Achoo! Han-chee! Etchiu! How to Sneeze in 10 Countries

Most of us realise there are cultural differences in language, dress and greetings across the globe, but what about day-to-day activities that we may NOT think about? For instance, the common sneeze. Everyone sneezes no matter which country we are from, but did you know not everyone sneezes like you do? The sound you make when you sneeze and how the sneeze is responded to is a cultural matter!  

Sneezing is generally accepted in some countries, and a social error in others. In France, for example, sneezing is seen as an embarrassing act that no one wants to draw attention to by responding. In other countries, it is considered very polite to respond to a person’s sneeze. And responses may vary depending on the number of times a person sneezes in a row!

Here’s how to sneeze in 10 different countries, along with their culturally appropriate response:

1. Greece
Sneeze: “Apshoo!”     
Response: “Giasou” (Health) or “Gitses” (May God bless you)

2. France
Sneeze: “Atchoum“   
Response: “À tes souhaits” (At your wishes)

3. Russia

Sneeze: “Apchkhi!”    
Response: “Bud’ zdoróv” (Be healthy)


4. China
Sneeze: “Han-chee!”
Response: “Bu hăo yì si” (I’m sorry)

5. Japan
Sneeze: “Hakushon!”    
Response: “Homerare” (May you be praised)

6. Argentina
Sneeze: “Achis!”
Response: “Salud” (Health)

7. Spain             
Sneeze: “Achis!”
Response: “Jesús” (Jesus)

8. Germany
Sneeze: “Hatschie!” or “Aschis!” 
Response: “Geshundheit” (Good health)

9. United States
Sneeze: “Achoo!”
Response: “Bless you”

10. Italy
Sneeze: “Etchiu!”
Response: “Salute” (Health) or “Salve” (Cheers)