Different countries have striking cultural contrast! Between a culture that tends to discourage physical contact and one in which the contrary is true, it is difficult to know exactly how to behave sometimes...
"Don't touch me" "Take your hands off me" Such statements are not uncommon in North America, but they are never heard in Algeria, Morocco, or Tunisia.
The Mediterranean people like to shake hands, hug each other, and kiss each other on the cheeks every morning!
Indeed, the world's cultures have strikingly different notions about displays of affection and about matters of personal space.
In Mediterranean cultures, boys and girls kiss each other on the cheek, two or three times a day, coming and going! They kiss male and female kin, relatives of friends, friends of relatives, and more casual acquaintances. Men kiss their fathers and uncles and cousins throughout their lives.
In other cultures, it is completely different! According to clinical psychologist David E. Klimek, who has written about intimacy and marriage in the United States, "In America society, if we go much beyond simple touching, our behavior takes on a minor sexual twist" (Slade 1984).
North Americans define demonstrations of affections between males and females with reference to marriage.
Cultures have strikingly different standards of personal space, such as how far apart people should stand in normal encounters and interactions. I always try to remember these standards of personal space since I am teaching in an International school!