Kissing someone’s hands is pretty dodgy behavior when you think about it. I mean you simply don’t know where they’ve been. Much more hygienic to kiss someone’s face – at least you know they couldn’t have been scratching their genitals with their cheek ten minutes ago. Hand kissing is also sickeningly obsequious of course. It may be pretty common in Indonesia, but it still gives me the creeps when I see it.
So I was well pleased to see that the King of Saudi Arabia agrees with me. He’s even issued a decree on this important matter:
The King of Saudi Arabia has banned Saudi citizens from kissing his hand or the hand of anyone else in the royal family. King Abdullah made the decree while meeting princes, officials and citizens at the Al-Salam Palace in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah.
"Brothers, there is something in my mind that I want to tell you. Kissing hands is something alien to our values and ethics, and is refused by free and honest people," he told the delegations meeting him.
"It also leads to bowing, which violates God's law as the faithful bow only to the one and only God. Hence I hereby declare my total rejection of this matter, and I ask everyone not to kiss the hand of anyone except their parents as a mark of devotion," he continues.
Note that he doesn’t prohibit the kissing of other body parts. But I’m sure that’s not an oversight. After all, he’s never hidden his affection for other men, including fellow conservative Mr Bush…
Not in public please ...