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Kiss and Culture : Kissing

Kiss and Culture

Kiss, kiss, kiss and kiss. What is it about kiss? I used to teach Social Science subjects to college students and every time we are discussing about culture and different customs, the act of kissing is one topic which never fails to amuse students. I don’t teach them how to do the art of kissing, but I introduced to them different traditions and behavior around the world pertaining to it. This in a way help the students to appreciate other culture and understand them in a lighter way. When you understand the behavior of people in other culture, you will respect them and you will not resort to a certain disease in Anthropology (study of culture), we call it ethnocentrism, where other people look at the culture of others as inferior to them.

Kiss of affection, mother to baby

Kiss of affection, mother to baby

Animals can kiss too -- showing affection

Animals can kiss too -- showing affection

Eskimo kiss

Eskimo kiss

Friends kiss

Friends kiss

French kiss

French kiss

image of angel kissing children

image of angel kissing children

Adam Lambert kissing another male

Adam Lambert kissing another male

Controversial kiss between Madonna and Britney Spears

Controversial kiss between Madonna and Britney Spears




What is a Kiss?

Kiss is defined as touching somebody or something (could be an object like a book) with the lips, either gently or passionately. There is also one thing we call flying kiss or the gesture of it, where you blow your kiss using hand. It is from the word Old English “cyssan” -- to kiss -.

The Uses of Kiss

  • Kiss is used for appreciating other people, sign of respect, greeting, passion, love, affection, friendship etc. It is not universal as some culture don’t even practice it like some tribes in Africa.
  • According to recent researches, kissing lowers cholesterol, reduce stress, stimulates cardiovascular activity and lowers high blood pressure as well.

Where did the first kiss originated?

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In Ancient Greece as evidenced in the writings of Homer, they kissed the lips, hands, sun, moon, stars etc. You are also very fortunate during those times if you can kiss the rulers. In our present time, Roman Catholics kiss the ring of the Pope as a sign of respect and for "His Holiness".

Anthropologists have also suggested that India is actually the birthplace of kissing that we know of today. When you see Indian sculptures -- they the are the first human cultural artifact that involve kissing--the theory is that the idea of "exchanging breath" led to kissing and locking your lips together. They also (anthropologists) assumed that kiss must be made between the mother and the child in ancient times, as they pass the food from their mouth, (this sounds so unhealthy) but before their time of course they don’t know germs etc yet.

Kiss in different Cultures

  • Kissing in every culture is different, some do it with the cheeks, lips between noses, hands or in the forehead. It is also done among friends, with the wife/husband/lover or just as a form of respect etc. It is also used as a form of greetings or in Judas case, kiss of betrayal as they say. In Western culture, kiss is a form of greetings or when you meet closed friends or relatives. You greet them either with a kiss or a hug or a combination of both. You kiss because you love somebody or because of affection too.

Flying kiss

  • Air kiss or flying kiss -- the gesture is not touching but just using the hands and blowing in the air, for example the Hollywood artists always do this in front of audiences if they cant kiss everybody and they are separated in a short distance from them.


  • Culture plays an important role in terms of privacy of kissing. In some restrictive society kissing is relegated only to the bedroom, while in other more permissive culture they show affection everywhere.

Eskimo kissing -- the term is called “kunik” -- form of affection usually between lovers, close friends, members of the family where they pressing the upper lip and nose towards the skin (forehead or cheeks) and then slowly breathing .

Kissing among men -- In some parts of the world like Mediterranean and Italy, close friends greet each other by kissing each other in the mouth. This is both for men and women. Arab men kiss on their cheek when they see each other. In France they usually kiss each other on the cheek while the Dutch throw in a good one for a good luck.

French kiss -- usually involves romantic and is sexual in nature, in which the others tongue touches the others tongues, interlocking movement.

Kiss and Religion -- Usually in Catholicism, the people kiss the Popes ring, or in some denomination they kiss the bible etc.

Wedding Kiss-- after the ceremony is done, the groom and the bride usually kiss each other to seal the agreement.

Kiss among close family members-- this is for affection specially among parent to children or vice versa.

Controversial kisses -- A kiss can be controversial if the culture you are into is not used to that type of kiss, like when Adam Lambert kiss another member of the band in front of many audiences or between Britney Spears and Madonna.

Kiss an object - usually people kiss an object they like very much as a sign of appreciation to it like the bible, wine or their pillows if they have nobody to kiss.


