I was going to write in French but then I realized that I have something besides the daily workings of my life to discuss, so I will postpone le français for another day.
(Side note: did you realize how much of my last post RHYMED?! Completely unintentional. My brain just works like that sometimes.)
Today, Molly and I were discussing bisous, as in the French air-kisses. The premise of the conversation was the question about whether or not it would be possible for bisous to be introduced to American society, similar to how I introduced our affinity for hugs to my circle of French friends.
We both have been to Europe and experienced that style of greeting, and neither of us mind it very much. I would even go so far as to say that we like it, and I kind of miss that as part of my daily interaction with friends. Bisous add a different level to friendship, even though they are used so casually in countries like France. ALMOST casually, but not quite. Like how we give out hugs so easily, but it expresses more than just waving. It adds a physical-but-not-sexual level to the relationship that cannot really be expressed in another way. What if Americans accepted bisous as another level of interaction with friends? Would it work?
This brings us to sociology, which is basically the study of culture, and that means its impact on our lives and developement. Sociology, and our culture, affects every aspect of our lives, even if we don’t notice it. Our social development and status are based on sociology. The immediate perceptions and definition of our very SELF is rooted in sociology, and the expectations that our society places upon us as individuals, as members of a greater group.
In European society, bisous are accepted and welcomed. It has become part of the definition of who they are. Molly and I agreed, that we didn’t think that bisous could be accepted within American society, because the interaction is not a societal norm. Changing such a thing would be next to impossible, as anybody experiencing that kind of interaction for the first time would be incredibly confused about the reason.
That got me thinking about how different the culture of a particular area forces you to act in a certain way. I do miss the way I had to act in France, but only in the sense that I feel like I’m losing that feeling of it being “normal”, when here, it is extraordinarily strange. It makes me think back to freshman year (or was it earlier? later?) when some teacher (I think it was my seminar World History teacher, who is a legend) brought up the idea about how much DIFFERENT your life would be if you were born in a different time, or a different place. What would you be like? What would the social norms be? What would you wish for in your time or place, or what would you consider to be ridiculous?
P.S. I’m such a humanities nerd.