By: Daniel Otero
There’s a deep confusion in China what’s the sexual and what’s the expression of affection between cultures.
It could be misinterpretation or lack of exposure.
But there’s a definite difference between expressions of sincere affection and those related to sex.
To stop these horrible misunderstandings for a culture like China always over-thinking; here’re the hard facts about cultures around the world, how to behave or adapt to them when travelling or while in China.
One, it’s common amongst friends and even strangers meeting for the first time, that the two clasp hands and give a hug. On the streets some African-American cultures do this as a desire for friendship and respect. These are things you learn if you ever have been around Africans, African-Americans or British-African friends.
In the Middle East when two male dignitaries come together, without any problems between them, there’s a kiss on the lips. There’s nothing wrong with it, it doesn’t mean these people are gay. It means two people coming together as one without warfare in between them.
Russians show an expression once you land in Russia, whether it’s a friend or stranger. The person is greeted with two kisses on the cheeks. Russian Premiers and U.S. Presidents have done it for decades.
It’s a way of adapting to any culture without causing any riff, to first learn about the people, their traditions and once in that country, become part of what’s happening. There’s nothing hidden, no sexual innuendo. People have to stop being so paranoid and learn about other civilizations outside of their respective lands.
The French are clearer with three kisses on the cheek. In the past you can see videos and photos of Merkel (Prime Minister of Germany) and Sarkozy (former-President of France). Doing a one, two and three—as they come together as world leaders!
But one of the best examples is how President Obama has adapted to foreign cultures. From doing the tango in Argentina to kissing a lady’s hand in France; there’s nothing wrong about it, just keeping an open mind to another person’s way of life.
The Italians like the Spanish cultures often salute with two kisses on the cheek and an, “Hola!”
This simple way of saying hello carries a great amount of weight when arriving in a new country and becoming part of that culture. It’s a way of saying, I accept [tolerate] you, and you accept me.
If people refuse to what’s outside of their country, it will make them look stupid and awkward to not acknowledge another person’s traditions.
The problem that Chinese are facing nowadays is a cheep imitation of Americanism.
In other words, “It’s my culture, nothing else and here’s where we stand!”
Sadly, we’re making of ourselves ignorant when we are already predisposed in rejecting another person’s way of life. Further stereotyping the citizens of that country!
Most often, Spanish culture and especially Latin Americans can be a people that love to hug and kiss, as a show of affection. It doesn’t mean these people are sexually harassing each other. They’re just people that appreciate that touchy-feely.
Often in China it can lead to deep misunderstandings. That’s why these expressions of affection should be taught in business classes and for those going abroad. Why? Because most often than not, people become stupidly ignorant and equate a sincere-pure gesture of affection with one that’s interpreted as an overly-sexual act! When there’s nothing sexual about it.
If we refuse them, we’ll miss the glorious chance of not learning them. And my people, this will be a real pity!