Kiss my

Kiss my

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love on February 04, 2013:

i love my girlfriend and kiss him

Tina Siuagan from Rizal, Philippines on January 28, 2012:

I love kissing my loved ones in any form imaginable. Hahahaha... (What are you thinking?) I am so happy to see a hub discussing various cultural aspects of kissing. Plus, a bonus on its health benefits.

This hub rocks! :D

Martin Luther from London on February 24, 2011:

wow love it.

Jaroslaw A on September 26, 2010:

Hi prettydarkhorse,

Thank you for such an informative hub. It is fascinating how people in different cultures show an affection for one another.

Looking forward to read more of your hubs.

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on April 10, 2010:

wow, you're a poet, I like your description, Thank you so much, Maita

Matthew Frederick Blowers III from United States on April 09, 2010:

It is the most intimate form of communication using your lips and tongue without verbalizing to show your affection for another. It can and should wander to other parts of the body, but the most magical moment is when two mesh as one sharing lips and love's nectar. Great Hub!!~~MFB III

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on March 14, 2010:

thanks Moulik, Maita

Moulik Mistry from Burdwan, West Bengal, India on March 14, 2010:

Very interesting writing and I got to learn a great deal of things about kissing...

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on February 22, 2010:

thank you Susan and I am glad you smiled at least, Good day to you and bless, Maita

susanlang on February 21, 2010:

Aww P.darkhorse, this was an enjoyable read, my most liked of all kisses was the "Flying Kiss" that monkey is just too cute for words. Thanks.

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on February 03, 2010:

Hi Beth, musta na day, did you enjoy this hub, practice now with hubby hehe, Maita

Beth Arch from Pearl of the Orient Seas on February 03, 2010:

Interesting hub! I enjoyed reading this, Maita and I learned here the cultural diversity on kiss.


prettydarkhorse (author) from US on February 03, 2010:

Hi prasadjain, yes according to historians Indians are the first vivilization to initiate "kissing", strange isn't it? thanks for your information, Maita

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on February 03, 2010:

Thanks Sir James for dropping by, practice hehe, Maita

Dr.S.P.PADMA PRASAD from Tumkur on February 03, 2010:

This hub has generated so many reactions, which indicates the popularity of Kiss!

In INDIA, Kissing in public is socially prohibited.Such act is not concidered as good. Only children are kissed openly by elders.Couple should kiss only in private.Strangely enough, though our ancient sculptures on temple walls show sexual intercourse,Sculptures showing kissing couple are very very rare.

James A Watkins from Chicago on February 01, 2010:

Thank you for this informative article about kissing. I have had much practice but I can't say it made perfect. :)

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on January 31, 2010:

Hi Papasez, hmm Kiss my __ hehe, bad me, isn't it? I don't think there is any benefit with kissing the butt LOL< Thanks and happy weekdays there, Musta ulit, Maita

Papa Sez from The Philippines to Canada on January 31, 2010:

Hey Maita, it's good to be reminded about the benefits of kissing, including reducing stress! Very good research.

I got a good laugh on your image with a kiss on his behind. Now that kind of kissing is somethin' else...any benefits? LOL

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on January 31, 2010:

Hi mystique, nice of you to drop by here, are you in Japan now? Maita

Mystique1957 from Caracas-Venezuela on January 31, 2010:

Well, Maita...

This the very first hub I read from you! I liked it a lot! Kissing is very meaningful in my culture, so it was interesting to know some other types of kissing. I had a horrible experience when I first visited Japan. People saw me as a weirdo. Nowadays Japanese have accepted more the kiss greeting, especially among young people!

Great Hub!

Two lips up, er..Two thumbs up, sorry!

Warm greetings,


prettydarkhorse (author) from US on January 30, 2010:

thanks ateenyi for dropping by, kiss is showing of affection and love indeed, here's a flying internet kiss for ya, Maita

ateenyi from Chicago on January 30, 2010:

Good Hub!!!!!!!

The kiss of love speaks thousand words straightway. The kiss is best medium; the person should adopt to demonstrate his love and happiness. If an individual kisses book, ring, picture, child or girl in every case, he demonstrates his love toward that particular attribute. The hub depicts excellent display of the overall scenario.

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on January 28, 2010:

Hi prasetio, thanks for the read and I agree with you it is expression of love, and should be private as is expected of some culture, Maita

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on January 28, 2010:

I think kissing is a normal to represent of love. But we have to know the right time and the right condition. A normal kissing in public is allowed. But a dirty kissing in public or public places and it seeing by many people, I don't think so. You have nice topic. I know various kissing type here. good work.

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on January 28, 2010:

Hey POPPA< I know you love kissing, hehe, thanks, Maita

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on January 28, 2010:

Hey Tam, nice look I like your look, Thanks for dropping by, Maita

Poppa Blues on January 28, 2010:

Very interesting! I love kissing!

