A shot of me dancing with my FIL, courtesy of TH
Visiting Poland is always fun, but I admit there is one part that I find myself… feeling nervous about. In Poland when you greet someone, you kiss them on alternating cheeks three times (well since both of you are doing the kissing it’s more like blowing air kisses while your cheeks are touching).
I have no idea why but this completely freaks me out! I make things really awkward by going straight in for the hug, when everyone else does the cheek kissing. Sometimes I stuck out my hand, which probably came off as a bit cold and standoff-ish. Not my intention, but I’m always incredibly nervous that I’m going to choose to go in for the wrong cheek and the head of the person will be turned in such a way that we will kiss on the lips. No way jose do I want that happening.
Everyone in Poland does it though, which certainly gives greeting time a more personal twist, but makes things take a bit longer since often people both kiss and hug. TH’s mom kisses him on the lips (a bit weird for me, but only because we don’t do kissing on the lips in my family). TH’s dad does this insanely awesome combo of take my hand and kiss the top (like a knight on bended knee kissing the hand of the princess he just rescued from a dragon), three kisses, and then maybe one more kiss on the hand. Apparently I forgot exactly what happens, which might be why I always get so nervous that I’m going to mess things up).
I’d love to hear some stories from others who have a tough time with the greeting styles of other cultures. I can’t be the only one making a fool of herself. Right!??!
I feel like I should clarify that I don’t think the kissing is gross or weird. I actually think it’s wonderful, and I enjoy being introduced to another culture, but it’s foreign to me and will take some getting used to!