Today, I had to pick a programme up for a friend at a local school, while I was waiting I was surprised to see all the teachers formally greeting each other, much hand-shaking was going on, and then I remembered having heard about this before, and in general it’s important to remember when you go into a shop that you, the client should politely greet and be sure to add Sir or Madam and wait – sometimes this helps, sometimes not, none of this rushing into a store, saying hi on the run, grabbing what you want and being out of there in 5 minutes, that’s one of the things meant by ‘culture shock’, is it?
This is Flanders and therefore the handshaking, but if you were a couple of kilometres to the South and arriving in the workplace, a kiss on the cheek would be in order, sometimes one, two or three, depending on what, I am not sure. Big burly guys pitching up for a rugby match, do the whole kissing ritual as well.
Apparently people who arrange kids’ parties have to do their homework, even for children and teenagers, games and music differ and what works for the French-speaking part of the population wouldn’t work for the Dutch speakers. Mmmm culture?