Monday, December 29, 2008

Sri Lankan Kissing With A Hint Of Brit

As I lie in the London bed unable to sleep I think on things, mostly stupid ones. It's interesting when the mind takes those ponderings and turns them into dreams isn't it? Those light dreams that happen very quickly.

One of those things was about kissing, it didn't turn into a dream you'll be pleased to know. I though how amusing it is that my kissing, the greeting an aunt or a friend type of kissing, not the snogging variety, is a mixture of the Sri Lankan and British cultures.

You see, on greeting someone, when kissing is the required form of greeting, I always go in for a two cheeked approached. The recipient's right cheek first then a quick shift onto the left one. That's where the Sri Lankan approach comes in. Here people usually do a one cheeked version and express surprise when they realise I'm about to go in for the other cheek too. It can lead to some mildly embarrassing situation but, at that point, I usually crack a joke about "us foreigners" or "subcontinentals" and we all chuckle and get on with it.

The British side of me insists on going in for a proper kiss though. I purse my lips, the lips make contact with the other person's skin and I make that kissing noise, the one that sounds like a kiss. After many years of uncertainty and doubt I've decided that I just don't do the Sri Lankan sniffing kiss, the one where you brush cheeks and sniff, with no lip to skin contact whatsoever.

The only exceptions I make to this are when I'm greeting one of my more pious Muslim Aunts. Then I may be spotted doing a bit of a Sri Lankan sniff kiss, for fear of upsetting the Aunt involved in the equation at the time. I think it's a suitable compromise.

There are some people who might get a kiss on the lips, one who might get a snog. When I finally get to meet Dinidu I'll probably give him a snog too, in a manly way.

Oh God, I hope that doesn't turn into a dream!

Tell me though. How do you kiss?


noorie said...

I'm the one who ends up kissing lips awkwardly while aiming for cheeks.

I'm also the one who you are most likely to get stuck in that weird chicken head like dance with. Left? Right? Left, no right, YES LEFT.

dramaqueen said...

I avoid it like the plague. "Hello! SO nice to see you agai... wow look at that!" *move away quickly*

It works.


Darwin said...

I don't kiss aunties and uncles. Maybe I'm too traumatised from childhood memories of having my cheeks pinched and being forced to do a cheek-kiss with a sticky makeup/sweat mixed face of an aunt. I prefer handshakes. If I simply must then I'll go for a hug. But no no no, I avoid kissing. Ugh.

Sam said...

eaeeee... that is for girls..

cerno said...

My take on the kissing thing is exactly like Darwin. Specially the "sticky makeup/sweat mixed face of an aunt"
Even though I grew up in SL, I never exactly got the whole cheek to cheek kissing thing. It just feels/looks wierd. Maybe be just a hands folded "Ayubowan" would do :)

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

Noor - I am familiar with that dance, though I always go for the other party's right cheek first, or is that the left one?

Dramaqueen, Darwin, Sam and Cerno - You're cold fish, the lot of you!

Anonymous said...

I always hug. A nice warm bear hug and avoid the whole kissing thing. People love to be hugged as they do not get enough hugs during the day. One of my aunts taught me this real nice way to hug decades ago and that is what I do.
Next time try hugging them.

I think the yummiest snog ever was on Catch and Release movie but that has nothing to do with aunts.

Anonymous said...

I am female White British, and went to greet my new Sri Lankan female friend. I went to hug her, and she kissed my cheeks (air kissed). Is this normal?