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Greeting a Thai Lady, with a kiss.


Costas2008
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When I first came to Thailand, to meet my future wife, I was pleasantly surprised, to see her waiting in KK airport, accompanied by two lady friends of hers.

I walked towards them, took my wife in my arms and kissed her.

Then in turns, I embraced the other two ladies and gave them a peck on the cheek.

I have to explain here, that where I come from, it is customary to greet, friends, relatives and even people we don’t know very well, with a hug and a kiss on the cheek, or both cheeks.

Going back to the story, the reaction was amazing.

The 3 of them stood motionless, looking at me in horror, with eyes wide open and mouth half open.

Never crossed my mind, it was the kissing and I started thinking, do they find me so repulsive? Do I smell?

Eventually, we went for dinner, the ice broke, and later, I was left alone with my wife.

It wasn’t till 3 or 4 days later that my wife said to me:

Costa, please, never again, kiss other women, it’s not permitted in Thailand, it’s against Thai culture.

Many times, I’ve asked her, if she knows, why greeting with a kiss, is against, Thai culture.

Never had an answer……just…… it’s against Thai culture.

So, I would appreciate your input and comments, on this rule.

Considering, that Thais are warm hearted and kind people, why a small peck on the cheek, offends them?

Edited by Rooo
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Always do the kiss on cheek thing with my wife's aunties, but since they have been in Switzerland for many years they are a bit wiser

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To me, kissing total strangers seems an unnatural and overly intimate thing to do. When I left the UK, nobody did it. Now going back, it's weird because everyone is doing it, and it often looks uncomfortable and awkward, with people often getting in a muddle about which cheek to dive in for and how many kisses to give.

I don't think the way you greet is a good measure of how friendly you are. Thais are some of the friendliest people in the world. They manage to convey friendless, if not intimacy, without the need for great physical contact. Works for me. The only aspect of their greeting custom that I don't really get is parents and their children who haven't seen each other for months or maybe years, not hugging or touching at all upon meeting. That does seem unnatural and strange. I wonder whether they are resisting the urge on such occasions or whether the urge doesn't exist.

Sent from my i-mobile IQ XA using Thaivisa Connect Thailand mobile app

Not showing affection to loved ones after separation is indeed something which has surprised me always to.

I wonder if it is throughout all layers of society. I hope people can share some info about it.

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contribute to both cultures. When I meet a Thai friend, I first WAI to him/her . . .then include a western greeting. If I know the Thai friend long enough, it will be a hug and a two cheek kiss (french kiss). if he/she is a social aquaintance, it's shaking hands after the WAI.

Learning to tone/subtone your WAI, is important. If your initial WAI has not been appropiate, all the cheek kissing or the hugs or the hand shaking that follows to underline your western culture, is for the clowns

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After 15 years my wife still finds it incredibly unatural to greet people with a kiss.

Lived in Greece for a few years and have Brazilian friends. All that kissing and pecking, and as for kissing men on the cheek. Well.

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To me, kissing total strangers seems an unnatural and overly intimate thing to do. When I left the UK, nobody did it. Now going back, it's weird because everyone is doing it, and it often looks uncomfortable and awkward, with people often getting in a muddle about which cheek to dive in for and how many kisses to give.

I don't think the way you greet is a good measure of how friendly you are. Thais are some of the friendliest people in the world. They manage to convey friendless, if not intimacy, without the need for great physical contact. Works for me. The only aspect of their greeting custom that I don't really get is parents and their children who haven't seen each other for months or maybe years, not hugging or touching at all upon meeting. That does seem unnatural and strange. I wonder whether they are resisting the urge on such occasions or whether the urge doesn't exist.

Sent from my i-mobile IQ XA using Thaivisa Connect Thailand mobile app

Yes, its much more.common in the UK now.

I feel like a fogey. Just doesn't feel right.

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here kissy/huggy is also par for the course, and it changes depending on sub ethnic groups, among the more mediterranean men they will aslo kiss cheeks or take someone's hand and then kiss their own hand after (like a vatican hand kiss)... hubby has learned to do the bear hug /hand shake with guys here that he works with or meets up with, also like with my son... he's also learned to hug/kiss our good female friends also, as they usually initiate the greeting, but no, its not natural to him, he had to learn and in the beginning it was rather funny as he would try to escape the huggy/kissy scene... when he came back to thailand the first time, his brother hugged him at the arrivals in bangkok and i also saw tears in his eyes. ive seen thai guys hug/and also cry very quietly upon parting (five year visa finishes, they go back home and for the most part they dont keep up contact with the friends they have here, for whatever reasons, but the partings are always intense, the alcohol probably adds).

on departure to thailand this past week, hubby hugged and kissed me in public although i dont htink he would do that in front of his parents, old fashioned village types.

