As a Latina woman in my late 40’s, I was taught to hug. It’s in my culture to hug someone I know and depending on the case even someone I just met. I remember taking a class a few years back and our non-Latino teacher asked if I was famous, I said no why? He stated to me that he noticed that every person that came into the class had hugged me. I said that it is part of my culture. However now with the COVID-19 will this have to change? What do you think? Will you still be a hugger?
Let’s think about this a bit more, we tend to say that Latinos are big on hugs as our form of communication, but think of the people from Italy, Portugal & Spain, they take it a step further and not only give you a hug but they also give a kiss on each face cheek. Therefore it’s very much a form of respect and greetings all mixed in one. How will COVID-19 change the way people communicate? I’m not sure of that as we all know that old habits and traditions die hard. Plus in this world that we live in with so many issues, humans are so in need of another human’s touch and we may fall right back to hugging, because your spirit may depend on it.
As a child when you fell or had a problem at school you were hugged by your teacher. At home, if you fell off your bike your parents would hug you and kiss your boo-boo. While the problem didn’t go away you felt so much better with that hug, it created a bond. Just recently my mom’s neighbor passed away and one of her posts while dying at the hospital was how scared and lonely she felt. The reality is that she most likely died without a hug and that brings tears to my eyes. Not to mention what her funeral will be like. Normally at a funeral, you will witness lots of crying and hugging but now funerals are like a fast food drive up and no real closure.
The truth is that almost all humans are body language and this is the way we communicate and I think it won’t be a question of will we ever hug again, it will just be a matter of when will we be able to hug again.
Rosa Julia Parra
CEO, Palo Magazine