1Bryce BenavidesBarbara DrakeEnglish TI430 April 2012 Peruvian Greetings Are Not Easy On his first time in Peru, Brandon a newcomer was wondering about how the experiencewould be. The first thing he noticed when he had his first social interaction with Peruvians wasthe way in which they greet him. At first glance, he was very confused because he received a lotof kisses on the cheek something that was not common in his home town. After some time he gotused to it, and he realized it was a cultural pattern here in Peru. It is hard for foreigners tounderstand the Peruvian cultural behavior, so before travelling to Peru, is good for foreigners toknow about some tips and recommendations about Greetings. On the next paragraphs I will showand explain the most common behavior foreigners have to take into account when they come toPeru for the first time. One important thing to bear in mind is what to do when meeting someone for the firsttime. First, foreigners have to notice that greetings differ according to gender. For instance, whentwo males meet, they usually shake hands or hug. This hug has to be very strong, and can includea slap on the back. On the other side, a greeting between two females includes a cheek-to-cheekkiss and also a soft hug. Also cheek-to-cheek greeting is used between male and female. Usually
2the kiss has to be on the right cheek of the person, and it is only a brush between the two cheeksthat last approximate one second. These kinds of greetings are only used commonly in socialsituations, like parties, university, familiar reunions, etc. Moreover they are used with yourfriends, relatives and in formal introductions. During formal introductions after the greeting it is agood idea to say “Mucho gusto”, that means “Nice to meet you” or if the other person first tell“Mucho gusto” the best response to say would be “El gusto es mío” that means “The pleasure ismine”. Another thing foreigners should know is how to act when introducing themselves to aPeruvian. In Peru, when a person wants to know more about a new person, he can ask somepersonal questions. Do not think that is an invasive or intrusive person, this kind of questions arenormal here. When you are introducing yourself, you can also ask the other person questions like“¿En donde vives?” that means “Where do you live?” and then ask follow up questions to keepthe conversation going and flow smoothly. Also another thing to do while during an introductoryconversation is showing interest you can do this by maintaining eye contact, showing interest andusing expressions like “¿En serio?” that means “Really?”. Also another thing to be aware of is about the use of “usted” and “tu”. These two wordshave very different meaning depending on the person you are talking to, and also depending onthe context. For example, you use “usted” when you are talking to elder people or with peopleyou do not know well. Conversely, you use “tu” when you are talking with your friends or withpeople whom you have a lot of confidence. An additional recommendation is the use of politeness. Polite expressions like “Buenosdías” that means “Good morning” are usually use to greet elder people or your neighbors when
3you meet them on the street for example. Informal expressions like “Habla causa”, “Hablabrother” or “Habla tío” that means “Hey dude” are often used in informal environment betweenteenagers. Zachary Diamond a U.S foreigners that is now living in Peru have experienced someproblems when he was trying to understand about this kind of informal greetings. As heexplained: “When I first heard the expression “habla” I did not understand what it refers to. I gotreally confused because “habla” sounds like “talk” in English. But after some time I understoodhis meaning, so I get really used to it nowadays. I usually use this expression in informalsituations”. In summary, foreigners that are planning to come to Peru have to be aware of knowing thecultural behaviors and patterns about greetings, to avoid any conflict or misunderstanding. Thefirst thing to worry about is about greetings, you would love to meet Peruvian people, so youhave to give a good impression to the others. I hope these short guidelines can help in your wayto learn more about Peruvian culture, and to take into account these recommendations beforecoming here.
4Este obra está bajo una Licencia Creative Commons Atribución-NoComercial-Compartir Igual 2.5 Perú. Diego André Aguirre Ortiz 2012 - 02