Although research shows that almost 50 percent find kissing in the workplace annoying, you would now almost long for it. But kissing each other uninhibited is no longer possible for the time being. The habit of kissing three times may even make you wonder if it will return.
Whether that is bad? As far as I am concerned, we abolished our kissing ritual years ago. Three times I find two too many. The fact that those three kisses are anchored in our culture is also debatable. Isn’t it long ago that twice was the norm? Just like in many European countries, by the way. That third kiss is always a bit dangling. And is certainly extremely uncomfortable in foreign companies.
Yet our custom has actually crept in from abroad, where the ‘three-fold’ became commonplace in Brabant in the 1980s. Before we realized it, we were kissing from the Achterhoek to Friesland, with the rule that you start on the right and air kisses are out of the question.
In recent years, there have been several initiatives to kill the three-fold. But despite buttons like ‘I kiss twice’, Facebook promotions and the habit of young people to hug coupled with just a kiss, the majority stuck to this habit. Perhaps because we had not agreed on a clear alternative and you cannot simply change a tradition. Learning or unlearning something takes time.
Or does the Netherlands not want to get rid of three times at all? Time for an investigation? Because if most people think the same way as I do, now is the time to press ahead. According to kissing experts, more kisses create more distance. That is exactly what we will not want after this time of social poverty.
Chef VRIJ Babette Wieringa highlights the world of lifestyle every week. Follow her on Instagram: babettewieringa.
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