How will the Dutch greet each other after coronavirus?

On Wednesday the current coronavirus measures will be loosened. Does this mean we can embrace our old greeting habits again?

One of the main measures to fight the coronavirus is the famous 1.5 meter distance. This includes no touching, no shaking hands and definitely no three kisses! While alternatives such as the elbow shake, an awkward wave, or a foot bump were introduced, none have been taken up with much enthusiasm by the Dutch population.

Relaxing of coronavirus measures

On Wednesday the coronavirus measures will be changed again. People under the age of 18 will no longer have to keep 1.5 meter distance, and adults can gather outside in larger groups.

So, if social meetings can take place again, how do we greet one another? EditieNL carried out research about the Dutch knuffelgedrag, or hugging behaviour. They found that 21% of interviewees want to go back to hugging friends and family. “It’s human nature to want physical contact. We haven’t been allowed to hug for months, and that’s very difficult for humans,” says etiquette specialist Anne-Marie van Leggelo.

The end of kissing?

Despite this, shaking hands, kissing and hugging carry the risk of infecting one another with the coronavirus. The traditional three Dutch kisses especially would increase this risk. According to the Volkskrant, the three kisses was already lowering in popularity, and the coronavirus was its kiss of death, so to speak.

The three kisses were seen as something for the older generation reports the Volkskrant. The younger generation preferred one kiss or a handshake. “We already thought it was a little too much, and now Dutch people are used to not kissing three times anymore. I don’t think it will come back” says Leggelo.

What the new way of greeting will be at the end of this crisis remains to be seen. As of now, the 1.5 meter rule still counts for adults, so alternative ways of greeting are necessary at least for the time being.

What do you think the new method of greeting should be? Tell us in the comments below!

Feature Image: fauxels/Pexels

Annabelle Willeme
Annabelle was born in Utrecht but grew up in Mali, Bosnia and Uganda. She moved back to Utrecht to study and is so far doing a terrible job getting back in touch with Dutch culture. Hopefully, it’s an upward trend from here. Besides writing she enjoys playing football, re-watching Grey’s Anatomy for the 10th time, drinking copious amounts of tea and has recently started trying to brew her own wine and beer… we’ll see how it goes.


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