Why is it that North America is one of the only countries that doesn't use the cheek kiss as a standard greeting? In so many other countries including all of Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, the Mediterranean, etc you will commonly be greeted with a peck on one if not both cheeks. In those areas the cheek kiss is a social gesture to indicate friendship, respect, or greeting.
I can honestly say that I truly MISS the cheek kiss greeting that I became accustomed to in Honduras. It took a bit of getting used to in the beginning but I began to appreciate the sincerity, meaning, and intimacy behind the gesture. It didn't matter what room you walk into people stand and greet you. There is none of the awkward last second decision of "do I hug them or shake their hand" when you see someone you know.
I read an article recently that with the recent flu and H1N1 scare a lot of North Americans aren't even shaking hands anymore. Have we really become that consumed with the fear of catching something from one another? Does our desire for privacy and distance and our fear of embarrassment keep us from kissing on the cheek or hugging each other?
It saddens me that we have become such a guarded people group....So don't be surprised if I still hug you and peck on you the cheek with a kiss! :)