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The Netherlands

Dutch customs

Irish gestures

Comparative culture

Dutch gestures (gebaren)

• Tapping the center of one's forehead means "stom" — "stupid."

• Tapping one's temple means "slim" — "smart."

• Swiveling one's hand upright beside the face, palm toward one's cheek, means lekker — "delicious."

• A sharp upnod of the head means "what's up?" It's mildly rude. It's not aggressive, naturally — but it is moderately confrontational.

• Passing the hand across from a side of the forehead and meanwhile drawing the fingers from open to closed-tipped out beside one's head means "whew" — like "that's a lot."

• Kisses — Between a man and a woman, or between two women, it is common amongst the well-aquainted to give three mild kisses upon alternating cheeks: left, right, left. This confuses the Spanish most of all, for whom "besitos" is two kisses.