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Visiting Polish Girlfriend at her family. How to greet her family members?


bungal 1 | -    
  5 Jan 2011  #1
I have been with my polish Girlfriend for 3 months now but she went to Poland for christmas for 4 weeks and we agreed I would come for a week in january.. aka this saturday I fly...

I will be staying with her Family, Mum dad, 2 sisters and 3 brothers...

Can someone please help me with the greeting of family members.. When greeting mother am I supposed to shake hands and kiss cheek.. also what of her sisters... kiss on cheek aswell!?

I know a handful of polish words.. and her parents dont speak much if any english...

When accepting a meal from her mother what should I say...?? Would it be insulting to thank her in english as I would not be comfortable speaking in polish from what i know..

Any other advice would be much appreciated!
WOW - | 3    
5 Jan 2011  #2
Any other advice would be much appreciated!

Relax.
Wroclaw 44 | 5,401    
6 Jan 2011  #3
and kiss cheek.. also what of her sisters... kiss on cheek aswell!?

i wouldn't do that.

and be careful shaking hands with Polish women. they don't grip, they touch palms and press the thumb into the back of your hand.

strange, but true and important to know.
Stu 12 | 523    
  6 Jan 2011  #4
Elderly women might appreciate a kiss on the hand ... you know like d'Artagnan. But don't really touch the hands with your lips, let alone leave the hand dripping with your saliver afterwards.

You might want to try to kiss your "sisters-in-law" three times. Not on the mouth or any other part "controversial" part of the body of course ... :D. But three times on the cheeks, again without leaving them dripping with saliver, is the safest (I 've asked my Polish wife and she said it'd be safest). Don't kiss your future "brothers-in-law", though. We are not in an Arab country ... :P.

Take some flowers for your mother-in-law (or Lindt chocolate), maybe some vodka for your father-in-law. Your sisters-in-law might like the Lindt chocolate as well, not the flowers. And if your bottle of vodka is big enough, your brothers-in-law and you might be able to enjoy it as well.

Try to learn some basic phrases. Thank you, your food is the best I've ever tasted, I feel really welcome, etc ... in Polish. I mastered it and I don't have such a high IQ. And look as if you mean it when you are saying it.

For the rest ... just enjoy the different cultures. You'll be having a ball. Try to start some funny interludes and have your girlfriend translate them. Don't be too controversial though ... but I guess you are a sensible guy, so you know what I mean.
Ayoub87 1 | 4    
16 Jul 2015  #5
When greeting mother am I supposed to shake hands and kiss cheek.. also what of her sisters... kiss on cheek aswell!?I know a handful of polish words.. and her parents dont speak much if any english...When accepting a meal from her mother what should I say...?? Would it be insulting to thank her in english as I would not be comfortable speaking in polish from what i know..

I know it's been 4 years and I'm not sure if you're still with your Polish girlfriend, but can you please walk me through your experience and tell me what have you done? I'll be experiencing the exact situation (first time to meet the family) in a couple days.
Polsyr 6 | 772    
16 Jul 2015  #6
@Ayoub87; do they speak English or another language that you can use to talk to them?

Be modest. Don't talk too much. Maintain eye contact with the person who is talking to you.

If you are not sure how to greet someone, offer a handshake and allow them to decide if that is enough or a kiss on the cheek is necessary. It will be either one kiss or three kisses (never two, never more than 3).

"Political correctness" can be lacking amongst older people here in Poland. If you hear questions or comments that sound offensive, rest assured they are NOT meant to be offensive.

If you don't eat pork or don't drink alcohol, then your girlfriend should make her family aware of this in advance to avoid a situation that can embarrassing for both parties.

If you are bringing a present (a bottle of olive oil for example) then you should present it to her mother.

Most people in Poland remove their shoes when they enter their homes. Ask your girlfriend how it is in her home and be prepared to remove your shoes if necessary.

During your first meeting with her parents, do not hold her hand or physically express affection in front of them.
InPolska 11 | 1,821    
16 Jul 2015  #7
@Ayoub: You should also bring some Argan oïl. It's getting popular in Poland. Buy a small bottle of COSMETIC Argan oïl (not for cooking) and give it to mother, she should appreciate...

Well, I'm going to stop adding things because you'll end up needing a truck to carry all your stuff ;)


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