Kissing and Cultural Understanding

As I arrived in Spain from the Philippines, I got amazed by the sunny weather, the food, and the easy way of living. But half-naked people in the streets openly kissing each other is something that is still hard for me to swallow with a smile.

Some days ago, I got a reminder that I’m a real Filipina lady. My husband and I were sitting at an outdoor cafe and I saw a young couple kissing passionately in the street, just some meters away from our table. I ordered my husband not to look and almost shouted to the couple to stop and do this kind of behavior in private. Luckily enough, I remembered that I was not in the Philippines and that my license as moral police does not apply here in Spain.

But my reaction shows that learning and accepting another culture is not easy. My reaction was so strong that I felt like vomiting and felt very bad. I made a big deal of it because the moral police in me were screaming that it was very improper and vulgar and that kids should not see it.

I saw my past and remembered how I got angry with my sisters when they didn’t cover their eyes upon seeing kissing scenes on TV or movies. When I was young, I behaved righteously as the priests commanded. I became a hypocrite, arresting my friends for ¨improper¨ behavior like having relationships at an early age, and in hiding, I was reading and watching prohibited stuff. And this is still a part of me, kissing is prohibited stuff, and should be a private thing.

I don´t want to change my value system just because I have to conform to another culture. But I can expand myself and be open towards other people who have different backgrounds and also embrace more the concept of personal freedom towards my sisters, friends, and strangers.

I don´t like to be a condemning and close-minded person. I want to develop a balanced personality, to be curious and try to learn and understand as much as possible. If I continue my negative conservatism, it´s me who will suffer because I cannot change all that does not fit my personal views.

Change is a personal goal for me. I have to do it in order to be more successful in dealing with other people. And other people are what populates this world. And whatever our culture is, we should strive more to understand each other, and our ways of kissing LOL.

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