Depending on which area of the world you're visiting, their views on smooching may be completely different from what you're used to. Aside from helping us find a great match, kissing can as well be a form of greeting. Lets take a trip around the globe and see what this form of greeting looks like in 5 different countries of the world.
Iraq: Visitors to this Arab country are very shocked when they learn about the kissing customs in Iraq. In this country, a hug followed by a double kiss on both cheeks or on the top of the forehead is normal. But many people are surprised to learn that this kissing custom is also done between complete strangers.
When an Iraqi person arrives at a group event they greet everyone in the room with a kiss (women greet other women with a kiss, women greet men with a kiss and men also greet other men with a kiss). When it's time to leave, they don't just wave goodbye as they make their exit, they go back around the whole room and give each and every person another kiss.
That could be a pretty lengthy process depending on how many people are in the room. Your departure may take much longer than expected. Those who refuse to give out pecks on the cheek are considered rude, so it's always best to remain respectful and pucker up when visiting this area.
For those who aren't comfortable kissing strangers, the Iraqi people will also accept the gentle palm laid on their shoulder. Basically, this is a very touchy-feely group of people and they consider physical contact to be a very respectable way to show devotion and equality amongst each other.
Poland: There are various ways Polish people show affection towards each other and kissing is a very big part of their culture. When greeting friends and other people they are familiar with, the Poles will give a kiss on each cheek. But they don't just kiss once or twice, they kiss three times in total.
(Photo credit: Expatica)
The triple kiss is very customary among the younger generation, but for the older community, they prefer to stick to the traditional way of greeting the ones they love. The old-fashioned way is for a Polish man to walk up to a woman, gently grab her hand and plant a nice little kiss on it. Doesn't that sounds so romantic?
Well, it's not really a flirty or romantic gesture at all, it's just a polite way for them to say "hello." Visitors to this area who aren't used to greeting people with 3 pecs on the cheek or kiss on the hand might find this tradition to be a bit odd, but it's just the Polish way of life.
Egypt: Poland isn't the only place where people do the triple kiss, it's actually done in Egypt too. But passionate public kissing between men and women is strictly prohibited.
Couples have been known to be harassed if they are showing affection in public and sharing a kiss with a lover is actually considered a crime. You can end up with a huge fine or even get thrown into prison.
The social-moral code makes kissing so taboo because Egyptians relate it to an intimate act that should only be done in private. Most Egyptian couples don't even kiss each other at their wedding ceremony. So, how do they show affection? Well, they don't.
Kissing is met with such strong criticism that Egyptians avoid it at all costs. But men are allowed to show affection for each other if they like. It's not common to see two men have close physical interactions while out and about in public. We're not sure if Egyptians will ever relax their social rules and allow couples to lock lips in public.
Do you think this social law in Egypt is way too strict or do you think kissing rules should be universal?
Japan: The people in Japan are also very private when it comes to showing affection. Kissing in public has never been a popular tradition and we doubt that we'll ever change.
Physical affection just isn't the norm here at all. But the Japanese still found a way to greet each other that doesn't involve their lips or any part of their body at all. When men and women greet each other in public, they say hello by bowing.
(Photo credit: Japan Rail Pass)
Bowing is actually preferred over a hug or a casual handshake. The bow might range from a very small and subtle nod to a deeper and longer bow as a sign of respect. Bowing is also used to say thank you, to make a request, to ask for a favour and to apologize to someone you've hurt. But there are a few exceptions to the rule.
The Japanese don't expect visitors to bow, but they're always surprised and impressed when someone is aware of their customs. Also, when out and about in public places or entering into a restaurant, bowing isn't required. Normally the customer is welcomed with a traditional Japanese greeting and they can acknowledge it by simply nodding their head in return.
So if you plan on visiting Japan, keep your lips to yourself and bow instead.
France: There are so many different ways the French express themselves through public displays of affection. But to start we're going to begin with the most cordial and innocent kind of smooch - casual kiss.
The casual kiss is done between friends and acquaintances. They kiss each cheek twice while greeting each other and saying "hello." But their lips don't actually come in contact with their friends cheek. They press their cheeks against each other and give an air kiss while making a light kissing sound "muah muah." In case you're wondering, the kissing noise is required.
The greeting is often called "Faire La Bise" and it literally means "to kiss" in English.
(Photo credit: LiveAbout)
There is also the French kiss. This type of deep passionate smooch is recognized all over the world especially in America. Although Americans have been referring to this style of wet sloppy kisses for decades, it took the French some time to actually recognize it.
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