The Dutch social kiss versus the Argentine Saludar

male kiss Guy Ritchie and Mickey Rourke.jpg

If you had thought that swine flu had put an end to the social obligation of conference kissing, think again. The Blog has detected two major influences sweeping across the world of social cheek-kissing, and conference-goers will want to familiarise themselves with them before embarking for EPCA in Berlin. First is the inexorable spread of the Dutch three-cheek kiss, and second is the emerging trend sweeping in from South America of the male-on-male kiss.

 

Regular attendees at petrochemical conferences will have noticed the Dutch kiss sweeping across European borders, practiced now not only by Dutch members of the petchem community but also anyone with a Dutch office or who has at any time done business in or around the Netherlands. “We’re all Dutch now,” is the standard refrain.

 

More unnerving for the majority of attendees at the forthcoming EPCA conference will be the spread of the Argentine/Uruguayan “Saludar.” Oh yes, I have seen the future of social kissing and am waiting agog to see its arrival in the world of petchem conferences.

 

At a polo match at Buenos AiresCampo Argentino de Polo en Palermo, the Blog witnessed a full-on Saludar, as one general arriving in the grandstand made his way down the row of seated generals kissing each of them on the cheek. The full man-on-man grip, the wrapping of arms around shoulder, the clutching to the chest, and the full kissing contact of lips on cheek, once only, then pulling back with a big warm smile – all these will be a welcome addition to the normally staid lobby of the Berlin Intercontinental Hotel.

 

How long before the Dutch get hold of the Saludar and bring us the Dutch Saludar?

 

(Photo Rex)

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2 Responses to The Dutch social kiss versus the Argentine Saludar

  1. Lima 21 September, 2009 at 4:49 pm #

    I long ago abandoned the single-cheek kiss, or even the two-cheek kiss in favour of the “Dutch 3 cheeker” since it was a whole lot easier than having to remember what was the “done” thing in each case – also avoided some uncomfortable cheek to air or ear to cheek mistakes!

  2. Robbo 24 September, 2009 at 4:15 pm #

    Brrrr. Kissing. What’s wrong with the British approach?

    1. Look them in the eye
    2. Extend hand
    3. Grip firmly, but not too firmly
    4. Ask after their health in a neutrally disinterested way.
    5. Get no closer than 95cm (1 yard)

    That said, about 20 years ago I was performing this ritual towards a female contact whose home was Paris. She took one look at my extended hand and said “Why shake hands when you could have a French kiss?” I’m proud to say that I did the gallant thing and accommodated her.

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