Here in Hawaii, we use the Hawaiian handshake – a hug. Hugs in Hawaii are for greetings, expressions of love, and sacred representations of trust. We hug friends. We hug strangers. We hug people we haven’t seen in a while and we hug people we see all the time. We hug girls and boys, Aunties and Uncles, nieces and nephews, teachers and co-workers. We connect and communicate on a level that a handshake and words cannot.
For some, the full-body local hug has evolved into a cheek-to-cheek kiss involving an audible smooch with hands strategically contacting each others’ shoulder, arm, or elbow. However, I still prefer to give and receive real ol’ fashion hugs. It feels much more natural to me than the half-lean-in-half-cheek-touch-body-contorted-lip-smacking-*smooch*.
Hawaiian hugging involves respectfully and lovingly opening yourself up to another person. You’re close enough to feel body heat and exchange breath, yet not too close that it’s uncomfortable. The embrace lasts for just enough time to connect and disconnect, but not too brief or overstayed. It happens simultaneously yet doesn’t need planning or discussion or even any thought, for that matter. Nonverbally, hugs convey so much.
In Hawaii, friendships start with hugs.
- A to Z Challenge: H
Daily Prompt: Why Can’t We Be Friends? – Do you find it easy to make new friends? Tell us how you’ve mastered the art of befriending a new person.