Mexicans don't need a 'National Hug Day'

It was National Hug Day this weekend. I didn’t even know such holiday existed--but I was not surprised--in a country where there’s National Popcorn Day, there’s definitely room to turn hug giving into a holiday.

This made me think of those guys carrying the “free hugs” signs around the Union Square area in NYC.  I’ve never asked for a free hug, but I always wonder who might.

I do believe that people in New York don’t hug as much as we do in Mexico. Not even close. It’s a well-known fact that people shy away from physical contact in this country, at least compared to other cultures. They seem to be very worried with personal space--offering a handshake instead of a kiss on the cheek and keeping a certain distance during friendly conversation.


There have been several instances where I’ve kissed people on the cheek to say hello--something Mexicans do by habit--and I’ve seen the recipients of these kisses have weird body reactions. It makes me want to say, "Dude, I am not into you. Mexicans have this strange habit of kissing everybody, even people we don’t know"

So I definitely do less kiss and hug giving around here--but I get a full dose with my kids. I kiss and hug my offspring every time they allow me. The best thing that can happen to me after a long day of work is to open the door of our home, and see those two kids running towards me to give me a big hug attack.

Hugs relieve stress and when we’re feeling low, getting that big squeeze provides a lot of comfort. It definitely beats chocolate and liquor.

People should give it a try and make that one hug day holiday into an all year round celebration…or at least try to hug some more.

Do you find that people in the United States are less affectionate than back home?

Image via basibanget/Flickr