Indonesian in Indonesia

Greetings and Partings

People greet one another both verbally and with a traditional hand greeting: both hands together in front of the bottom along with a bow. Handshakes are only used among some young people or among international business circles.

People visit one another without invitation; it is important to make visits to forge and maintain good relations with one's neighbors. New residents should make a special effort to visit and introduce themselves to the neighbors. In general, it is acceptable to drop by any time in the morning, afternoon, or evening, although the visitor should be careful to respect Muslim prayer times. If visiting at meal time, the visitor will most likely be asked to join in. There is no firm rule about how long to stay.

When arriving at a home it is necessary to leave ones shoes or sandals outside before going in. Out of politeness the host may say to guests that shoe removal is not necessary, but guests should remove their shoes anyway. Local neighbors will not bring gifts when just dropping by, but visitors who do not come often should bring a gift. The usual gift is some kind of prepared food or snack, especially bags of traditional Indonesian chips. Neighbors will often share special dishes with each other.

Guests will be served food and drink without the hosts asking if the guest would like some. It is acceptable to simply not eat what is offered, or only eat a little bit. Drinks will be tea or water. Keep in mind that proper manners require that people sit with their feet flat to the ground, rather than crossing ones legs. Children are not usually encouraged to be around when guests visit. When it is time to go, a simple "I think I need to go now" and "thank you" will do.



Click on the text to hear the spoken phrase.