Asians, particularly the older generation, being more conservative than Westerners, were not used to acts of affection including kissing. Through the years when my grandparents were still alive, I can’t remember them kissing each other, but I do remember my grandma’s kisses. I guess women of her generation find it easier to display affection because it was part of their maternal instinct.
For my grandpa, it was not until the later years of his life that he kissed any of his grandchildren but I never saw him kiss any of his own children. It is probably a notion foreign to his upbringing as men of his generation were supposed to be respected and feared, and to maintain his status as head of the family, he simply does not kiss his children, even in private.
Thankfully, my mum was much more open. She was my first kiss. Here are some of my most memorable kisses:
Good morning wake-up kiss at the tummy to tickle a sleepy head, got that from my mum and lovely aunties.
First kiss on the lips, messy and awkward (I’ll spare you the details here).
Kiss of friendship on the cheeks – My Asian friends don’t do this and I never quite get the sequence right, was it left then right cheek or the other way round?
Forehead kiss, whether it’s between lovers or family members, it gives me a sense of comfort and security.
Goodbye kiss – this is a sad one, the one I remember giving my grandpa the last time I saw him.
Oh, the things I would have missed if kissing was somehow not introduced to me.
So, next time you kissed someone, make it count. J