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.