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on January 28, 2010:

Hey blpelton, thnaks dear, Maita

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on January 28, 2010:

yes Elayne, some make me sick too, the one with Lambert isn't it?? Thanks for dropping by here friend, Maita

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on January 28, 2010:

Hey Sage, thnaks for a nice compliments, I am happy to get one from you when I wake up, Maita

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on January 28, 2010:

Hi Tony, hehehe,you mad eme smile this morning. Love and peace too Tony, Thanks for dropping by, Maita

Tony McGregor from South Africa on January 27, 2010:

"Kissin' spreads disease, 'tis stated,

But kiss me kid, I'm vaccinated!"

Love kissing - so what else is there to say, but "Thanks, Maita, for a lovely Hub"!

Love and peace


Truth From Truth from Michigan on January 27, 2010:

Great hub maita, Who doesn't like a good kiss?

Nice pictures. Your variations of kisses was great. Thanks.

Tammy Lochmann on January 27, 2010:

How sweet, I never thought that deeply about a kiss. Hmmm, I need to find someone to kiss...bye...Oh and I really liked your story!

blpelton on January 27, 2010:

Great kissing hub ! woohoo ! :)

Elayne from Rocky Mountains on January 27, 2010:

This is a fun hub. Great pictures and very enlightening. Some make me smile - some make me sick - Bleh! Anyways, humans are interesting to watch.

Sage Williams on January 27, 2010:

Maita, Great hub! You have so many neat ideas. I had no idea there were so many different kinds of kisses in the various cultures. And quite frankly never gave it any thought, till now. Your pictures are worth 1,000 words. I really appreciate this one.

Thanks for such a unique hub,


prettydarkhorse (author) from US on January 27, 2010:

Hi Mike, thank you so much for finding the time to read this one and for you to learn aosmehting I appreciate it, Maita

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on January 27, 2010:

Hi Carolyn, '3 times cheek air-kiss' that's for you BK< 4 times hehe, I am glad you like this article, thanks my friend, Maita

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on January 27, 2010:

Hey GHOST, here's one for you too and chocolates as well, internet flying kiss, lots of them with matching chuva chuva, cheek to cheek, found a date on V day yet???



prettydarkhorse (author) from US on January 27, 2010:

Hey wolf, I suggested your name to a person looking for writers about environment, and hey GOOD night tonite, thanks for dropping by, Maita

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on January 27, 2010:

Hey Lady, my sweet lady, thanks and I love kissess too, nobody to kiss,, here is a flying internet kiss to ya, Maita

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on January 27, 2010:

Hey Beth, thanks dear, and hugs to you my friend, and kiss too, cheek to cheek, Maita

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on January 27, 2010:

Hey Tony, great kisser lets try it? hehe, Thanks, How are you, Maita

thevoice from carthage ill on January 27, 2010:

great article most nations are not taboo about talking about kissing sex it really helps when couples explains likes dislikes well informed write mike

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on January 27, 2010:

Hi DOHN< oh thanks for that KISS of DEATH Corleone, and Romeo and Juliet, yes, thats it -- forgot to put it,

I know you sure know how to kiss already, expert hehe.

BTW, thnaks for the info about hot hub?? where did you look at it, hmm, don't know about that, will check it,

Thanks Sir, Maita

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on January 27, 2010:

Hey QUILL< hmmm, what happened to MRS QUILL< just kidding,thanks again, Maita

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on January 27, 2010:

hi anglnwu, thanks dear, how are you, will visit your hubs later, Maita

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on January 27, 2010:

hey hafeezrm, you should have took advantage of the kiss, was just kidding, and yes culture has a lot to say about when not to kiss and the manner you kiss, Thank you, Maita,

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on January 27, 2010:

Hi RevLady, thank you dear and have a good day, Maita

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on January 27, 2010:

Hey Cris, internet kiss, here's one for ya, it is a version of flying kiss, only you look stupid kissing the PC hehehehe, thanks Cris

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on January 27, 2010:

Hey hello, thanks dear form dropping by,yes they did kiss LOL< creepy, Maita

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on January 27, 2010:

Hey Mick, hehehehe, not male, no female for me either, want a KISS too, hehe, Did you go biking today? TC, Maita

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on January 27, 2010:

Thanks Dave, HUGS to you too, back, Maita

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on January 27, 2010:

Hey Joe Barnett, they are indeed controversial, thanks for the read here, hmm male to male hehe, Maita

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on January 27, 2010:

Hi cojaq, thanks for dropping by here and yes it has benefits too, hehe, kiss your gf as you can, Maita

cojaqmarketing from Carmel, Indiana on January 27, 2010:

I guess I'd better be kissing my girlfriend more...uh for our health!!


prettydarkhorse (author) from US on January 27, 2010:

hey habee, it is beneficial to our health they say, maybe because you feel that you are loved, releived stress perhaps, Thanks dear, Maita

Holle Abee from Georgia on January 27, 2010:

I love a good kiss. Didn't know they were so beneficial to our health. Guess I'll have to do more of it!

