About Russian Friendly Hugs, Kisses and Holding Hands While Walking


This is a little quick post about traditional Russian kissing, hugging, and holding hands in public, which is especially popular among young women-friends. Unlike many may think, these apparent signs of appreciation to each other are nothing more than expressions of very friendly disposition. While many western cultures would “read” this behavior as unmistakable signs of involvement into intimate relationship, in the Slavic cultures this is nothing more than an open display of very close friendship. Many young people kiss at meeting and when saying bye to each other, especially when they are old school buddies or student mates. Friendly kissing and hugging is not uncommon between opposite sexes, too.


The Russian manner of walking hand in hand, when the man holds his lady “by the elbow” is well known in many cities around the world. Again, it does not mean that the two people have intimate relations – this is only a friendly stroll, that’s all! Friends of any age, even very elderly people, can be seen walking this way.


On meeting, the Russians often hug each other, and sometimes even kiss. They do not do this like the French, who “symbolically” kiss the air around each other’s cheeks, the Russian kiss is quite real. Optionally, there may be a three-fold kiss, quite noisy and “physical”. Any kind of touching, hugging, or patting each other’s backs or shoulders is quite popular, both among men and women. In the Russian culture, a good touch is the best way to express your friendly and trustful disposition.



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