Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden Post by J. J. Lodder Post by Peter Moylan Post by Peter Moylan Post by Sam Plusnet
I was reminded of those situations where friends or acquaintances
go in for one of those cheek-kissing rituals.
Is it to be one kiss?Or two? (or even three - who knows).
Do you start on the left cheek or the right?Better get it right
or the greeting might go into injury time.
I was brought up in a non greeting-kiss family, so I have no
idea what the ground rules are.
My experience in Belgium, when I went to kiss someone, was that
the other person would say in a low voice, as our heads approached,
"deux". I never discovered whether that was help for a foreigner
who didn't know the rules, or a common custom.
I did form the impression that a single kiss had been the norm but
that it was in the process of changing to two.
Never heard it. To add to your data set: In the Netherlands the rule
used to be none, for the Northern (protestant) part, three for
Brabant and Limburg. But it's evolving,
I do have the impression that it's a very Catholic custom. It's hard to
imagine serious Protestants doing it.
ObSong: Les flamandes dansent sans sourire.
Mais, mais, mais, Les Flamandes sont tres catholique,
Oui, c'est cela que j'ai pensé.
As I understand it the religious boundary goes through the Netherlands,
not Belgium, and that a lot of problems would have been avoided if they
had either used that as a national frontier, putting Flanders in the
Netherlands, or else the linguistic boundary, putting Wallonia in
France. Instead they put it half way between the two.
Yes, but which religious border, and which language border?
Most of Flanders -was- protestant,
but the Spaniards conquered and massacred,
and all who could flee fled to the North.
(see under 'Spanish Fury')
It broke Antwerp, and made Amsterdam.
As for the Dutch and religion,
the Republic grew by conquest of Spanish-held territories
for decades. (it really was an 80-years war of independence)
The broad rule is that those parts that were added
after the counter-Reformation took hold, ca. 1610, remained catholic.
(there is a bible belt in between)
And which language border?
The 1500 one, or the present one?
It has moved far northward,
as the result of centuries of French conquest
and a systematic policy of languicide.
All of the present departement Nord (59) and some more
was on the Flemish side of the language border.