People from ASEAN are regarded as one of the most friendliest people in the world, and that is one of the charms. Tourists coming from all around the globe are always greeted with the most welcoming smile and an authentic way of saying ‘Hello’. Today we take you to a language lesson on how to say ‘Hello’ and learn the most appropriate gesture for each country in ASEAN.
1. Sawasdee Krub / Sawasdee Ka – Thailand
Starting from Thailand, it is appropriate to for male to use ‘Sawasdee (Sa-Wad-Dee) Krub’, and ’Sawasdee Ka’ for female. Don’t forget to show respect by pressing your hands together in prayer-like manner (the gesture is called ‘Wai’), slightly bow, and give the person your nicest smile.
2. Min Ga La Ba – Burma
Simply say Min Ga La Ba. Burmese usually greet by shaking hands, but if someone decides to show respect by pressing their hands together like how the Thais do, make sure to return the respect by doing the same gesture.
3. Sabaidee – Laos
‘Sabai’ means ‘to be relaxed’, and ‘Dee’ literally translates into ‘good’. Similar to Thailand, Laos is another country to always greet by the ‘Wai’ posture.
4. Chom Reab Suor / Susaday- Cambodia
The ‘Wai’ gesture sure is useful, as Cambodians also show respect to others by doing it. Although, rather than bowing your whole upper body, it is more common to slightly bow your head down a little, this gesture is called ‘Sampeah’. For a more formal attire, say ‘Chom Reab Suor’, for a casual attire; ‘Susaday’.
5. Selamat Siang / Hello – Indonesia
The formal Indonesian way is to say ‘Selamat Siang (Suh-La-Mat See-Ahng)’, while the usual English ‘Hello’ is also acceptable. The ‘Wai’ gesture or the bow is not needed, only a nice smile will do.
6. Xin Chào – Vietnamese
Greet the person by saying ‘Xin Chào (Sin-Jow)’ along with bowing. If you have met them for a couple of times, ‘Chào Anh (Jow-Ahn)’ along with two-hands hand shake is also possible.
7. Selamat Pagi / Selamat Petang / Selamat Malam – Malaysia, Brunei
As Brunei and Malaysia share very similar language, the only difference is their accent. The greetings will be always begin with Selamat, follows by Pagi for morning, Petang for afternoon, and Malam for evening. Again, if you find the greeting a bit complicated, a simple ‘Hello’ will also do.
8. Kumusta – Phillipines
When you approach a new group on friends in Philippines, ‘Kumusta (Ka-Mus-Ta)’ means ‘How are you?’ which acts as a greeting.
Be sure to learn and remember these phrases. A ‘hello’ can always lead onto one or two more friendships during your journey, especially if you greet them in their local language. We guarantee you that ASEAN gets more and more excited overtime you visit.