Thursday, April 2, 2009

To touch or not to touch

"OMG, She touched the Queen!" I'm sure the mouse under the Queen's throne is having a fit over Michelle Obama touching Queen Elizabeth during their "private" meeting.

I have to admit I was surprised to see the bit of video that HLN has shown over and over again during the Robin show.

And then I remembered an incident from when Paul was going through flight school.

The Army trains certain allied soldiers in helicopter flight. Among those allies are the United Arab Emerates. We had a few such students in Paul's flight class.

At some point or another there was a formal gathering of the students, teachers and spouses. I had been very specifically drilled that the Arab students do not shake hands with women. I was told to not hold out my hand for a handshake. I was instructed to keep my hands at my side and make the greeting verbal. No problem.

When Paul introduced me to one of the Arab students with whom he had forged a "friendship", I kept my hands to my side. I said "How do you do? " without lifting a hand.... and he... well.. he stuck out his hand for a traditional american handshake!
I felt that etiquette required me to take and shake. So I did. But I could tell he was very uncomfortable with the handshake.

Who knows.. perhaps they were drilled to shake the spouses hands... that it would be rude to do otherwise.

So.. I think we can cut Michelle Obama some slack. After all, the Queen touched her first.


Beth said...

Ha! I just read this after I'd posted a bit about it myself. It was such a huge story yesterday, and thank goodness it seems to have died down today.

It's so easy to forget--or to just not pay attention--that different societies have different protocols. Good for you for trying to do what was right, even if the guy messed it up for you. LOL

Hugs, Beth

madison said...

In hubbys country women don't shake hands with men either. In his country it's an invitation, lol. But, every man from his country I meet, sticks his hand out for a hand shake. Guess it's a matter of trying to be polite and respectful of the customs.

natalie said...

dear Estella,
:) actually my older kid said that
his newscast said that she hugged the queen and the queen hugged her!:)
Big Congrats on winning your award!
p.s. please come by and see me at Lurkynat
I will come see you too!

Lynne said...

I think there are a lot larger problems than proposed touching...sheesh.

friedmsw said...

So what....the President bowed to the Arab sheik.

pattyt said...

I think the Queen need some support and use Michelle Obama to help her so Michelle Obama just did what anyone would of done held her.
even if that was not the case its still not a big deal...I did not see the qreen slap her or anything.

lets woory about more terrible things no jobs, killings, bombs, etc...