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 What many of us may not know is that 1) Eskimo is an outdated term that is generally rejected by the indigenous people of the north to whom it refers, and 2) what we imagine about that "kiss" is not actually accurate.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

A breastfeeding mother's experience at Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo is touching people's hearts—but not without a fair amount of controversy.

Gemma Copeland shared her story on Facebook, which was then picked up by the Facebook page Boobie Babies. Photos show the mom breastfeeding her baby next to the window of the zoo's orangutan habitat, with a female orangutan sitting close to the glass, gazing at them.

"Today I got feeding support from the most unlikely of places, the most surreal moment of my life that had me in tears," Copeland wrote.

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10 things that made us smile this week

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Alexas_Fotos/Canva

Upworthy's weekly roundup of delights.

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Each week, we collect 10 things that made us smile and offer them to you to enjoy and share with others. We hope this week's list tickles your heart and brings a smile (or 10) to your face as well.

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@ticoandtheman

On a dark desert hwy, cool wind in my hair…

We've shared some delightful parrots in these roundups before, and each one somehow seems to out-entertain the last. I did not see Tico's vocal skills coming, though. The intonation! The vibrato! Even my music major daughter was blown away by this singing bird.

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"Sometimes I just feel really angry and I don’t know why."

This story originally appeared on 1.05.19


It started with a simple, sincere question from a mother of an 11-year-old boy.

An anonymous mother posted a question to Quora, a website where people can ask questions and other people can answer them. This mother wrote:

How do I tell my wonderful 11 year old son, (in a way that won't tear him down), that the way he has started talking to me (disrespectfully) makes me not want to be around him (I've already told him the bad attitude is unacceptable)?

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