Types of greetings in India

India is a country that is known for its rich culture, hospitality, various religions, languages, and lots more. People living in different states have their own sets of principles, rules, customs, traditions, and rituals. There are various ways of greeting and each particular state has its unique way. It is very important to know about these greetings or gestures before visiting a particular state or the country.

Take a look at some of the types of greetings in India

  • Namaste

This is one of the most common and profound methods of greeting each other in India. This traditional form of greeting is practiced in every region. Namaste is made of two words; Namah and Te. This word is derived from Sanskrit and it means “Not me, they”. It has also been said that it means ” I bow to the goodness in you”. In this case, they are refereed to all the Gods in the Hindu mythological. This can be further explained as, Namaste is a form of greeting or statement that indicates the doer of everything is not me but God. All you need to do is, join both your palm, fingers sticking to each other, and a simple bow and say Namaste. This is a very warm type of greeting in India and is practised by most individuals when they first meet each other. More on meaning of Namaste.


People living in Punjab greet each other by saying SAT SHRI AKAL. This form of greeting is highly practiced by Punjabis and Sikhs living in different parts of the country. Sat means truth, Shri is referred as honorific word and Akal means timeless. In other words, Sat Shri Akal can be defined as God is the Ultimate truth. This form of greeting is used by the Sikh community whenever they meet each other regardless of their native language.

  • Khuda Hafiz

People who follow Islamic religion greet each other with Khuda Hafiz. This is generally used by Muslim people when they meet each other. Khuda Hafiz means let God be your protector. At the time of Good Bye or see off, people greet by saying Allah Hafiz, which also means the same. This is again an old form of greeting that is strictly followed in the Muslim community.

  • Vanakam

When you visit south India, you will see people greeting each other by saying Vanakam. It means welcome in Tamil and is usually greeted when a person arrives at your house. This form of greeting is practiced by Sri Lankans, Tamils, and Malayalams. In many cases, people also use this word to say Goodbye.

  • Pranam

The Hindu mythological or philosophy teaches us to do Pranam when we meet someone who is elder to us. When you greet someone with Pranam, you are required to touch the feet of the elder and say pranam. It indicates respect and love you have for the other person in your heart. People follow this type of greeting whenever they meet their Guru, parents, or while leaving home for the day. There are six types of pranam; Ashtangana, Shastanga, Panchanga, Dandavata, Namaskar, and Abhinandan.


This is another form of greeting that Muslim community follow. This Arabic word means Peace be unto you. This is one of the most common form of salutation followed by people of this religion. This greeting was deployed to Muslim people whenever and wherever they meet each other, be it place of worship or at social events. Whenever someone greets you with AS SALAM ALE KUM, you can return by saying WaAlaikumSalaam, which means “And unto you peace”.

  • Jai Sri Krishna

When you come to Gujarat or visit a Gujarati family, you will come across Jai Sri Krishna. This form of greeting is used by every Gujurati when they meet each other in praise of lord Krishna. In other words, Jai Sri Krishna also means Victory to Krishna. This form of greeting is used by many individuals in many parts of the country.

Be it any form of greeting in India, you are always welcome with a warm smile and positivity. People in India consider guest as their God and you will often come across people saying “AtithidevoBhav”. So, before you visit India, it would be great if you have some knowledge about these greetings to blend with the people of this country.

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