Festive greetings or: how I say “Hello”

Greeting people is fraught with danger and confusion as far as I’m concerned. 


In some spaces it’s easy…

– Whanau/Friends I haven’t seen for a long time – smile, kiss on cheek and hug for several seconds.

– Friends/Distant whanau – smile, hold elbow, kiss on cheek.

– Performers after a show – smile, kiss on cheek.

– Work – smile, handshake/wave (depending on what you’re doing.)


But what happens when there’s a cross over or category-blur?

– People I met through work who I now consider friends because we hang out and go to stuff and don’t always talk about work

– Friends who I see at work-related things

– People I met through work who I go to stuff with who aren’t really friends

– Tweeps/FB friends who are online friends but who are really only physical acquaintances

– Friends I see regularly

– Performers who haven’t been performing in the thing I’ve just seen but we recognise each other


I’m not so keen on shaking hands – probably because I’m usually too busy juggling a drink, a bag, a jacket, possibly a scarf and trying to shake crumbs from my fingers to notice whether you are wearing rings or have arthritis and therefore don’t need your hand squished (and I certainly don’t need mine squished!)

My greeting preference is the elbow hold/kiss on the cheek combo. Why?  I don’t know. Maybe it’s being able to dictate the distance between me and the other person.  Perhaps it’s a subtle modification of the hongi so it’s some kind of inbuilt genetic thing *rolls eyes*. At least it means I don’t have to worry about my drink.



3 thoughts on “Festive greetings or: how I say “Hello”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Social mores are hard aren’t they? I just close my eyes and try not to thnk about it

  2. Anonymous says:

    i tried closing my eyes once and it was a total disaster! mouth kissed someone I really did not want to. *shudder*

  3. staplegun says:

    When you’re in category-blur land, sometimes it’s easiest to blur the greeting too, eg. an over-the-top "oh dahhhling" with two fake "moi moi" air kisses, then it becomes an obvious greeting to the intended person whilst also a non-confrontational joke to the bystanders, all in one fell swoop… moi moi dahhling 😀

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