Laos Greetings & Etiquette Customs You Need to Know

Like other Asian countries, Laos enchants tourists with its pristine beauty as well as the unique culture and custom. Visiting Laos you will have a chance to meet super friendly locals and feel their peaceful lives. Taking Laos tours to get a ton of wonderful experiences that you haven’t ever had. Laotians impresses tourists by their hospitality and the special way greeting with the “nop”. Here is some useful information about Laos greetings and etiquette customs we want to share with you. Check out this article before setting your foot on this magic land.

Laos greetings and etiquette

The Traditional Greetings of Laotians

Traditionally, Lao people greet each other by saying “Sabaidee” and pressing their palms together to in a sort of prayer gesture known as a “ nop”. Sometimes, Lao men also greeting others by shaking hands. In an informal setting, they also just greet by lightly touching each other on the arm.

Lao people often say ‘Sabaideebor’ to greet another. This word means “How are you” and accompanied by the nop. If a Lao person greets you in that way, you should reply with “Sabaidee” which means “I’m good”. You also can see Laos people greet each other by saying “Kin khow leo bor?” that means “Have you eaten?” or “Pai sai maa” which has the same meaning with the sentence “How has your day been?”.

Laotians often add “Thann” to the name of the person of high status. They also usually add professional or official titles to address some people like doctors, police officers, teachers, etc. If a person has no specific title, Lao people often address their counterpart with particular titles which is suitable for their age and gender. For example, the title “Aii” which means older brother used for the older man. For friends and those of the same age, Laotians just address each other by their first name or by nicknames.

The Nop – Laos Common Greeting

As a short bow, the nop is the most common way of greeting in Laos. When meeting other people, locals will place their hands together in a prayer position in front of their chest and do not touch the body. To be polite, the younger or socially inferior person should be the first to bow, and the older person should respond quickly. The nop sometimes also accompanied by a charming smile or a slight bend of the knee.

Laos Etiquette Customs

Depend on the person you greet, the depth of the bow, and the level of the hands are different. For example, if you greet a person who has higher social standing like monks, you must hold your hands just below your nose. For people of equal age or social status, Laotians often hold their hands at the level of the mouth. They will hold their hands at the chin when greeting younger people.

When & How to Use Laos Greetings Properly

Laos Greetings for Men

The first person will say “Sabaideebor”, the other will respond by saying “Sabaidee”. They also often shake hands when greeting.

Laos Greetings for Women

They also say “Sabaideebor” to greet each other. Their hands often pressed together in a prayer position just below the chin. It is often accompanied by a slight bow and charming smile.

Laos Greetings between Men & Women

In these cases, the Lao word for hello “Sabaidee” is usually said with a smile. Note that, touching or showing affection in public will embarrass the women.

With a beautiful landscape, hospitable people Laos makes you fall in love at first sight. Please feel free to contact us if you need more information about Laos tours or Indochina tours. Viet Vision Travel guarantees you an amazing and memorable Laos vacation.