3 kisses expat

FF – Say ‘hi’ – 1 kiss, 2 or 3? Or even a hug?

FF - Say ‘hi’ - 1 kiss, 2 or 3? Or even a hug? 

Every other Friday I tell you one of my ‘Fuck-ups’. Hopefully, this saves you from some super awkward and embarrassing moments.

When I was thinking about writing this article I actually understood why I like it so much to be in touch with the expat community. It makes you wonder about your own culture as well. I grew up here in the Netherlands and I thought that giving 3 kisses was the standard… When I became an expat and wanted to say ‘hi’ to my friends I got into some awkward moments. What do you do? A handshake, a hug, one kiss, or two or three kisses? 

In general, I do the following. When I don’t know a person a handshake, if it is an international a hug, my close (female) friends 1 kiss, same for my sister and my parents (and uncles & aunts) get 3 kisses… Oh my lord! Can you still keep track? By the way, I am talking about kisses on the cheeks here 🙂 

Oh… I forgot one. Is there an international birthday than 2 kisses, but a Dutch birthday 3 kisses (and say happy birthday to everyone of course). Oh, one more thing about saying gefeliciteerd and giving 3 kisses… We sometimes say ‘ge (kiss) feli (kiss) ci (kiss) teerd’...I know… next level!

Where do these three kisses come from in the Netherlands? 

There is no real evidence for this, but it probably has to do with the Holy Trinity and spread through French-speaking areas across the countryside to the Netherlands. 

What is your ‘saying -’hi’-strategy’? 


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