One of the things I love most about Brazil is all the touching and kissing. Everybody touches and kisses everybody. Warm, nice, sweet, affectionate touches and kisses.
When we arrive at a party the first order of business is to go around to every person present and, depending on their gender or sexual orientation, kiss, hug and/or shake hands and pat shoulders with each person and say hello. At the end of the evening when we begin to leave, once again we will kiss or hug or otherwise touch every person present and say goodbye.
My mother-in-law will put her arm around me and just share some affection at the most random of moments. No reason. Just because we are standing near to each other.
Every time our neighbor from upstairs comes by to drop off a slice of cake she’s made or a bowl of soup she just concocted, we exchange kisses on the cheeks.
All the kids we know come up to us and kiss and hug us hello and goodbye.
Every female medical professional we have seen: allergist, endocrinologist, oncologist, physical therapist, all of them – kisses at hello and goodbye. (With the men we shake hands and pat shoulders.)
It’s so sweet to see mothers and teenage sons walking arm in arm. Dads hug and kiss their sons of all ages. Best girlfriends will walk arm in arm. Teenage boys will walk with their arms around each other’s shoulders.
Almost without exception when an adult is near a child (theirs or someone they know) there is affectionate touching. And it is clear the children thrive on it.
There’s a whole lotta love goin’ on here. It warms my heart.