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Old 11-28-2014, 04:40 AM
1,428 posts, read 2,085,023 times
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Originally Posted by kevxu View Post
Fifteen years ago I emigrated to a country and a culture where embracing family members and friends, when you meet - whether in private or in public - is absolutely commonplace. I find it a warm and wonderful social custom. And, I suppose it must seem odd to Americans, but there is no "sorting out" of who do I do this with and who do I not: You know....and you really do. I was so surprised when I lived at first for six month in Madeira that teenage boys were totally unflummoxed by hugging women in public, and that they would quite spontaneously pick up an infant from a stroller and fondle it and hold it in their arms for a few moments while talking to the mother.

I find it a bit odd, and amusing in some ways, that in this culture that is still more traditional and conservative than that of the U.S., people seem far more emotionally secure that Americans. There isn't all the fretting about touching/personal space/etc. that seems to be the case in the U.S., and yet the latter is a country with more informality and supposedly more free and easy.

On the other hand, I lived in Manhattan for forty years after leaving university, and over the years I became quite aware of how physically free and easy New Yorkers were with each other compared to the people I grew up among in the western part of the state, or people in the Midwest. Perhaps it was because Manhattan had such huge numbers of immigrants or children of immigrants that customs were less Anglo-Saxon American.
Wow what a post! My family are immigrants from Portugal and we always greated the women with a double kiss/hug and the men with a hand shake/hug. I guess I was "forced" to do it, but it was considered very much insulting if I did not. Now I have to say it has helped be very much in the business world. No, I do not go around hugging men/women but I do make it a point to greet everyone when I enter a social situation.

Though I was born and raised in the USA.. many customs still confuse me like Weddings without a mass, parties that have ending times in the invitations, and people not seeing their extended families on Holidays because its too "hard".
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Old 12-02-2014, 11:21 AM
4,743 posts, read 3,718,692 times
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I may plead, but I don't force.

Originally Posted by HappyFarm34 View Post
Growing up, my mom would tell me that I needed to hug my Grandparents and relatives so their feelings wouldn't get hurt. Even the relatives I only saw maybe 1-2x a year.

I HATED it. To me when I was growing up, it just felt weird and me uncomfortable especially when I was going through puberty. I felt like my personal space was being violated.

At home, you can see where I'm coming from... My parents rarely, if ever hugged each other, showed any affectrion towards one another, or even say things like "I Love You". The same with me and my siblings. My father NEVER hugged us, NEVER showed us affection or say "I Love you". It was living in a very emotionally distanced home. I had someone tell me at least you had a father....Yes, but he was never a dad, very uninvolved and left all the parental responsiblities onto my mother.

So, as a child and teen, it made it very awkward being told to hug them when I didn't want to. I just didn't get it that I never hugged my parents but had to hug my Grandparents & relatives

When I turned an adult, I still hugged them when I saw them out of spite to avoid my mother getting mad at me. Then I decided to stand up for myself and just didn't go to family gatherings and such...Anything to avoid my relatives. And my mom say I'm cold and heartless. There's an old saying that goes...If you have to force love, then it's probably crap.". Sooo true.
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