JOE BARNETT on January 27, 2010:

hmmmm, interesting hub.the controversial kisses are definitely that. the russian president. that was a shocker! keep it up!

Dave Mathews from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA on January 27, 2010:

Maita sweetie, great hub. I had no idea we were so diverified when it comes to kissing.......Thankyou Maita and here is a HUG for this one.

Brother Dave.

Micky Dee on January 27, 2010:

Very nice hub. I love the pictures. I feel like kissing someone. Anybody feel like kissing? Anybody? Somebody? No males. At least no tongue!

Hello, hello, from London, UK on January 27, 2010:

Such a lovely hub but I was shocked about Breshnev and Hoeniker, what was going there? Surely surely it couldn't have anything to do with communism hahaha Thank you.

carolina muscle from Charlotte, North Carolina on January 26, 2010:

Maita.. great hub.. but your forgot one- the internet kiss!! Here's one! :-X

RevLady from Lantana, Florida on January 26, 2010:

Nice hub Maita. It is interesting about cultural and religious differences in methods of kissing. Good read. Thank you.

Love and peace!

Forever His,

hafeezrm from Pakistan on January 26, 2010:

Nice hub.

I was staying in a hotel in Santiago. On leaving the lady-owner came out with me to bid me farewell and extended her face. I did not understand what was meant by that gesture. These were my initial days in Chile and soon the truth dawned at that a man is supposed to kiss a women. From then on, it was a windfall. Maybe I have kissed some whom I should not have because of short acquaintance but it was OK.

anglnwu on January 26, 2010:

Great hub, Maita. I learn so much just from reading this--from a peck on the cheek to controversial exchanges. Catch this flying kiss if you can!

"Quill" on January 26, 2010:

That's it I have learned it all now...where is Mrs Quill...

Blessings and Hugs

dohn121 from Hudson Valley, New York on January 26, 2010:

I had a lot fun learning how to kiss properly by reading this hub Maita! (Just don't tell me to 'kiss off'). Two of some of the most famous kisses that I know of is the "Kiss of Death" as when Michael Corleone in the movie,"The Godfather II" kisses Fredo, his brother and says to him,"I know it was you, Fredo!" which basically expels him from the Corleone family. The other famous kiss is when Romeo and Juliet give each other what would be their final kisses before deviating a plan to fake their deaths so they can be together.

Awesome hub, Maita! What a great idea for a hub! BTW, I saw that your charity hub was in second place on the Hottest Hubs list! I'm pulling for you to get to #1!


tony0724 from san diego calif on January 26, 2010:

Well I just learned more about kissing the I ever knew was possible ! Maita you are a facinating window about other cultures. But if I say so myself I am a great kisser !

Beth100 from Canada on January 26, 2010:

*kiss* on either cheek my friend! Who ever thought there were so many different types of kisses, and so many different meanings. The interesting part is that the same kiss in one culture may have a completely different meaning in another. Wonderful hub! *kisses and hugs* Maita!

Ladybird33 from Fabulous USA on January 26, 2010:

GREAT hub, love it!!! Learned a lot and I love Kissing :0 ) Many Kisses to you.

wolfpack5 from Alberta Canada on January 26, 2010:

I love your hub pdh, that must have been fun trying to explain how to kiss.

Have a great night my good friend :)

JG the IGNITER from The U.S. Government protects Nazi War Criminals on January 26, 2010:

Great kissing hub....kiss...kiss...kiss...kiss.....oh-and a GREAT BIG FLYING KISS TO YOU MAITA!!!! :)

Love the little monkey! too cute!

BkCreative from Brooklyn, New York City on January 26, 2010:

Such a great hub Maita! This was just wonderful to read through and look at the pictures.

When I was in Korea a female colleague, also from NYC, and I were so taken by the natural affection of the people, the hand holding, the walking arm in arm - that we decided we just had to do something - so we did the '3 times cheek air-kiss' - you know - left, right, left. We still do it here in NYC when we greet and I tell, you observers get such a kick out of it.

Loved this hub!

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