Unless you were in a coma last month, you definitely saw that viral “first kiss” video, where 20 good-looking strangers where partnered off and asked to kiss for the first time.
The original has been watched more than 71 million times. The Saudi version, made by online Saudi entertainment channel UTURNent, is approaching 700,000 hits. It shows men performing the Bedouin tradition of rubbing noses, a tribal greeting that expresses friendship, respect and pride between Arab men. Although it’s still used throughout the Gulf, the young guys in this video don’t seem too practiced in the gesture.
They start by making small talk, then move into the technical requirements. Some seemed reluctant, others jumped right in. The film starts out awkward, and ends up, well – also awkward – but hilariously endearing, too. See more on the making of the video and some of the controversy it’s kicked up, below in a BBC segment:
In the original, the camera captured how a first kiss can go from awkward to awesome in a matter of seconds. Filmed by director Tatia Pilieva, the short was an advertisement for indie clothing label Wren, but it’s stark black and white imagery and curious premise were quickly replicated in copycat spoofs.
Comedy can bring rapid cohesion between different cultures. The internet allows free sharing of spoofy productions. Instead of grumping in comment boxes, don’t you think we ought to hug (and kiss?) everything that shows that everyone loves a laugh?