In Ukraine, it is not common for a woman to be greeted with a handshake. In fact, this is considered to be the most common form of greeting in the country for a man. However, there are some Ukrainian women who prefer to be greeted with a hug or a kiss on the cheek. This is usually done in more formal settings or if the woman is close to the person greeting her. In general, it is best to err on the side of caution and go with a handshake (only if this is official meeting, like internetional delegations etc.) unless you are sure that the woman you are greeting would prefer something else.
The Different Ways to Greet a Ukrainian Woman
When you meet a Ukrainian woman for the first time, it is important to greet her politely and with respect. There are different ways to greet a Ukrainian woman, depending on the situation.
If you are introduced to a Ukrainian woman by someone else, it is proper to shake her hand and say, “Hello, my name is (your name).” If you are not introduced, you can still shake her hand and say your name, but you should also say hello in Ukrainian: “Привіт, мене звати (your name)”. Take into consideration that in Ukraine men usually do not shake woman’s hand (unlike in neighbouring Poland, for example) and if you shake her hand, she would understand you are a foreigner.
If you are greeting a Ukrainian woman informally (for example, if she is a friend or acquaintance), you can hug her or give her three kisses on the cheek. To say hello in Ukrainian in this case, you can say “Привіт” (pry-VYT), “Добрий день” (doh-BREE den’), or “Доброго ранку” (doh-BROH-voh RAHN-koo).
In more formal situations, such as when meeting a business associate or elderly relative, it is appropriate to bow slightly or handshake. The standard greeting in these cases would be “Добрий день” (doh-BREE den’) or “Доброго ранку” (doh-BROH-voh RAHN-koo).
Which Greeting is the Most Appropriate?
There is no definitive answer to this question, as it depends on a variety of factors such as the woman’s age, relationship status, and level of familiarity with Ukrainian culture. However, some general guidelines can be followed in order to ensure that you make a good impression.
If the woman is older than you, it is polite to greet her with a slight bow and the phrase “Вітаю вас, пані” (vitayu vas, pani). For younger women, you can simply use the standard “Привіт” (pryvit). If you are unsure of her age, err on the side of respect and use the formal greeting.
If you are meeting the woman for the first time, it is also appropriate to introduce yourself before greeting her. Once again, using the formal “Вітаю вас…” (vitayu vas…) followed by your name and position or title is always a safe bet. If you have been introduced by someone else or if she is familiar with your work, then using a more informal “Привіт…” (pryvit…) will suffice.
In general, Ukrainians are very hospitable people and will appreciate any effort made to greet them in their native language.
It is always polite to greet a Ukrainian woman with a smile and hug in informal atmosphere and a handshake in formal one. If you are meeting her for the first time and hope for some date in the future (showing you are interested in her), it is also customary to give her a small gift, such as flowers or chocolates. When greeting her, be sure to use formal language and avoid using any profanity or offensive language. Ukrainians are very hospitable people, so make sure you return the favor by being polite and respectful towards her.