Inuit, indigenous, kiss

Shina and Kayuula Novalinga show what a kunik looks like.

Most Americans have heard the term "Eskimo kiss" and probably have a mental picture of what one is. What many of us may not know is that 1) Eskimo is an outdated term that is generally rejected by the indigenous people of the north to whom it refers, and 2) what we imagine about that "kiss" is not actually accurate.

An Inuit daughter and mother duo shared what a kunik—the correct term for it—really looks like in a video on TikTok. Shina Novalinga shares a lot about Inuit culture on her TikTok channel, and her mother Kayuula Novalinga often joins her to demonstrate this expression of affection.

First, they showed what people usually think of when they think of an "Eskimo kiss"—two people rubbing their noses together. Then they shared what they actually do, which is press their nose against someone's cheek.

Watch:


@shinanova

Showing you how we kiss, to show affection @kayuulanova #inuit #indigenous #kunik #eskimokiss

"Usually it's done with a lot of emotion," Shina says. "The more love you have for a person, the stronger you do it."

The demonstration is adorable, with their giggles and obvious affection for one another. And people in the comments greatly appreciated the cultural lesson. How many of us ever even questioned what we'd been taught or even wondered where our impressions came from?

Many commenters from Southeast Asia—Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and more—shared that their family members also express close affection in this way.

Shina and Kayuula are Inuit throat singers as well, which is a unique and fascinating art form. Take a listen:

@shinanova

Katajjaq, throat singing @kayuulanova #katajjaq #inuit #throatsinger

Traditional Inuit throat singing involves two people, usually women, standing face to face. Each makes sounds using their throat, belly and diaphragm, matching each other's rhythm until one of them stops or giggles. Evie Mark, a throat singer and professor at Nunavik Sivunitsavut, told the BBC, "It's a very intimate thing so for sure you're going to be triggered to smile or laugh, especially when you start seeing the person's eyes when you're singing together."

Shina's mother has her own TikTok channel as well, where she shares more about being an Inuit woman. (Sometimes you'll see the word Inuk instead of Inuit—Inuk is singular, Inuit is plural and also used as an adjective.)

We can all benefit from learning about cultures outside of our own, and social media makes it easier than ever to expose ourselves to people from all different backgrounds. Thankfully, some people use their channels for the specific purpose of sharing—free education everyone can benefit from.

Thank you, Novalingas, for sharing your gifts and culture with us all.

Joy

Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

Photo by Didssph on Unsplash

A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

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Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy asked his Senate colleagues the questions millions of Americans have after a mass shooting.

Another school shooting. Another mass murder of innocent children. They were elementary school kids this time. There were 18 children killed—so far—this time.

The fact that I can say "this time" is enraging, but that's the routine nature of mass shootings in the U.S. It happened in Texas this time. At least three adults were killed this time. The shooter was a teenager this time.

The details this time may be different than the last time and the time before that, and the time before that, and the time before that. But there's one thing all mass shootings have in common. No, it's not mental illness. It's not racism or misogyny or religious extremism. It's not bad parenting or violent video games or lack of religion.

Some of those things have been factors in some shootings, but the single common denominator in every mass shooting is guns. That's not a secret. It's not controversial. It's fact. The only thing all mass shootings have in common is guns.

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Joy

Man uses TikTok to offer 'dinner with dad' to any kid that needs one, even adult ones

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud.

Come for the food, stay for the wholesomeness.

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud. His TikTok channel is dedicated to giving people intimate conversations they might long to have with their own father, but can’t. The most popular is his “Dinner With Dad” segment.

The concept is simple: Clayton, aka Dad, always sets down two plates of food. He always tells you what’s for dinner. He always blesses the food. He always checks in with how you’re doing.

I stress the stability here, because as someone who grew up with a less-than-stable relationship with their parents, it stood out immediately. I found myself breathing a sigh of relief at Clayton’s consistency. I also noticed the immediate emotional connection created just by being asked, “How was your day?” According to relationship coach and couples counselor Don Olund, these two elements—stability and connection—are fundamental cravings that children have of their parents. Perhaps we never really stop needing it from them.


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