Kissing in different cultures: 15 customs to be the best kisser

kissing in different cultures
Kissing is one of the expressions of love or respect that can show more directly what you feel about someone else.

It doesn’t stick necessarily to couples of course; a kiss can express so many things between parents and children, friends, soul-mates or even acquaintances.

If you want to earn a little bit more about the kissing in different cultures, according to several cultures and customs, this article is made for you.


In some places from Eastern Europe, such as Bosnia, Montenegro or Slovenia, you would have to kiss three times, alternating right, left, right, in this specific order.

In France, for instance, you can find different ways of greeting with a kiss: people from Nantes exchange four kisses, while in Provence, the rule is three. Men are very used to kissing each other when greeting in all over France, actually.

In Spain, despite their latin roots, they are way more reluctant to kissing or hugging, specially amongst men. If they have to greet, the rule is to shake hands. For women, two kisses on the cheeks is more than enough.

Some countries like Poland or Austria, keep it in the old school way: kissing ladies in the hand.


In Ecuador, women are kissed only in the right cheek. This also is a custom in almost every country of Latin America.

In Brazil, the closest the better. They don’t mind giving from one to three kisses. Human contact is something really important in Latin America.

In Argentina and Uruguay It’s very common to show a lot of affection, whether you’re in public or not, especially when kissing. Men kiss once in the cheek and hug warmly. This kind of greeting is called “a la italiana”.

In North America, in Canada and US, it’s not that usual to kiss in the cheeks if you don’t really know the other person, so the kiss is replaced with a subtle hug.

As you may know, Inuit couples kiss in a totally different way: they show love by rubbing the noses together, as well as pressing their nose and lips against their cheek while breathing in.


In South Africa, it is common for men to kiss in the cheeks women they know very well. If it’s not the case, they will just shake hands.

In North West Zambia, kisses are not accepted, so you should clap hands and slightly squeeze your thumbs for greeting someone.

In Egypt, three kisses are exchanged in private -kissing in public it forbidden.

In general in Africa, the custom to kiss (showing affection or love) is not that well seen. Kissing is more a sign of respect.


In Indonesia, they prefer kissing on the cheek twice if the other person is a relative, including men. It is remarkable how a simple kiss can be pretty offensive in Asia, especially in countries where Buddhism or Hinduism prevail.

In Phillipines, instead of greeting with the usual two kisses, people will grab your hand and press it against their forehead as a sign of respect, especially among relatives.

In Qatar or Saudi Arabia, couples (or opposite gender people) don’t tend to kiss in public because it’s not allowed. However, men usually kiss each other for greeting or they give a hug, followed by a cheek or forehead kiss.

In Japan, as you might guess, kissing, even for say “hi” or “goodbye” is not very common. This very personal closeness is something couples do just in private. In fact, they don’t even have a term that refers to kissing.

Around everything’s going on in the world right now, it’s refreshing to be also remembering that we have plenty of beautiful things in life: kissing, all different sorts of love, compassion, traveling of course… So if you have the chance to do it, kiss the closest person to you now and spread good vibes wherever you go. You’ll notice that good things will come back to you!
le voyage comme expérience solidaire

Source: Business Insider




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