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7 Greetings You Will Hear When Visiting Indonesia

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Here are 7 of the most popular greetings you will hear when you're in Indonesia.

Many Indonesian greetings involve the word Selamat. It's equivalent to the phrase "Good ..." in English when used in greetings.

7 Greetings You Will Hear When Visiting Indonesia
Featured article photo: Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, Bali, Indonesia by Sebastian Pena Lambarri

1. Selamat datang

Selamat datang means "Welcome." You'll most likely hear this when first stepping into a touristy Indonesian hotel or a restaurant.

2. Selamat pagi

Selamat pagi is "Good morning." In a more casual setting, Pagi can be used instead of the full phrase Selamat pagi. This is just like in English, where sometimes people can opt to simply say "Morning!" instead of "Good morning."

3. Selamat siang

Siang means "noon" in Indonesian. In English, the closest equivalent to Selamat siang would be "Good afternoon". However, this is not an exact translation, since Selamat siang is used only around noon, between the times of 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

4. Selamat sore

The times between 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. are when you will hear Selamat sore, meaning "Good afternoon."

5. Selamat malam

Selamat malam means both "Good evening" or "Good night."

6. Selamat jalan

Selamat jalan is somewhat like the French phrase "Bon voyage," essentially meaning "Have a good journey."

7. Selamat tinggal

Selamat tinggal is similar to Selamat jalan, though its meaning leans more towards "Goodbye" instead of "Have a good journey".

Bonus: Silakan

Aside from these 7 greetings, you will surely hear the following few phrases as well. The word Silakan will be often used by your waiter/waitress when bringing you the dishes you ordered. It means "Please, (enjoy)".

  • To reply this gesture, you can say Terima kasih, meaning "Thank you". Often Terima kasih can be contracted to Makasih, a more informal and casual way to say the phrase. It's sort of like how "Thank you" is often contracted to "Thanks."

  • A proper response to Terima kasih is Sama-sama, meaning "You're welcome."

Here are more ways to say "Thank You" and "You're Welcome":

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