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Watch: 'How Do Africans Kiss?' (Intriguing Excerpt From 'Progress Of Love' Exhibit)

by Tambay A. Obenson
December 4, 2012 10:54 AM
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How Do Africans Kiss?

Courtesy of British Nigerian writer, filmmaker, Zina Saro-Wiwa (also daughter of the late Nigerian human rights activist, Ken Saro-Wiwa), comes an excerpt from a documentary project and video installation comissioned by The Menil Collection in Houston, TX, for the ongoing Progress Of Love exhibit, which is a collaborative project between The Menil Collection, the Centre for Contemporary Art (in Lagos, Nigeria), and the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts in St. Louis.

Revealing, thoughtful, at times seemingly uncomfortable, hilarious, and more.

Watch below:

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  • lilkunta | December 9, 2012 9:20 AMReply

    @ 1;18 is that adepero oduye? this is very true. I dont see my Naija family kiss. I do see them kiss babies, but not adults. west Afr society we kneel and bow to show respect.

  • Obehi | December 8, 2012 7:05 AMReply

    This made me cry for my mother and miss my father. I think I just learned a lot about myself.

  • incredible hunk | December 5, 2012 1:32 PMReply

    my wife @ 5:20. gives me joy.

  • Nia | December 4, 2012 6:15 PMReply

    7:07 breaks my heart.

  • Monique A Williams | December 9, 2012 8:09 PM

    Yes. *tears*

  • Naz | December 4, 2012 12:59 PMReply

    Amazing documentary!

  • Jan | December 4, 2012 12:03 PMReply

    Love this documentary it's so informative and powerful. Never thought about the fact that Africans don't kiss openly ( or at all in some cases), but in retrospect I have never really seen parents of most of my African friends ( Nigerian, Ghanaian , Congolese , Senegalese ) openly kiss . I think I just never notice. I'm from the Caribbean, Trinidad to be more exact and we are very passionate people in general. We kiss a lot not only intimately but as a customary firm of greeting. Though I must say this also varies island to island. My husband is Jamaican he is a kisser ( prob more so over the years) but I was taken aback when I went to Jamaican functions that people mostly did not customarily greet with hugs and kisses and became uncomfortable because I then realized I did not want the women to think I was walking around kissing their men, whereas in Trinidad everybody kisses everybody. Anyways: one of my favorite parts was the Dred from Ghana that said " I became a god kisser when I moved t America, but the tongue in the mouth was like meat in the mouth" " Love is more than just tongue in the mouth". Thanks for educating and sharing

  • Ava | December 5, 2012 6:53 PM

    Growing up in a Jamaican household but primarily in the U.S. was quite interesting for me. On the one hand, we were not 'huggers' in my family but on the other hand, I do remember seeing my parents openly kiss each other, although my Father was the one who always initiated the kiss and my Mother would pretend to be embarrassed only to give in and the smile and laughter. As I matured, kissing was never a problem for me as long as the other person knew how to kiss (lol) but for the longest time hugging was never my thing. Hugging on an intimately romantic level (in private) continues to be enjoyable but spontaneous hugging of someone who is an acquaintance can feel awkward at times. I've also had the misfortune to be 'squeezed' and 'long hugged' by some dudes that left me with the impression that it was more about copping a 'feel' than a customary greeting. Although, I'd have to say Jan, that it depends on what Jamaican function you attend. If you go to a dance for instance, you will indeed see a different type of 'huggin' up.

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