Kissing Under The Mistletoe Tradition Origin, Many societies have traditions which involve kissing. Kissing can indicate joy or be used as part of a greeting. Kissing involves the touching of one’s lips to the lips or other body part, such as the cheek, head, hand, of another person.
A kiss is a common gesture of greeting, and at times a kiss is expected. Throughout all cultures people greet one another as a sign of recognition, affection, friendship and reverence. While hand shakes, hugs, bows, nods and nose rubbing are all acceptable greetings, the most common greeting is a kiss, or kisses, on the cheek.
Cheek kissing is “a ritual or social gesture to indicate friendship, perform a greeting, to confer congratulations, to comfort someone, or to show respect.” Cheek kissing is most common in Europe and Latin America and has become a standard greeting in Southern Europe.
While cheek kissing is a common greeting in many cultures, each country has a unique way of kissing. In Russia, Slovenia, Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro the Netherlands and Egypt it is customary to “kiss three times, on alternate cheeks.” Italians usually kiss twice in a greeting and in Mexico and Belgium only one kiss is necessary.
In the Galapagos women kiss on the right cheek only and in Oman it is not unusual for men to kiss one another on the nose after a handshake. French culture accepts a number of ways to greet depending on the region. Two kisses are most common throughout all of France but in Provence three kisses are given and in Nantes four are exchanged.