Handshakes and Hold on!
Just as the words we use are a reflection of our language and culture, so are our movements and gestures toward one another. In America, there are many unspoken "guidelines" regarding physical contact between men.
For example, when you run into a friend on the road or at the store, a handshake is the customary greeting.The friendly handshake should last no more than a second or two. The classic "firm shake two times" is commonly modified in a variety of ways, such as "the high five," "gimme some skin," or "the daps." Such expressions of greeting and friendship are widely used, but rarely discussed. This can be attributed to the lack of interest in topics that are completely irrelevant.
Well, one might assume that these kinetic gestures are the same or similar in all cultures. On the contrary, in a culture where male hand-holding is the norm, one can only imagine what types of expression are to be expected. To the untrained eye, handshakes in this culture might appear to be the same, but after careful observation the truth is revealed.
The first group of handshakers are my personal favorite. They have mastered the initial approach, which appears to be the same. Then after being received they do not let go until the conversation is complete.
It begins with a friendly smile proceeded with a glance at one's right hand as it is being extended to the recipient. As the recipient returns the right-handed gesture, their hands meet and the "shaking" begins. This is where fun begins. Instead of simply letting go of the shake, this shaker continues to hold on so that the person can't leave.
This "cuffing" continues in 100+ degree weather despite the amount of sweat building between the two 98+ degree hands. Efforts to escape are futile. All the subtle tugging in the world cannot escape this oppressive grip. It's hard to focus on listening when one's hand is a prisoner.
At first, the hand holding between friends made me feel a little uncomfortable, but I am slowly getting used to it. I am grateful to have friends who are willing to reach over and grab my hand in the middle of the mall so that everyone knows we are pals.