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Greetings

  • When Canadians first meet, they often shake hands and introduce themselves by stating their name. Family members and close friends sometimes hug or kiss each other on the cheek.
  • It’s common to smile or nod if you see someone you know. People often greet friends by saying “How are you today?” Typically, the response is: “Fine thanks, and you?” If the person is at a distance, you can also wave your hand to indicate that you see them.
  • Informal greetings are acceptable in Canada. Canadian names are usually spoken and written in the following order: first name (or given name) and then family name. When speaking, people will often call each other by less formal first names, such as John or Mary. Canadians also tend to make eye contact when talking. On the first occasion that you meet someone, you may use a formal title, such as Dr., Ms., Mrs., Miss or Mr., in combination with his or her family name as a sign of respect.

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