Friday, October 12, 2007

Cheek greeting

A kiss or two on the cheek(s) is starting to become normal, but BBC Magazine asks, just how many kisses is enough?

This is a problem that I sometimes face especially when greeting European or Middle Eastern friends. Is one air kiss on the side enough? I have even mastered the art of avoiding head bumps because of this (head butting your friends isn't something you should be doing). Sometimes I give a cheek kiss then moved backwards only to notice the person in front preparing for a second one.

Then there are those that demand more, or weren't even expecting it. It is awkward and embarrassing because different European etiquette demands different amount of kisses or none at all. And even if an air kiss is expected, you have to decide which cheek to peck first (right seems to be the rule).

Suffice to say that I think handshakes, one or two cheek kisses or hugs should be enough, but again it is a cultural and social mine field out there. So beware not to offend anyone if you decide to go extreme. However note that cheek greeting is here to stay and we have even started greeting non-Europeans this way. It is the modern way and we find it friendlier.

No comments: