Greeting Kisses


Greeting Kisses – What Happened and Why?


Country: Sao Paulo, Brazil

Student: Female, 20


One night my friend Maria and I were getting ready to go out for the evening. Before we could leave, Maria had to call her friend Rodrigo to come and pick us up because Maria did not have a car. I was nervous because I had not yet met Rodrigo.

I had borrowed Maria’s clothes and earrings so I would fit into the foreign style. Rodrigo finally arrived around midnight. Maria introduced us, and I, being culturally sensitive, remembered I had to kiss Rodrigo on the cheek instead of shaking his hand. I kissed Rodrigo once on each cheek. After the greeting Rodrigo gave me a strange look and glanced at my left hand. Maria started to laugh as Rodrigo remained puzzled and asked me why I was not wearing my wedding ring?

Why had Rodrigo thought I was married?