Having met people from various cultures have made me aware that not everyone appreciates or expects the same kinds of greetings.
For instance, in the Netherlands a common greeting is kissing on the cheeks (3 times!, so left, right, left), but when I visited Siiw’s grandmother for the first time, I quite surprised her with that greeting, as giving a ‘klem’ (pressing the cheeks against each other) is more common there.
So, if you meet someone, how do you greet them?
Is there a difference between men greeting other men, men greeting women and women greeting other women?
Is greeting someone you don’t know differently from someone you have met before and is it different from greeting someone you know very well? What about family members?
For instance, I’ve grown up with offering a handshake to strangers.
Family members and people I’ve known for longer can expect a kisses on the cheeks (left, right and then left again), though only between women, or between women and men. Other men are commonly greeted with a handshake or a brief hug / pat on the back/shoulder.
However, in my circle of friends it has become more common to greet each other with a firm hug, sometimes accompanied by 3 kisses on the cheeks.
When I’m in Norway however, I tend to stick to handshakes, or when I know the person better, a ‘klem’, in other words pressing the cheeks together. Though occasionally I try to give a Dutch spin to it by doing this 3 times.
Especially with international meetings like to occasional LD4all meeting, everyone’s different cultural experiences can give some perhaps awkward situations. So, what are you used to and how would you react in those situations?