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Old 10.10.2014, 03:24
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When to transfer from handshake to three kisses?

Hello everyone

Ok I'm totally new in Switzerland. I'm from Asia where physical contacts is not so popular, maybe because it's too hot there.

When I'm in Switzerland, I'm quite confused with the Swiss kisses.

I know at first people shake hand "Nice to meet you ...". The shake hand phase may last for a while before moving to three kisses.

My questions:
1. When to make the three kisses?
2. If someone wants to have three kisses with me, that person considers me as a friend? (Out of acquaintance zone)
3. Also with the above person, if I refuse to make Swiss kisses here, will that person be upset and think that I don't want to get closer as a friend?
4. Swiss people want to kiss everyone who they have met more than 2 times?

Thank you for reading the post. I guess my questions are a bit weird but I just don't know how to handle this Swissy.
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Old 10.10.2014, 09:34
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Re: When to transfer from handshake to three kisses?

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1. When to make the three kisses?
Difficult to establish that, generally. Certainly only in a more casual setting and NEVER in a business environment, i.e. by all means, never give your boss three kisses when coming into the office in the morning

Personally, I don't give three kisses to people I've just met for the first time, but I know plenty of people who do. So for instance, if I'm out with a friend and a friend of him/her happens to join us, but I don't know that friend, I wouldn't kiss them - but others would. Judgement call

I always to the kiss-thing with my friends, acquaintances I've seen more than once, most family members, as well as with people I met in a business environment, but start to spend time with in personal life too. So for instance, if I have a colleague at the office and go for a drink with him/her on a Saturday night, I would give three kisses upon greeting them - but I wouldn't come back on Monday and give three kisses at the office.

The kisses are (usually) only between female-female and female-male, but not male-male (exceptions apply).

Quote:
2. If someone wants to have three kisses with me, that person considers me as a friend? (Out of acquaintance zone)
How do you define "friend"? We kiss acquaintances too, so generally no, just because someone wants to have three kisses doesn't mean you're a friend.

Also, it's not so much that anyone "wants" kisses specifically, it's sort of automatic, normal, just another greeting gesture, like people shake hands here too or people in other countries briefly hug etc.

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3. Also with the above person, if I refuse to make Swiss kisses here, will that person be upset and think that I don't want to get closer as a friend?
Depends how (culturally) sensitive said person is, but probably not. Briefly irritated maybe, but not more. It helps if you explain that you're not used to it or that it's not customary in the country you're from.

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4. Swiss people want to kiss everyone who they have met more than 2 times?
No But again, it's often just automatic.


Does that help in any way?

Last edited by Samaire13; 10.10.2014 at 09:47. Reason: Additional comment
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Old 10.10.2014, 11:01
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Re: When to transfer from handshake to three kisses?

When each kiss gets closer to the lips when should one transfer to undressing the other?
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Old 10.10.2014, 12:15
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Re: When to transfer from handshake to three kisses?

Just remember that the "kiss" (or the three kisses) used to greet are not really full on kisses. It's more like cheeks touching and you kiss the air. (Now that last one just sounds wrong if you have a sick disposition )

I think the general principle is if you are (or the other person) is uncomfortable, just offer a handshake. (At least in France, that is the advice that was given in a video once).

Between males, handshake is king. Very simple.

As said, it's a bit of a judgement call otherwise. I don't think many will be terribly offended if you are very uncomfortable reciprocating a kiss and offer to shake instead, particularly as they know that you aren't of Swiss heritage. Generally for me the first time in a handshake, and after that it depends on how close we become.
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Old 10.10.2014, 12:20
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Re: When to transfer from handshake to three kisses?

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My questions:
1. When to make the three kisses?
2. If someone wants to have three kisses with me, that person considers me as a friend? (Out of acquaintance zone)
3. Also with the above person, if I refuse to make Swiss kisses here, will that person be upset and think that I don't want to get closer as a friend?
4. Swiss people want to kiss everyone who they have met more than 2 times?
1. when they initiate it (KISS - Keep It Simple, Stupid)
2. mostly meaningless. more a way to avoid the awkward male-female handshake that feels too formal.
3. nobody gets away with refusing and have people not changing their opinion about you.
4. no. its more of a western thing anyway and i would say the swiss are very conservative. south of here men also start to kiss each other.
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Old 10.10.2014, 12:22
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Re: When to transfer from handshake to three kisses?

my principle is:

never when i meet somebody for the first time
never on business level (like wife of my boss or something)
exception is 2nd meeting and she starts doing it.
happens often, i dont like this fraternising feeling that comes
with it.

also when not doing it, i use it as a signal that i want to keep
it on an informal level, keep a professional distance and i try
to express that with handshake and keeping myself back.
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Old 10.10.2014, 12:25
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Re: When to transfer from handshake to three kisses?

I was told that in Romandie it's when you graduate from saying "vous" to someone to the more friend like "tu".

Myself, i usually three kiss people i know, I hand shake older people and occasionally wave.
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Old 09.01.2015, 19:03
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When to apply Swiss kisses? And with whom?

Hello people,

I'm a foreign lady in Lausanne, though I have been here for more than 2 years. But whenever seeing me, people switch into English automatically. So I guess there is something on my face admits that And actually, those kisses are totally a new vocabulary in my country.

