Monday, March 12, 2012

Turkish Greetings

Turks really like to shake hands.  They shake hands when they come to your house.  They shake hands on the street.  The waiter shakes your hand when you arrive at the restaurant. Between friends the handshake is often followed by a kiss on each cheek.   The kids and I watched in amazement as a weather beaten farmer with a rifle (!) greeted Cam with a handshake and a kiss on each cheek.

In the market when we were here in the summer, I saw a young man (early 20's) greet an elderly woman.  He shook her hand, kissed it and then put the back of it to his forehead. This is a very traditional greeting for someone much respected and older than you.  Today it happened to me!  Cam and I picked up the seismic camp boss and went to Everse to the butcher.  We were all greeted by the butcher and his wife, who shook hands with all of us.  When the butcher got to me, he shook my hand, bowed and brought my hand to his lips and then put the back of my hand to his forehead. I hope I didn't look as profoundly shocked as I felt. Buying stew meat at The Mad Butcher isn't ever going to be the same.

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