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Cultural variants.


Is Russian kissing any different from kissing in other countries? Are there any special traditions regarding this interesting process? Below, you will find out where Russians get their special passion for kissing, you will find out the mythological meaning of Russian kissing and also if kissing can cause allergic reactions - this is very important, so read on and listen up!!!

Kissing has always been one of the most beloved things in Russia and historically people always have liked to kiss, and for a great number of reasons. Kisses were traditionally called sweet things and the lips - sugared or honey. So the expression "to eat each other with kisses" has an almost literal meaning. Historically, Europeans have also been great admirers of kissing, but not to the extent of the Russians. Many foreigners tend to attribute the kissing traditions in Russia to the "openness of the Russian character - the Russian soul." Like Brezhnev - he had a lot of soul, right?

There are different types of kisses, those having to do with rituals, etiquette and of course love. But there seems to be no clear boundaries between these types. Again coming back to Brezhnev (we cant help ourselves), this can be demonstrated by the kissing habits of the political leaders of the country during Soviet times. These etiquette-based kisses are truly, technically amazing: multiple kisses (usually three) times and frequently lip to lips and even French kissing. The kiss as a welcoming custom was used in ancient Europe as well, but in Russia it took on broader importance. Numerous foreigners who visited Russia in 17th century were deeply surprised when a Russian husband would ask all guests to kiss his wife on the lips and at the disappointment that would follow if someone refused!

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Another tradition existed in the 17th century that called for everyone to kiss one another in honor of Christ at Easter. This was also the case in Europe, however the Europeans carried out this tradition only on Easter Sunday. In Russia however, people would keep on kissing each other for 40 days after Easter Sunday. Even in the Russian Orthodox Church men and women were kissing all the time: at first they kissed an icon, then a Priest "without any shame" and then each other. The advantage of this approach even the ugliest got a smooch.

One more Russian tradition is to yell out the word "Gor'ko" (bitter) at weddings. If you have ever been to a Russian wedding, you will know what we are talking about. The guests start to chant gorko, gorko, gorko and the newlyweds kiss and kiss and kiss. This tradition has its own wisdom. The guests by asking the "" (young folks) to kiss are performing two tasks: to entertain and also to prepare the couple for their wedding night. This tradition is very relevant nowadays and probably will live on for many years to come. It is similar to the symbolism of the kiss that can frequently be found in mythology. Here, the kiss symbolizes the union of human souls - almost like a mixing of the two people's blood.

We can talk about kissing endlessly. For example, the Slavs have always considered kissing not only as a pleasant pastime but also a useful, practical one. The word "kiss" in Russian (celovat') has the same root as the word "whole" (cely) and the word "healthful" (celebny). A kiss traditionally gives a blessing to everyone present as well as the wish to be healthy and in harmony. For example, Serbian women used to kiss their newborn babies immediately after birth in order to protect them from disease and damage. The kiss could lift evil spells (like in Sleeping Beauty) or calm a distressed child. This all means that it is absolutely vital for everyone to kiss and be kissed!

However for some people kissing may be dangerous. Recently, an American medical research report was published on people who are allergic to nuts. The report found that people with such allergies could have a terrible reaction if they kissed a partner who had just eaten peanuts or pistachios. This is terrible. So, be careful if you have allergies to nuts. And we truly feel sorry for you.

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