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Shaking Hands, Hugging, or Kissing?

LynneLynne Your TeacherHomePosts: 8,830 mod


I have resurrected this discussion from the old forum, because Debres have got in on the act.
One kiss on the cheek? Two kisses on either cheek? A handshake, a hug and then a kiss on the hand you didn’t shake? The appropriateness of kisses-as-greeting can change from social event to social event: a business lunch with your potential new boss, meeting the in-laws for the first time, suburban orgy.

For its part, Debrett’s says that kissing should “only be used among friends, but not on first meeting.” Air kisses are ill-advised and are described as “rude or impersonal”, with “no sound effects” deemed necessary. Oh God, I might just stay in …
You can read the past discussion here.
Post edited by Lynne on
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Comments

  • fewrnafewrna Posts: 139 ✭✭
    edited November 2014
    It's very typical in Spain greet someone with two kisses in either cheek too, even in formal situations. However, it's only used to women and not men. The traditional men's greet it's a simple handshake. Some people think that's sexist.

    ..............................................

    It's typical in Spain to greet someone with a kiss on either cheek too, even in formal situations. However, it's only used to women and not men. The traditional men's greeting is a simple handshake. Some people think that's sexist.
    Post edited by Lynne on
  • zrelts1387zrelts1387 Posts: 7
    edited November 2014
    Iranian people kiss on both cheeks and shake their hands. in Iran just men and women that are close relative can kiss and shake their hands with each others.

    ----------------------------

    Iranian people kiss on both cheeks and shake hands. In Iran only men and women that are close relatives can kiss and shake hands with each other.
    Post edited by Lynne on
  • mheredgemheredge Wordsmith Here and therePosts: 24,574 mod
    Why @fewrna‌? People think it's sexist that men don't kiss eachother on the cheek? I'm not sure I've seen guys do this formally anywhere.
  • fewrnafewrna Posts: 139 ✭✭
    edited October 2014
    @mheredge‌ Nearly. Some people think it's sexist that women should greet with two kisses on ( :) @Lynne‌ ) either cheek while men don't.
  • LynneLynne Your Teacher HomePosts: 8,830 mod
    edited October 2014
    @fewrna‌ - "on" each cheek / "on" either cheek.

    As opposed to "tongue in cheek" #lookitup - http://www.learnenglish.de/vocabulary/bodyidioms.html
  • SLBSLB Posts: 1,289 ✭✭✭✭
    Men never kiss other men here either.
    I personally like greetings as least physical as possible, and in case several people from different countries and with different ways of greeting meet I think they should do it in the least physical way e.g. handshaking because it would be the more respectful.
  • mheredgemheredge Wordsmith Here and therePosts: 24,574 mod
    I personally like greetings to be as little as possible physical too @SLB, at least until I know the person well.

    I think most strangers use a handshake and this is perfectly acceptable.
  • LynneLynne Your Teacher HomePosts: 8,830 mod
    It's a cultural minefield @thanhngan‌. Even the poor old handshake is an issue. How long should you hold the other person's hand? How much pressure should you apply?

    http://www.english-magazine.org/english-reading/english-for-culture/896-the-handshake-culture-article-december

    :smiley:
  • mheredgemheredge Wordsmith Here and therePosts: 24,574 mod
    Last week in Cochin, in south India, around 50 people were arrested for taking part in a 'kiss fest' protest against moral policing.

    Another headline buried deeper in the same issue of the Times of India reported that students from IITB (a college) were "to lock lips with Kochi's 'Kiss of Love' movement" in Mumbai in support of their protest.

    It seems that right wing activists are denying the right to love or display love (as reported in the article). "Moral policing is regressive. It's not acceptable in today's world. Expression of love in public places is no more a crime in India," a student spokesman was quoted as saying.
  • FrankFrank Moderator Posts: 5,552 mod
    edited November 2014
    In Holland it's a custom to kiss each other three times: left cheek, right cheek and again left cheek. For us this is normal, and I know this habit is not shared in most countries. Unfortunately not everybody in Holland is aware of that. I ones saw even our prime minister Mark Rutte kiss the German cansellor Angela Merkel three times on her cheeks. She looked rather surprised at that moment, but he in fact didn't seem to notice there was any problem at all. Kissing, certainly has many cultural aspects, but even in one culture like the Netherlands people have different opinions about kissing. Should you kiss everybody? That is an important question wich upon not everybody agrees.

