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Russians Are Big Kissers. Here's How to Do It Right

What’s in a kiss? Here’s a historical breakdown of why Russians kiss so much

This article from our archives was first published on RI in October 2017

Many Americans comment on how much in-your-face PDA (public display of affection) there is in Russia. My cousin said that Russia is “just the worst country to be single in,” because every day you ride the train and watch couples hug and kiss, kiss a LOT.

But the confusion doesn't end there. After spending time in Russia, I get awkward even when somebody goes for the simple greeting kiss. Inside, I’m wondering just how many times I’m supposed to kiss their cheeks. In America, one peck is more than enough. But then French people kiss your cheek twice; would they think that I’m insinuating something if I go for the third one by habit?

Because the standard Russian greeting kiss is the triple kiss, in which you kiss the other person three times, alternating cheeks. Traditionally, this symbolizes the Trinity, so many Russians unknowingly, greet each other in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit daily.

But what is Russia’s kiss culture history?

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