For most people who live in the United States there is no specific circumscribed societally appropriate method of greeting others. Whether it be friends, or family, or strangers, or new acquaintances, greetings can take any number of forms.
And for the most part, you’re probably not going be completely offensive to the other person.
One hand shake, taking both hands, hugging, cheek kissing…it’s all mostly okay given various circumstances.
Not so in many other parts of the world. When traveling, it’s a good idea to find out how greetings are to take place. How do you greet people younger than you? How do you greet those who are your elders? How do you greet those who are “equals” to you?
Make a mistake and you can really offend.
In the Western African countries that we visited, you never shook hands left handed or for that matter, ate left handed, or took something from someone with your left hand.
One of the local languages, Bambara, incorporated this custom into their words for left and right. The word for “right” is kinibolofe…translated as “rice eating hand”. The word for “left” is numanbolofe…”nose picking hand”.