Who Should I Greet First?


There are many traditions in Mongolia, and it's necessary to know about them or else you might risk offending someone. There are certain traditions to follow when entering a home, and there are also many important traditions to follow during special holidays.

What tradition did I learn about?:

There are many Mongolian traditions (and even superstitions) tied to the importance of family. One very important tradition is that when entering a room or home, you should always greet people from the oldest family member to the youngest. This is a tradition I really like. There are also many superstitions tied to family. For example, it is a common belief that if you cry or sleep on your bed, your mother will get hurt. And there's another one that claims that if you sit on a table, your family will have troubles paying back debt.

Why does the community have this tradition?:

Although family is such a huge priority in Mongolia, U.S. society gives less respect to older people than it did years ago. In Mongolia, it's the opposite. Old people are very well loved and respected. Even total strangers do not hesitate to help old people get onto buses, and people almost always give up their seat on the bus for an old person. Since Mongolians have so much respect for old people, it is quite important to say hello to old people first.