Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Some Like It Cheeky

Didn't you want to hear about life in Turkey?
May a rant about cheek kissing bring you joy.


Post Scrit: Here is a semi-transcript of what goes down in the video if you can't or don't want to watch it...

Everyone says that your first kiss is awkward.

My first cheek kiss was from a Chilean who, after greeting my exchange student sister, proceeded to greet me with a kiss me on the cheek (only one, as per South American etiquette). I was shocked - no one my age does that. Ever. He grinned at my confusion and declared, ‘Un beso por bienvenidos.’ A welcome kiss.

           I wanted to tell him, American teens don’t kiss each other on the cheek. We hug. We high five. We slap each other’s backs. We do not kiss. We reserve cheek-kissing for our relatives, elders, and cute little babies.

Now, as an American in a cheek-kissing country, Turkey, I have the chance to figure out cheek-kissing technique and etiquette. It's odd when someone angles their face towards yours, making a smacking sound right in your ear, but I’ve been figuring it out. Although my first response is to grimace and pull away, I’m learning to greet my friends and enemies with a kiss on both cheeks – directly for those I like, air kisses for people who are less than satisfactory, and add a huge hug for those who are my nearest and dearest.

I am worried what my American friends will think to have a cheek-kissing me back by their side. But, it’s only natural that their first cheek-kisses will be awkward too!


  1. That's so cool! Cultural differences 'n all. I wonder why it's different. Well, if you end up accidentally kissing me, I guess it's okay...but I'll definitely protest. Good luck - and have fun at school!

  2. Haha nice video Izzy :D
    It's so different in Estonia... You shake hands with your own gender (but not the other, usually) when you first meet, but nothing after that. Only a hug if you are good friends!