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To me, kissing total strangers seems an unnatural and overly intimate thing to do. When I left the UK, nobody did it. Now going back, it's weird because everyone is doing it, and it often looks uncomfortable and awkward, with people often getting in a muddle about which cheek to dive in for and how many kisses to give.

I don't think the way you greet is a good measure of how friendly you are. Thais are some of the friendliest people in the world. They manage to convey friendless, if not intimacy, without the need for great physical contact. Works for me. The only aspect of their greeting custom that I don't really get is parents and their children who haven't seen each other for months or maybe years, not hugging or touching at all upon meeting. That does seem unnatural and strange. I wonder whether they are resisting the urge on such occasions or whether the urge doesn't exist.

Sent from my i-mobile IQ XA using Thaivisa Connect Thailand mobile app

Yes, its much more.common in the UK now.

I feel like a fogey. Just doesn't feel right.

Same here

Though both my parents were Greek , but moved to the States at a very young age and grew up there, when I go to Greece I am also uncomfortable with all the kissing.

I don't have anything against it,

I am just awkward with it, I am used to shaking hands, never sure who initiates the kissing, and how many times to kiss....

Anyway, if anyone wants to be kissing me , they ought to take me out to dinner first, perhaps a movie afterwardstongue.png

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Costas, I always found if you go past the cheek and go for the sweet spot just behind / below the ear on the neck, the results in terms of awkwardness seem to melt away...

Some friends of ours from Australia (guy and his Thai wife) were recently here and we went to see them off. She and I headed in for the cheek peck but we overshot and I accidentally nipped her on the earlobe.

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I was told that kissing in public is not permitted with in Thai culture. Young people might do it, but certainly not respectable adults.

And certainly not with farangs unless you want people to think you are a bar girl.

I'm pretty sure people don't think I'm bar girl mate :)

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contribute to both cultures. When I meet a Thai friend, I first WAI to him/her . . .then include a western greeting. If I know the Thai friend long enough, it will be a hug and a two cheek kiss (french kiss). if he/she is a social aquaintance, it's shaking hands after the WAI.

Learning to tone/subtone your WAI, is important. If your initial WAI has not been appropiate, all the cheek kissing or the hugs or the hand shaking that follows to underline your western culture, is for the clowns

Which is why I never wai. There have been several threads about this, so not going to get into it here.

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Now that I'm part of the family, I give mother in law a quick hug and kiss on cheek when we leave to return to UK. She looks after me well whilst we are in LOS.

She can just about cope with it, but there's no reciprocation. It's all about the speed of the engagement.

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I was told that kissing in public is not permitted with in Thai culture. Young people might do it, but certainly not respectable adults.

And certainly not with farangs unless you want people to think you are a bar girl.

I'm pretty sure people don't think I'm bar girl mate smile.png

Dude ,,, anyone mistaking you for a bar girl, has either being out to sea waaay too long ,or is frequenting the wrong barstongue.png

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I was told that kissing in public is not permitted with in Thai culture. Young people might do it, but certainly not respectable adults.

And certainly not with farangs unless you want people to think you are a bar girl.

I'm pretty sure people don't think I'm bar girl mate :)

You should really stop trotting around the place in that mini skirt mca. It's confusing for people. :P

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to avoid the germs I neither shake hands or kiss

I greet people in the following way

2156992-513944-successful-businessman-ma

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When I meet thais for the first time, I point a finger at them. I see in the news that they do it all the time and it makes them even feel better if a photo is taken at that particular moment when their finger is pointed towards someone so it must not be against thai culture. When in Rome I like to do as the Romans do.

Sent from my GT-I9500 using Thaivisa Connect Thailand mobile app

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I was told that kissing in public is not permitted with in Thai culture. Young people might do it, but certainly not respectable adults.

And certainly not with farangs unless you want people to think you are a bar girl.

I'm pretty sure people don't think I'm bar girl mate :)
You should really stop trotting around the place in that mini skirt mca. It's confusing for people. :P
I thnk I'm wearing it too tight mate because whenever I do I wake up with a sore arse....

Yeah, must be too tight. (not ur arse, the skirt). 5555555

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