I have a very nice kind lawyer. She is a Swiss. We have been "together" more than 1 year already. At first we always do handshake. One time she tried to make Swiss kisses with me, but I stretched my arm out for a handshake ( I'm sorry!)

Last time we met, after a 3-month pause, I bought a big bouquet for her and we did Swiss kisses. After those 3 smacking sounds, she did the handshake to me immediately

I don't really understand that. We have known each other more than one year, I bought bouquet for her after a "long time no see you". I think the Swiss kisses will make her happy and comfortable with me.

I see the Swiss also do kisses at work with their colleagues.

Do I miss something?

Thank you.
Warm winter for everyone.
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Old 09.01.2015, 19:27
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Re: When to apply Swiss kisses? And with whom?

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Hello people,

I'm a foreign lady in Lausanne, though I have been here for more than 2 years. But whenever seeing me, people switch into English automatically. So I guess there is something on my face admits that And actually, those kisses are totally a new vocabulary in my country.

I have a very nice kind lawyer. She is a Swiss. We have been "together" more than 1 year already. At first we always do handshake. One time she tried to make Swiss kisses with me, but I stretched my arm out for a handshake ( I'm sorry!)

Last time we met, after a 3-month pause, I bought a big bouquet for her and we did Swiss kisses. After those 3 smacking sounds, she did the handshake to me immediately

I don't really understand that. We have known each other more than one year, I bought bouquet for her after a "long time no see you". I think the Swiss kisses will make her happy and comfortable with me.

I see the Swiss also do kisses at work with their colleagues.

Do I miss something?

Thank you.
Warm winter for everyone.
It's a custom that happens over knowing somebody for a certain time and respect. It may take a week or a year to get to this level, impossible to give any real precision, play it by ear.

Last edited by Today only; 09.01.2015 at 22:22.
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Old 09.01.2015, 19:34
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Re: When to apply Swiss kisses? And with whom?

Anyone going "moi, moi moi" when they kiss gets a slap from me...
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Old 09.01.2015, 19:37
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Re: When to transfer from handshake to three kisses?

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NEVER in a business environment
Depends, I wouldn't say never.

Tom
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Old 09.01.2015, 19:38
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Re: When to apply Swiss kisses? And with whom?

One kiss works for me ....... tongues are optional - normally with people I know, though.
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Old 09.01.2015, 20:42
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Re: When to apply Swiss kisses? And with whom?

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Anyone going "moi, moi moi" when they kiss gets a slap from me...
Can i come for a kiss then
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Old 09.01.2015, 20:53
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Re: When to apply Swiss kisses? And with whom?

My friend spends the first hour of his job going around and kissing all the ladies good morning. When I first met my in-laws (Schaffhauseners) it was in California so I gave them all hugs. I still hug them all 12 years later so they know not to try and kiss me. Now that I live in Jura, though, I am stuck kissing. (I am not completely comfortable though).
The hard part is knowing if someone is French, because then you only give two kisses.
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Old 09.01.2015, 21:11
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Re: When to apply Swiss kisses? And with whom?

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My friend spends the first hour of his job going around and kissing all the ladies good morning. When I first met my in-laws (Schaffhauseners) it was in California so I gave them all hugs. I still hug them all 12 years later so they know not to try and kiss me. Now that I live in Jura, though, I am stuck kissing. (I am not completely comfortable though).
The hard part is knowing if someone is French, because then you only give two kisses.
In Paris you give 4 !

It is a local thing in France, i've always found 4 for the prettier ones and 2 for the uglier ones works well !
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Old 09.01.2015, 21:21
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Re: When to apply Swiss kisses? And with whom?

Over 25 years here & I still hate the stupid bisous.
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Old 09.01.2015, 21:55
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Re: When to apply Swiss kisses? And with whom?

The most akward thing for me is who should make the kissy sounds when we touch cheeks

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Old 09.01.2015, 21:56
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Re: When to apply Swiss kisses? And with whom?

I also find the "kiss kiss kiss" thing to be awkward... not only the actual doing it, but also to try to know when to do it (and when not to).

It seems, though, that when people know I'm American, they will often extend their hand for a handshake or give me a hug instead.

I've found that lots of Swiss like to practice hugging.

As for people you have just recently met (e.g. a friend of a friend), I find that it usually just takes one person to initiate the kiss-kiss-kiss thing. For me, if it's someone that I just got along really well with, I'll do that. But if it's someone I never really had the chance to speak much to, then I'll just simply say "hello" or "good bye" without any kind of physical interaction.

Most Swiss seem to be respectful of the fact that the kiss-kiss-kiss thing may not be part of your culture. So I think that they, too, are often hesitant. (Or maybe I'm just ugly? )
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Old 09.01.2015, 22:05
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Re: When to apply Swiss kisses? And with whom?

Du/tu is kissy-kissy; Sie/vous is shakey-handy.

[although, personally, I still try to avoid kissing some du's]
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Old 09.01.2015, 22:17
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Re: When to apply Swiss kisses? And with whom?

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Du/tu is kissy-kissy; Sie/vous is shakey-handy.
And when comes the fuc*y sucky?
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