Copyright Vladimir Kagan 2010
In this Blog, I am NOT discussing movie kisses, French Kisses, soul kisses or other display of sexual communication…. NO, this is about the American Greeting Kiss only.
American’s have a peculiar way of expressing their greetings with an audible kiss. For Europeans, it is an art form…. for American’s it’s a greeting like a high-five or a fist bump. No sentiment…. no message…. just a ritual before you have a conversation. The American kiss takes the form of an audible “mooaaah”. Loud enough for anyone in proximity to hear. It establishes a personal relationship and identifies the recipient as a friend of sorts…. not necessarily close, but worthy of recognition. Strangely, this sound has no regional characteristic, no emotion. That is to say, when people talk, you can usually tell if they’re from Maine, Boston, Brooklyn, Georgia, The Carolinas, the Mid-west, Texas or California. But the mooaaah remains ambiguous without a trace of the issuers’ origin.
In European kissing, the ritual is strictly prescribed: The French do it delicately: one on each cheek. When affectionate, they gently grasp the chin to facilitate this ceremony; otherwise it is performed from a distance with a slight tilt of the torso. (Jacque Tatiti was the undisputed master of this technique.) The Swiss do three kisses and plant the third one on the first cheek they encountered. Kind of a genuflection with the mouth. (I don’t know if this ritual dictates the right or left cheek first), but it can cause an awkward moment as you jostle for position. It is time consuming but interesting as you get to savor the perfume that your friend is wearing… or what they had for lunch. In Austria and by default, Germany, it is a kiss on the hand. Sometimes that include mouth to hand contact, but more often than not, it resembles the American air Kiss. None of these kisses are accompanied by sound effects save those created by putting your lips together and gently sucking the air.
Russians go for the bear hug and a kiss on the neck…. sweaty or not. Asians distain kissing as unsanitary and of course, in Islam, it is nigh impossible for ladies’ with burquas, hijabs, chadors and niqabs to have any bodily contact at all.
That brings me back to the American kiss. Women
normally offer their cheek…. and a surprising number even their lips. While the
male performs his part of the ritual, the woman responds with the automatic mooaaah…. I am running a one-man campaign
to change the mooaaah to a SILENT
KISS!… My campaign is changing the American habit rapidly. A silent kiss is soooo much more intimate and charming and all of my
lady friends are gratefully adapting this newfound pleasure.... With a platform
like this, I might run for President in 2012!