I think that the impulse to help others in need is fairly universal. How they do it (and how those receiving the help react) is more cultural than universal. The fact that the people of Gander helped isn't particularly interesting. How they did it, and how the plane people reacted, was and remains much more interesting.
I've never kissed a fish. I wonder if I would have done so, if given the chance, knowing how important this ritual is to my hosts.