Shaking hands and touching noses among men
There are many rules regarding meeting people on Socotra. When two local men meet, they grab each other's hand and touch noses three times. Nowadays, they often stick just with modern hand shake. Shake hands with them if offered a hand shake. Some traditional men from the mountains will prefer not to touch a foreign woman. They will put their right arm on their heart and nod their head. Some really traditional old chaps don't even bother to show that they see a female foreigner. Simply ingore them.
When local women meet, they kiss four times on the same cheek. Three quick kisses and a long one. With a female foreigner, they will shake hands. With a male foreigner, they will strictly avoid any physical contact; they will cover their face with a veil and turn away.
If greeting a group, you must shake hands with each adult person there. Omitting someone would be taken as an offence. A female tourist can greet everyone in the room while male tourist can greet only men. But only rarely you will come to a society where men and women are together.
It is normal for two men to walk holding hands - that means a friendship, no strings attached. A man and a woman can never walk holding hands in public.
A lonely old man living in Socotra cave
Exploring Socotra island, I met a wonderful old man, more than 45 years of living in a small cave.
To see and talk to people like him, you need to deviate from the standard tourist programs and walk inland.
The old man in the photo lives in an amazing location next to the uninhabited village, located in one of the canyons on the plateau Mumi.
- Hiking and Walking