, foreign people will often appreciate itt if you go up to them and start speaking to them in their language. It makes teh world around them seem a little scary. I was often doing this in France - even if it was just to ask tehm if they wanted their photo taken in front of the Eiffel Tower! It's very rare that you meet tourists who aren't happy to speak to you :)
But I have to say that I have had days like M_rk_s where I have been in a really bad mood and sometimes people try to force me to say hello. But I can give really evil looks so they generally back off. If they don't, I'll just start speaking to them in another language and smile as I walk off insulting them. I don't think you should force anyone to say hello if they don't want to.
All the time, if I'm walking past someone and I've seen them before or their dog or something comes to say hello to me.
I don't greet first but if someone will greet me I smile back and greet them them in return whether I am in mood or not. I think most people here in my country are okay if someone will greet them but sometimes if the one will greet you is an opposite sex saying"Hi/Hello Miss" in a flirt way or maybe we just misunderstood it we find it rude. It is better to greet by saying "Good morning/afternoon/evening" than saying Hi or Hello. It is more formal.