Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Strange Italy

I was going through old emails in my inbox (I do this sometimes) and I fumbled on an email from an old Italian friend. The email dated back from 2006, I haven't heard about him since then. He was telling me about his life, he has started trying to become a journalist. His English has always been limited and he always used a lot of direct translations from Italian. In the title subject of his email, he had written: "a kiss from Italy" ("un bacco da Italia", I think). A mark of affection, but which I found very strange coming from a male friend.

And this is something I will never quite understand from Italians: the display of male affection among friends, or even acquaintances. I come from a Latin culture where men and women kiss on the cheeks to greet people, but I always felt strange seeing and experiencing the way Italien men kiss and hug their masculin friends. I know it is the case of many mediterranean cultures, even Southern French do it. I just find it weird. I may have been called "the most Italian of all Canadians" by one of them (hugging me as he said this), but I this is one aspect of Italian culture I will never fully integrate. I am a reserved Northern man when it comes to friendship. But I still miss my Italian friends.


Cynthia said...

I just hate the French habit of bises, I am a reserved person too plus I am often sick!

Anonymous said...

I must confess I am a hugger, and so I think that its rather nice. But it's not for everyone. My great uncle doesn't care for hugs, and dispenses them at arms length :-)