The main difference between Mexicans in the U.S. and Mexico can be summed up in one word: cariño. I didn’t really notice until I went to Mexico with my sons. I guess I had noticed this cariño on previous trips, but I had forgotten all about that affection that Mexicans show one another more openly. Mexicans in the U.S. are very affectionate, compared to the typical American, but their display of cariño keeps diminishing with each passing year as they assimilate into American culture. I could tell my sons were surprised by all the cariño they endured first hand. They just weren’t used to it! Well, every time I go to Mexico, I have to get used to it, too. Once a Mexican finds out that you are his or her relative, you are guaranteed to be showered with affection. My cousins kept hugging and kissing my sons, which really embarrassed them. Especially when they also said things like, “My Baby!” My sons really blushed. Every time! After a while they realized that it was useless to try to avoid all this cariño. Wow! So that’s what I went through on our trips to Mexico when I was younger!

¡Dame un abrazo, mi hijo! También dame un besito.