When did the Kissing Begin?

Few months back, I attended a wedding in SL of a cousin’s offspring and experienced some peculiar (latest) customs.

On the day of the wedding I arrived at the reception to be greeted by my cousin and his wife at the door, then weaved my way to table no 6 , luckily it was a table by the wall and I sat down with my back to the wall with the intention of enjoying the surroundings and everyone in it.

It was after a long time I attended a SL wedding so I was observing and absorbing every detail and how things have evolved. I took pleasure in watching people, their attire, (saris seem to be draped in every imaginable way) cousins, I have not seen in years arrive with their off spring – who seem to have shot up and grown into beautiful young women and handsome young men – Though I visit SL intermittently, I do not always get the opportunity to meet everyone in my extended family.


I found some things a hoot. One of them is the allocated table seatings. We have to mimic the west that is for sure. And if it is from the west, it is fashionable, right? Lol   I noticed most people (yet) are not used to this idea of being dictated where to sit and relatives placed close to the live band, are justified in thinking the host and hostess had a secret grudge against them, as they will be deaf when the night is done. Lol

Most early arrivals thought, to hell with seatings and found their own ringside tables and late comers who went straight to their allocated tables, had to find another location. lol


Anyway, with a drink in my hand and some roasted cashews, my eyes wandered back and forth, to the guests taking their places at the tables to my cousin welcome guests, when I noticed him greet males by kissing. – As in, cheek to cheek, both left and right cheeks – At first, I thought that must be the bride’s brother or must be his nephew by marriage. Then I noticed he was kissing all men regardless of age or relationship. By this time, the room was filling and a cousin, who noticed me, rushed, settling on a chair beside me, and was catching up while scouring the room and pointing out who’s who to me.  

I then asked my cousin why our mutual cousin is kissing men. When she gave me a blank look I elaborated on the point, to which she replied, “we always do that” I said, “No we didn’t. Not even when I was here last time for a wedding

She just shrugged her shoulders as only someone who is quite comfortable with the norm would do, and did not see anything unusual about it.

As night progressed and people started to circulate the room, I posed the same question to another cousin and she too was unsure what I meant.

I must mention here; we seem ape in many areas yet fail pitifully when it comes to selecting music for a wedding. The bands seem to be under the impression,  loudest is the proudest. A wedding is not a rock concert for crying out loud.

Band that played at the wedding was all right (comparatively).  The one selected for the homecoming was shocking.  It will be wrong of me to name the band, however I can say this much. They have been around for a very long time and charge an exorbitant amount to perform – an amount that could feed a poor family for months – and perform ear-splitting music. Towards the end of the night, most of the people were having headaches, me included. It was torture; too much to bear in a confined area. I would not have employed that band even if they were free. 

Anyway to get back to the question of kissing;  

I said, “Look, when did SL men greet each other by kissing?” She laughed and said, “That’s how we are” That was a vague and an unacceptable answer to me. So I blurted “well, they look like ********” I cannot write the word I used, due to its controversial nature. It might offend someone.

What I would like to know is, if this is customary (now) for all Sri Lankans, or only to my extended family? 


6 comments so far

  1. Kulendra on

    ‘A wedding is not a rock concert for crying out loud.’ 😀 well may be the couple were rock fans 😉

    And as for men kissing, well I havent seen it; but I have seen the groom being hugged by his friends. I think the father and the father-in-law of the groom usually kisses the son and son-in-law, but other than that no idea.

  2. star on

    i think the quintessential ‘cousin’ is having some sort of transformational period. poor devil 🙂

    btw, won’t it be nicer to arrange your blog to display a limited no. of posts per page? else you’ll end up with a hopeless pile like ravana/a>..

  3. Raashid on

    very sincerely this is the first time i heard of it!!! women greeting that way has long since merged into our modern culture, but men doing this – believe me never heard of this happeing,

  4. mia on

    Hi Everyone,

    So, no one else eh? That’s what I thought too. But everyone in my family (extended) didn’t think twice of it. But I thought it was funny.

    Kulendra, it was as I said. He kissed (cheek to cheek) every male.

    Lol @ ‘star’ and Thanks for tip too.It is a good idea.

  5. Dili on

    Good Lord, hell no! I hope to heaven none of my mates go crazy enough to do that 🙂

  6. N on

    hmm…I’ve seen Sri Lankan guys do the kissing thing..but only when they’re related…if a friend of mine kissed me on the cheek I’d knock the bugger out…can’t really do that with an uncle though…

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