0229-Anwar

To greet

To greet in the Netherlands, that remains a bit uncomfortable. I want to adapt myself to Dutch by hand and kiss three times, while Dutch people want to adjust to me and give me a hand or give me a greeting from a distance. When I was just in the Netherlands and was in The Dome (De Koepel) in refugee care, it was much more uncomfortable. Women stormed down at me to give me a hand or kiss me, but I screamed and fell backwards. I’m used to the fact that it is very inappropriate to touch a woman at the first meeting. It could offend her husband. If Dutch women kiss me in the presence of their friend or husband, I still find it difficult. I always look nervous about her friend or husband. Is he all right? During that time, I also embarrassed the Dutch. I was taken home by the Dutch couple Gerda and Erik. When I met Erik, I gave him two kisses. I noticed that he did not like that. Now I understand that Dutch men do not kiss each other. If my father came to the Netherlands and he would meet Gerda and Erik, he would not give Gerda a hand at the first meeting. He would find it inappropriate in the presence of her husband. The Dutch might call it disrespectful, while my father would feel a brutal, respectless man if he would. Well, just culture difference. My dad and grandpa greet me for Syrian use with a handshake. After the kiss you touch your forehead with your hand. Then they said, “I’m happy about you”.  Children in Syria kiss but like the hand of their (big) father, because in most cases they get money back. My father did not rarely call me when I walked: “Kissing does not make sense Anwar, I do not have money in my pocket!”

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