    At the start of the New Year in Hollland it's desirable to kiss your colleagues to wish them a good year. But not everybody equally appreciates to be kissed by their direct collegues or boss. For this, some people even take off the first week of the year to avoid being kissed. In January magazines and television programs sometimes give the most strange advices to avoid the tsunami of kissing. For example they recommend people to eat garlic or to pretent to have a flu so they won't be kissed.

    What about you? Would you like it to be kissed by your near colleques and boss at New Year? And if you don't want to be kissed? What would you do to avoid it?
  • mheredgemheredge Wordsmith Here and therePosts: 24,574 mod
    @lichaamstaal‌ I had a young Dutch volunteer come to Nepal to help teach English at a school. She found it very hard to understand that this behaviour was totally inappropriate in a small village in western Nepal. By greeting her boyfriend in this way, she totally shocked the local Tharu people who were working in the little guide house where she was staying.

    I was quite surprised when I saw that French colleagues embrace each other kissing the cheek two (or sometimes three times - which gets very confusing). But after the first day, I was happy to go with the flow!
  • LynneLynne Your Teacher HomePosts: 8,830 mod
    I usually stick my hand out first. It's a clear sign that I don't want a kiss. My worst nightmare is cheek kissing when the other person wears glasses too, it goes like this:-

    clunk - clink - clunk
  • mheredgemheredge Wordsmith Here and therePosts: 24,574 mod
    I hate it when the person offers the wrong cheek and there's that embarrassing shuffle like when two people meet going the opposite way and keep moving to the wrong side.
  • SLBSLB Posts: 1,289 ✭✭✭✭
    @Lynne‌ but that's because you wear glasses as well, right?
  • mheredgemheredge Wordsmith Here and therePosts: 24,574 mod
    Another way to avoid enthusiastic embraces might be to loudly proclaim that you have a bad cold or something very contagious.
  • FrankFrank Moderator Posts: 5,552 mod
    Nice idea @mheredge. Only if you perform this act every year arround New Year it will be implausible. And that wouldn't be good for your reputation.
  • mheredgemheredge Wordsmith Here and therePosts: 24,574 mod
    True @lichaamstaal‌. I suppose each year it could be a different illness.

    Okay how's this for another trick. Maybe more suitable for the girls, but painting the lips with bright red lipstick might put people off who don't won't red smears all over their cheeks.
  • FrankFrank Moderator Posts: 5,552 mod
    Wow, thats a good one @mheredge! However, I think lots of men won't bother to be coloured a bit. They'll be ready to take that risk for a nice hug.
  • mheredgemheredge Wordsmith Here and therePosts: 24,574 mod
    True @lichaamstaal‌, especially if it's New Year's Eve when they might be a bit pie-eyed! But in the office? Might work. :p
  • FrankFrank Moderator Posts: 5,552 mod
    edited November 2014
    The final option is to take the kissing for granted. In fact there is nothing to worry about. They only want to give you a hug; they won’t bite nor will they jump upon you. So the idea is to just let it happen without resistance. So don’t fight it; instead rather try to enjoy it. Eventually you might earn a kissing badge ;-)
  • mheredgemheredge Wordsmith Here and therePosts: 24,574 mod
    It's a cultural thing @lichaamstaal‌. I think northern Europeans are a bit less comfortable with it than Mediterranean Europeans in general. But like you say, I think it's better just going with the flow.
  • EliEli Posts: 1
    Iranian usually greet with three kisses on the cheeks! Sometimes you don't like it! :smiley:
  • mheredgemheredge Wordsmith Here and therePosts: 24,574 mod
    Welcome to the Forum @Eli. When wouldn't you like three kisses on the cheek? How well does a person need to know the other to greet like this?
  • mheredgemheredge Wordsmith Here and therePosts: 24,574 mod
    Do men in Pakistan greet each other by shaking hands @shahab‌? And when a man meets a woman in a formal situation, would he shake hands with the woman?
  • zrelts1387zrelts1387 Posts: 7
    hi Eli,how do u do?
  • mheredgemheredge Wordsmith Here and therePosts: 24,574 mod
    How are you? is probably less formal @zrelts1387‌.
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