Greetings, a serious question

Post May 11th it looks like we will be able to venture out, if we have the courage. Back in the day I recall daily greetings in England were a simple good morning without a hint of body interaction as was and probably still is the English way with a handshake on more formal occasions perhaps. O f course here in France its always been the opposite with more handshakes than you could shake a hairy stick at at and numerous cheek pecks for women, or handshake if not so well aquainted.
I suppose most of us have moved towards the French way, perhaps to feel more French or simply to fit in, but I have to admit on a personal level that I sometimes find the practice overpowering. Handshakes all round are fine but the overzealous male moving around every female in sight makes me cringe, I find it rather embarrassing and off putting, or is it me being too reserved?
My question is, I will soon be meeting people I know or people I need to interact with, for example I have just booked a CT for my car and will be meeting with the local garage people who I know.
How will all of us, and particularly the French citizen come to terms with a restrained form of greeting, what ever that may be?

I am not aware that Derestriction has said folk can go around hugging each other… we are being asked to be sensible, and take precautions etc…

a big smile and a hand raised, palm outwards… as against a hand offered…should do the trick

and, have your mask with you… some places can insist on one being worn… and good for them.

I have been surprised at how easily people here have adapted, and I imagine that it will continue as at present for some time to come. Currently the most common greeting seems to be a vague flappy hand gesture!

But I miss the old way…and I hope that eventually it does return. I find the UK handshakes are a bit pompous - and for someone with badly arthritic hands a bit painful, kissing is so much easier. (My husband hugs and kisses his male friends too)

Or perhaps they’ll be a mid-ground of patting people? Which some do anyway.

Phew, if the wife complains we’re not close anymore I’ll just shrug my shoulders and say ‘rules are rules’. :grinning:


There’s a chap in our commune, with a tremendously strong handshake… I thought he had broken my fingers the first time… amazing that I didn’t actually cry out.

As we often met, I swiftly decided that we were to be “best friends” and I beam at him, clasp my hands protectively (which makes him smile)… and then we have a big hug.

I have never had a whimpy handshake, but his… my word… I reckon he could bend steel bars. :roll_eyes: :roll_eyes:

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The Indian Namaste greeting is the obvious answer.
Respect and a big smile!


@Mike_Kearney - I’m totally with you on that greeting, which I’ve always admired. I was never comfortable with all that kissing stuff before the pandemic and I’m certainly not going to put myself at an unnecessary risk when I do finally venture out into the big, bad world again and I don’t care who I may offend!


Every single one of the locals who I’ve had any contact with since the beginning of the lockdown has changed their behaviour when greetings. When passing my garden people who before would always have gone out of their way to shake hands or kiss keep their distance and offer no more than a verbal greeting. I can’t see that behaviour changing for a very long time.


Just before lockdown… even then folk were being wary … and “bumping elbows”…

oh dear… hope that hasn’t become a habit… since folk are told to sneeze into the elbow if they have no mask on… :rofl:

I favour bum-bumping. It’s safer and more fun, but I admit it’s not catching on as quickly as I hoped round here… :thinking::sneezing_face::sweat_drops:

No snarks, if you please :smiley:


Definitely no touching of anything… anywhere… is the safest bet… :crazy_face:

My preferred greeting :pray:
Last week I did see two women kiss greeting, but suddenly realised :astonished: one was pregnant :astonished:

I have been working quite legally throughout the confinement, meeting and greeting. There’s a lot of elbow pointing, bit have not bisou’d or shook a hand in 4 weeks. (I did share a pen today, oops!).

Most people I’ve dealt with are respectful of the no contact recommendation, and are not offended if one doesn’t make contact.

I’m a bit concerned that 11 May people will think it’s all over and everybody will immediately be back on the road, huggn’ and a kissn’ as though nothing happened.


you are not the only one who has concerns… :roll_eyes:

Yes, that’s what the Marist fathers taught me at school too.

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I’m with you to some degree John. Too much kissing! I’m always surprised that (pre-virus) our GP greets us with a handshake - how many germs does he spread every day? I’ve never liked to refuse but have always felt it wasn’t right. I hope now he won’t offer his hand in future.

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Hands can be washed, and doctors tend to do so rather a lot. And your skin is a pretty brilliant barrier to germs, so it’s you touching you face, or putting a finger in your mouth or rubbing your eyes that transmits bacteria and viruses.

We are humans not robots, and there is a huge amount tied up in simple social touch. So I would be very sad to live in a world where touch was frowned on. Might as well live in a plastic box.

So far better to learn from this that you take care about touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

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It’s just one of those weird cultural things. Brits used to say “How do you do?” and it was considered bad form to answer the question. In some cultures straight men kiss. The Japanese won’t even breathe on you. Haka are used during Māori ceremonies and celebrations to honour guests and show the importance of the occasion. This includes family events, like birthdays and weddings.
But it is very important to know the rules and observe the etiquette. Kissing the cheek of a woman you hardly know is acceptable, but touch her in any other way and you’ll be up in court with your career in ruins.
For anyone who is unaware of this, long before Covid-19, foecal bacteria could be found on any surface people came in contact with. Hand washing was always a good idea!


Our Doc says a beaming hello… when he comes into the Waiting Room to grab his next victim… and when it is you… he shakes hands firmly…

I’ve never thought about it passing germs…

I have noticed that he washes/cleans his hands after making an examination of any sort… and we always shake hands on leaving… so I presume he cleans his hands before “grabbing” his next patient…

Of course, this dates from before this present pandemic… it is simply normal procedure

I hate all this bisous business, club nights at badminton were ridiculous, I’d arrive at the hall kiss and shake hands with everyone and by the time that was finished it was time to go home! :confounded:

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