Shows of public affection and Thailand

Topic for consideration and discussion with your Thai partners or friends

(I read this post on a recent Thai forum for westerners with links to Thailand)

When I first came to Thailand, to meet my future wife, I was pleasantly surprised, to see her waiting in KK airport, accompanied by two lady friends of hers.

I walked towards them, took my wife in my arms and kissed her.Then in turns, I embraced the other two ladies and gave them a peck on the cheek.

I have to explain here, that where I come from, it is customary to greet, friends, relatives and even people we don’t know very well, with a hug and a kiss on the cheek, or both cheeks.Going back to the story, the reaction was amazing.The 3 of them stood motionless, looking at me in horror, with eyes wide open and mouth half open.

Never crossed my mind, it was the kissing and I started thinking, do they find me so repulsive? Do I smell?Eventually, we went for dinner, the ice broke, and later, I was left alone with my wife.

It wasn’t till 3 or 4 days later that my wife said to me: Costa, please, never again, kiss other women, it’s not permitted in Thailand, it’s against Thai culture.

Many times, I’ve asked her, if she knows, why greeting with a kiss, is against, Thai culture. Never had an answer……just…… it’s against Thai culture.

So, I would appreciate your input and comments, on this rule. Considering, that Thais are warm-hearted and kind people, why a small peck on the cheek, offends them?


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