Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Serious *Besos* Business

I know I've already mentioned besos ("kisses"), but they are worth a second nod. Besos are, by far, my favorite Argentine custom that I've been introduced to as of yet. Every Argentine greeting and goodbye is communicated with besos, a slight lean to the left and kiss on the right cheek of your friend. The first few times, the newness of the besos interaction left me feeling uncertain and awkward, but my hesitance quickly turned into love.

Everyone besos.
Including me.
And, don't be fooled by their soft exterior, besos are serious business.
A few fun examples:

- Every morning, Idealistas staff members make their rounds through all three of the rooms in our office, greeting every employee and volunteer with besos.

- At Idealistas meetings or gatherings, staff greet everyone in the meeting - as well as everyone sitting in the nearby offices with besos before things get underway.

- Business people and teenagers and friends and families can be spotted giving "besos" on streetcorners and on doorsteps all around the city.

- I was recently walking down a hallway at work when I had to pass through a small group of conversing people to get into the next room. I excused myself to pass through and one of the girls stopped me - and with an eyebrown raised asked "besos?". I happily obliged and besos-ed before continuing on my way.

- And my favorite: When a friend arrived at our Spanish school last week, one of the teachers approached her immediately and apologized for not giving her "besos" the last time she had been there.

Besos. I like it. Watch out Minnesota... I plan to initiate some serious cheek-kissing when I get home!

1 comment:

Betsy Grace Matheson Symanietz said...

Oh man - I'm going to besos you so much. :)