Greetings vary a lot from region to region, this is an obvious statement but I found it very interesting to learn just what kind of gestures are appropriate. While there are many types of greetings but for the sake of time I choose to just focus on one, cheek kissing. A greeting is much more than a simple kiss, a hand shake or a hug. The way in which you greet someone reflects upon your social etiquette, your character and is often the basis behind a first impression. Facial expression, gestures, body language and eye contact are all signals of what type of greeting is expected. Gestures are the most obvious signal, for instance greeting someone with open arms is generally a sign that we want to hug; however, if we were to greet someone with arms crossed it would be viewed as a sign of hostility. Facial expression, body language and eye contact give away the greeter's emotions and interest level. A frown, slouching and lowered eye contact suggests disinterest, while smiling and an exuberant attitude is a sign of welcome. Throughout all cultures people greet one another as a sign of recognition, affection, friendship and reverence. While handshakes, hugs, bows, nods and nose rubbing are all acceptable greetings, the most common greeting is a kiss, or kisses, on the cheek. Cheek kissing is “a ritual or social gesture to indicate friendship, perform a greeting, to confer congratulations, to comfort someone, or to show respect.” Cheek kissing is most common in Europe and Latin America and has become a standard greeting in Southern Europe. While cheek kissing is a common greeting in many cultures, each country has a unique way in which they do so. In Russia, Slovenia, Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro the Netherlands and Egypt it is customary to “kiss three times, on alternate cheeks.” Italians usually kiss twice in a greeting and in Mexico only one kiss is necessary. In the Galapagos women kiss on the right cheek only and in Oman it is not unusual for men to kiss one another on the nose after a handshake. French culture accepts a number of ways to greet depending on the region. Two kisses are most common throughout all of France but in Provence three kisses are given and in Nantes four are exchanged. While it was quiet interesting to learn about the different types of kissing gestures I was still interested in how exactly this tradition came to be. While there is no definite answer to this question there is some information about the history of the kiss. While psychologists and psychoanalysts tend to write as if kissing has a universal and unchanging meaning (for Freud, the erotic kiss is an attempted return to the security of the mother’s breast), it is far from a universal practice. It seems to have played a less conspicuous part in either the ritual or the erotic life of most Asiatic, Polynesian or sub-Saharan societies, while in the West the norms and conventions governing its employment have, from the beginning, been constantly evolving. One could attempt to summarize this evolution by saying that the use of the kiss as a ceremonial means of expressing and cementing social, personal and political relationships has, during the past 800 years, tended to diminish, whereas its erotic significance has been increasingly emphasized. For the purpose of the cheek kissing greeting, it seems that it was a catalyst for bonding most of the time. Since first impressions are everything starting out on common ground with a kiss on the cheek would seem like a good place to start. Once the group knows each other it just make that bond a little bit stronger if everyone is joining in on a common tradition, and it makes that greeting more personal than a casual wave.