In the United States, we usually greet people with a handshake, a nod and a smile, or in the case of a close relationship a hug. When there are many people in a room, we may not even do any of this, but a simple “hello” or a “wave”. Greetings are not like this in Argentina. For one, when you enter a room, you greet everyone! To not do so would be rude. If you do not know someone, than a simple handshake will suffice. If you are greetings friends, older people, or friends of friends, you greet them with a “kiss on the cheek”. This “kiss” is the greeting of two men, two women, or a man and a woman. The kiss is not actually a kiss. The kiss is putting cheek to cheek and making a “kiss” sound. The lips never touch each other or even the cheek of the friend. It is only cheek to cheek.
I love Latin American Culture! I love how they are so loving and personal. Each country is different. To my knowledge, Argentina is one of the only countries where not only women and men and women greet each other with a kiss, but men greet each other with a kiss. I am reminded of 2 Corinthians 13:12, “Greet one another with an holy kiss.” (Romans 16:16, 1 Peter 5:14 also say the same sort of thing). This kiss is beautiful, warm, and even biblical.
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