When in Rome… as the saying goes

I’ve been in Spain for the past week. I don’t remember showing so much affection to so many people as I have this week, and I feel so loved because of this.

Why can’t we, as Americans, show how we feel about our friends by offering a gentle, respectful hug, or a kiss on each cheek, each time we see them? Male to male, male to female?

A handshake in American culture is a respectful way of saying, “NIce to meet you, see you, or just hello.” From an American perspective, this is respectful. Each time I held out my hand in Spain, I have felt the extension to be insufficient in the greeting, most particularly to those I had been in contact with at a prior time, whether by email, or in person.

My perspective as an American, and theirs as Spaniards, can’t change. But I am in their country, and respectfully, I appreciate their greetings.

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