World Kiss Day, observed on July 6th every year, aims to make us appreciate a kiss in its own right.
World over, every land blames Europe for introducing kissing to their civilization. The truth is quite different.
Origin From India
Hypothesis of Vaughn Bryant
Vaughn Bryant, Anthropologist at Texas A&M University, traces the origin of kiss to India to around 1500 BCE. He says it travelled from India to Greece with Alexander. The hypothesis of Vaughn Bryant is that “Kiss spread to West with Alexander the Great, when he visited India in 326 BCE”.
Not just hard steel, but soft kiss
It seems that Alexander not only took hard steel from India but also the soft kisses.
In the Vedic scriptures that were last compiled 3100 BCE, that is, 5100 years back, describes lovers kissing – “setting mouth to mouth”.
In Mahabharata too, the events that happened over 5100 years back, there is a mention of an affectionate mouth to mouth kiss.
This shows that kiss has been practised and expressed in Indian literature 5100 years back itself in India.
There are over 30 varieties of kisses explained in different text of India. 8 of them are of the passionate variety which is detailed in Kama Sutra.
8 Types of Kiss in Kama Sutra
The Indian literature Kama Sutra, one of the early texts of the world mentions 8 types of passionate kisses for different occasions.
The English word Kiss has its roots in the Samskrt word Busa, Bosa. In Latin, it came to be called Basium. There is also another word for kiss in Samskrt, called Chumba. Which is why magnet, the kissing stone is called Chumbaka in Samskrt.
The old English word for Kiss was Cyssan, which could have come from the Germanic word Kussan, which in turn, could have come from the Greek word, Kynein.
Jesus identified through Kiss
When Judas identified Jesus, after the Last Supper, it was through a kiss.
Kiss: A Single Act Many Messages
There are many types of kiss.
- When parents kiss their children, it means something.
- When parents kiss each other, it has a different meaning.
- A gambler kisses the dice for luck.
- Jews kiss the Torah.
- Catholics kiss of Peace.
According to scientists, about 80 million bacteria are transferred from one mouth to another during a passionate kiss.
Types of Kisses
Martin Von Kemp
Martn Von Kemp who lived between 1642 and 1683, wrote a 1040 page encyclopaedia on kissing – “Opes Polly Historicum….de Oculis” has listed 20 different varieties of kiss, some of them being,
- Kiss bestowed by superiors on inferiors
- Hypocritical Kiss
German language has 30 different types of kiss. One variety is Nachkussen – “Making up for kisses that have been omitted”.
In New Zealand
In New Zealand, the Maori, the local tribe’s greeting each other was by rubbing the noses.
Kiss not a World Affair
The next work traceable on Kiss is by Charles Darwin. In his voyages, he observed many things and recorded them. Apart from his famous book, “The Origin of Species”, where he speaks about ‘Evolution’, he also wrote another book called, “The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals”, wherein he writes ‘kissing is replaced, in various parts of the world, by the rubbing of noses’.
Greetings in other part
- Eskimo Kiss- Inuit – Smelling each other’s cheek
- Africa Pacific and Americas culture did not know about mouth kissing till their contact with European explorers
- Lapse of Finland – Both sexes bathed together in nudity, but kissing was not practised
Not widely known
A study on kissing habits show that among the traditional tribes of the world, less than half of them are aware of kissing.
Observation In China
The Workers Daily in Beijing, China wrote an article about ‘Kiss’ in 1990.
“The invasive Europeans brought the kissing custom to China, but it is regarded as a vulgar practice which is all too suggestive of cannibalism.”
Brand from India
We see that kiss is not widespread in world cultures, but some race invented it and spread worldover. The earliest literary reference is in the Veda. Later in Kama Sutra and in many temple sculptures in India.
Kiss is a kissing brand of India.