Well I mean one tradition is touching basically.
The more a person is familiar, the closer they touch. Like with all my relatives, with each other they always kiss each other’s cheeks.
Well, not really, it’s kind of like a Middle Eastern-type of thing.
I found his response that it was more Middle Eastern in origin to be very interesting. He unknowingly showed a little bit of ethnic nationalism without realizing it. I’ve experienced personally this sort of greeting from Italians, French people, and more from Eastern Europeans, as well. Just like earlier in this semester with the issue of “Who owns a song?”, I feel that it’d be really interesting to trace the etymology of this greeting.