Inuit mother and daughter demonstrate what a real ‘Eskimo kiss’ looks like: ‘My whole life has been a lie’

We’ve been doing “Eskimo kisses” all wrong according to one Inuit mother-daughter pair.

Inuit have resided in the arctic for 5,000 years. Their territory spans the modern-day Chukotka Peninsula of Russia, Alaska, Canada and southeastern Greenland. Due to colonialism, the Inuit population is only roughly 160,000 and still faces stigmatization around the world today. 

Shina Novalinga and her mom Kayuula Novalinga are Inuit from Puvirnituq (or Northern Quebec). You can usually find the pair over on Shina’s TikTok, where they share tidbits of Inuit culture.

Recently, the mother and daughter revealed what an “Eskimo kiss” really is. It went viral on TikTok earning 24.2 million views and Reddit where it had 110,000 upvotes. 

@shinanova

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

♬ original sound – Shina Nova

“A lot of people think this is the ‘Eskimo kiss,'” Shina said

She and her mother rubbed their noses together the way most people were taught to do it. 

“But we wanted to show you the real Inuit kiss and it’s called ‘kunik,” Shina explained. “Usually it’s done with a lot of emotion. The more love you have for a person, the stronger you do it.” 

Rather than going nose-to-nose, kunik is achieved by going nose-to-cheek and really nuzzling the person you’re affectionate with. 

“This might be the most wholesome thing I’ve ever seen,” one user wrote

“So you really gotta inhale the other person,” another joked

“My whole life has been a lie,” someone commented

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