Critical Incident - KISS HUG OR SHAKE HANDS


Kiss, hug or shake hands?

 Although I didn't host anybody, during this week, when the Italian, Bulgarian and Swedish students where in Catalonia, I noticed some differences in our cultures.
The first days I had to greet and introduce myself to other students. But I didn't know if I had to kiss them on the cheeks, hug or just shake hands. In Catalonia we usually kiss each other on the cheeks but in other countries too? I thought that if I shake hands it will be more polite because kisses would be strange and inappropriate for someone.
In the end I asked my Catalan friends what they did to greet them, and then I realized they had the same problem and I was not the only one.

Learning Point: If you’re not sure what to do when you meet someone new from another country, ask them what they do to greet people. It’s easy and better to talk and avoid misunderstandings.


Greeting new people

I was at my school waiting to the teacher to arrive. In the meantime, a Bulgarian student was walking past me so I decided to say hello. I introduced myself to that person and she did too. But then we had an awkward moment looking at each other. What happened? 

1. We realized we greeted each other, 5 minutes ago.

2. We didn’t know if we had to shake hands, hug or just kiss each other on the cheeks.

3. She had a very strange name and I laughed a bit.

Explanations

1. It’s possible but you usually remember the face of who you’re talking with.

2. Correct. In many countries, people greet differently.  For example, in Catalonia we kiss on one cheek and then the other, but in another country people kiss 3 times.

3. No, it’s very impolite to laugh of a person’s name, especially if you want to meet her and get to know her better.



Irina

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