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  • Kid kissing hand of parent

    Hi everyone
    The other day I had conversation with my wife about this subject.
    At a point my wife told me it was Javanese culture and it was absolutely normal here. Thing that I have hard doubt about it. She finally told me: Ask to your friend on the forum!

    There I come:
    What is the (cultural) origin of "kid kissing hand of their parent"?
    At which year old they habitually stop doing this?
    At which occasion is it appropriated to do so and not?
    What are the pro/con compare to the cultural European kiss on the cheek?
    La motivation vient en se motivant ~ Motivation come by self-motivation

  • #2
    hmmm not sure if it's javanese culture. i believe it's moslem culture, where kids has to do 'salim' with parents or wife to husband
    so far, i have seen teens doing the kissing hand rituals every morning before go to school or some working woman do that to their hubby hand.
    my friend told me it's symbol of respect and submission (not salve kinda stuffs for sure .. )
    dont judge a book by it cover. judge it by it price. good books are expensive

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    • #3
      Originally posted by PhilippeD View Post
      !
      There I come:
      What is the (cultural) origin of "kid kissing hand of their parent"?
      At which year old they habitually stop doing this?
      At which occasion is it appropriated to do so and not?
      What are the pro/con compare to the cultural European kiss on the cheek?
      PhillipeD, I have no idea when this habit started. However, kissing the hand (not palm) of a parent or someone respected (usually by status) is normally done by Indonesian (well, most that I know). Not only children do this, but also adult.
      This will not stop until the person lost their respect upon the party that they usually kissed the hand or when the person lose their lives.
      It is a gesture of respect.
      Which occasion is it appropriate to do so or not?? I'm not sure I understand this. But you can basically do it anytime. Just like saying hello and goodbye.

      Pro/con compared to kissing the cheek: face area is somewhat private for most Indonesian. I still remembered the days when my grandparents would have a cane or a rot in their hands and they would easily hit their us, the grandchildren, when we dared to look at their eyes when sitting in front of them. So, kiss on the cheek is really something unthinkable for us.
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      • #4
        yeah like sweetmaria said, is like sign of respect, often not a kiss as such but a "cheek to the back of the palm" maybe it comes from islam, but also done by many christian/katholic I've come across this in Java but also Sumatra.
        Last edited by mick mentawai; 02-07-12, 09:44.

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        • #5
          Don't know about the origin but I can tell you this is done between family members and is not always a kiss. Young males will touch their forehead with the older male's hand.

          There is no age limit for this type of greeting. My wife kisses the hands of her parents and grandparents.
          "Science is the philosophy of discovery. Intelligent design is a philosophy of ignorance"

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          • #6
            oh yes forgot about the forehead thing.

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            • #7
              I used to have the idea that if I kissed a man's hand (not my parents or family), it means that man is the one I would respect/obey as a life time companion. Not only a boyfriend.
              I smile.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by PhilippeD View Post
                At a point my wife told me it was Javanese culture and it was absolutely normal here.
                Your wife is absolutely correct. Normally it's taking the hand of the elderly person and moving it to the forehead. Sometimes kissing the hand is another way (or even in combination). C'est féodalité javanaise.
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                • #9
                  Don't think it is exclusively Javanese, My wife still does this with her parents and she isn't Javanese.

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                  • #10
                    I think that has something to do with being moslem.. My dad is Javanese.. never really taught/ask me to do that though
                    living to the fullest @

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                    • #11
                      An explanation I once got: it is a feudal ancient custom, long before Islam. It has to do with the old Hindu belief of the 'third eye' on the forehead (related to [COLOR=#000000][FONT=Verdana]Bindhi)[/FONT][/COLOR]. Especially Java was heavily influenced by India (the 1000 years before Islam). Many traditions remained, and Abangan allowed this.
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                      • #12
                        This is a relatively recent phenomenon, it started becoming common probably a decade ago. When I was a kid in Jakarta hand kissing was only practiced by Batavians, which I believe got it from the Arabs as a Muslim custom. Other people were content with having their kids do regular handshakes, even Javanese. Today everybody does it, which still makes me feel awkward at times. Back then the common thing is to bring the back of the respected person's hand to your nose, as if you were kissing it. Now the prevalent practice is to bring it to your forehead.

                        The custom in central Java to show respect is to palm your hands together in front of your face then bow. You don't touch the king or any noble person without his express permission.

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                        • #13
                          Kissing on the cheeks, kissing of hands, hand shake and then touching your heart, oh and not to mention the kids who bump my hand on their heads... *shrugs*

                          I'm gunna start giving everyone a california handshake or one of them mid west ones...

                          West coast handshake (if you're cool) basically has two people almost do a handshake but instead of grabbing eachothers hands they touch eachothers hands with their hand being flat, slide it back till they arent touching, make a fist, and then bump fists.

                          Mid west (from my experience) is almost the same... flat hands touch, slide back, and then you pull your hand back and snap your fingers.

                          However, if you're an adult you just give a normal handshake or if the person whom you are going to be greeting has an unknown "coolness" factor.

                          Nah... i think a high five will be just as sufficient.
                          Tolak orang gila

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Injun View Post
                            This is a relatively recent phenomenon, it started becoming common probably a decade ago. When I was a kid in Jakarta hand kissing was only practiced by Batavians, which I believe got it from the Arabs as a Muslim custom. .............. Back then the common thing is to bring the back of the respected person's hand to your nose, as if you were kissing it. Now the prevalent practice is to bring it to your forehead.
                            In the Philippines they have something called Mano (Po) and that originates from the Spanish. Started as hand kissing (Catholic priests) and turned into pressing hand against forehead. But, you see it in India and Pakistan also.
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                            • #15
                              To Sari.D:
                              I don't think so. I am a muslem form Iran. In our religious lessons at school we learnt that it is good to shake hands when a muslem meets another muslem.(no kissing hands)
                              I remember we had invited to a wedding ceremony last year in Jakarta. Groom was indonesian and bride was from Iran. Bride kissed groom's hands in front of all guests. We got shocked how it could be possible? Is this groom a King? Now I see it is normal!
                              "Life is the thought of smelling flowers on the soil of another planet." Sohrab Sepehri

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