*Cheek to cheek gesture*
Younger person to elder – “¡Bendición!”
Elder response – “Dios te bien diga”
Translation: – “good blessing or good health”
Context: This is a saying used to greet family, typically when you are greeting an elder in your family such as your grandparents. While saying these phrases you do a cheek to cheek greeting almost as if you are kissing each other on the cheek. The informant learned this growing up around their family and used it out of respect for their elders when greeting them. It has a connection to Christianity in the sense that you are giving them a blessing and it used very commonly in Latin households. The informant said this is a more formal way of greeting family however when you greet your friends, you just do the cheek to cheek gesture.
Analysis: Interestingly, this folk-gesture is similar to many European gestures for greeting but is different because you kiss both cheeks in Europe but only one cheek in this gesture displaying the difference in meaning/significance in the different cultures and groups of people. It is not a very common thing in American culture because there is not much of a cheek to cheek gesture, however, my grandparents tend to say things such as, “God bless you,” when saying goodbye, connecting back to Christianity shaping these gestures and greetings.