As part of
(Hosted by Postcards from Rachel, Ink and Adventure, AKA Chymecindy, Girl Meets Globe, and Life plus 1)
"Beijos" are kisses in Brazil. (Pronounced bay'-joos, with a soft j)
It's a cultural thing. Also common in other Latin-American countries.
You give beijos to say hello and goodbye.
They also say, "beijos" to each other if they're walking away and/or are out of kissing range. And they also type "beijos" or "bjs" in text messages when they're signing off. It's really cute!
In Sao Paulo they give one kiss, in Rio they give two. I'm not sure about other Brazilian states. You just put your cheeks together and kiss the air next to the person's ear. (Not quite as slobbery as some of the cheek/neck/ear-kisses I've received in other Latin-American countries!)
Here's how it breaks down, by gender.
Female to Female, all friends and acquaintances - Beijos
Female to Male, all friends and acquaintances - Beijos
Male to Male, first meeting - Handshake only
Male to Male, friends - Handshake and hug combination, with a pat on the shoulder
(The men never give another man beijos)
PROS AND CONS
Pros: It's more personal than a handshake, and it takes the pressure off of how to be introduced to someone. In the States I'm always confused - Do I offer a handshake? Do I just smile and say "nice to meet you?" Wave awkwardly? Here I always know exactly what to do.
Cons: It's not always comfortable to have someone's face so close to your own face... Also, it's a bit confusing to remember how many kisses to give. In Peru and Mexico it's two kisses, and they're real kisses on the cheeks. In Rio it's two air-kisses, and in Sao Paulo it's only one air-kiss! When we were visiting Sao Paulo at Christmas, I was meeting lots of new people, and I kept trying to go for the second kiss as they were pulling away after the first. So awkward!
(It's also a little awkward to be giving "kisses" to other peoples' husbands, but since it's such a cultural thing, no one seems to mind)
What do you think? Are you into the kissing thing? Or do you wish people would just respect the bubble of personal space?