tiistai 8. marraskuuta 2011

BFF #8: To meet'n greet

Dear all, welcome to another episode of our exciting quest of understanding Finnish culture and people. Today’s topic in BeFriending Finland is the funky habits of meeting and greeting. If you enjoy this, be sure to check out parts #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6 and #7 too!

There are some very simple guidelines that will help you through the somewhat awkward moment of meeting completely foreign, Finnish people. You know the moment, when one helds out a hand, the other is about to kiss and the third just stands aside and bows. Well we do not bow and quite as certainly we don't kiss.

Well... to be fair, some of the young, quite international ladies might nowadays kiss on the cheeck. But that is an exception, not the rule and even those kiss only the people they already know. Never ever a complete stranger.

We shake hands when we meet and we shake hands again when we greet. We shake hands when we congratulate. And we even shake hands as we say goodbye and thank for the lovely time. This is the formal and polite way to meet and greet.

Kuva: Boston Public Library

After the point when you became good friends or if you're young and cool, you don't need to shake hands anymore. Then you might nod your head as a greeting and ask something friendly, such as "mitä kuuluu?" (how you're doing). Also hugging is possible, but if you're a man, be sure to remember the correct male hug with patting in the back. But kissing is left for those that are in love.

I need to advice you also on how to shake hands. One might think that's simple, just stick you hand out and that's it. But no. The three main points are: 1) Take a firm grip, don't let your hand just lie there. 2) Do not crush the fingers. 3) Remember to look in the eyes. 

If you're unsure what to do, held out your hand. Shaking hands is the safest way to approach a Finn.

Any thoughts about shaking hands? How do you greet?

2 kommenttia:

  1. Yo, amigos, let's make a revolución!

    Let's hug more even those people we don't know yet and especially elderly folks. Perhaps our culture would change at least a little bit, by every hug.

  2. Mikael does have a point. This is how it is at the moment. But it is not how it will be in the future and not necessarily how it should be either. Hugging would be a good way to bring people closer together.

    So yes, let's hug.


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