This article from Sapiens (“Is romantic kissing a human universal?) explains that kissing (romantic kisssing rather than the kind of kiss a parent gives a child) is surprisingly uncommon around the world. You’d never know it if you went by most movies (see, for example, “Most iconic movie kisses of all time” from InStyle, or tons of YouTube movie clip collections titled “Best movie kisses of all time”).
Iconic movie kiss #6: from “The Lady and the Tramp” (Japanese title: 「わんわん物語」
A few excerpts from the Sapiens article:
“In Melanesia, the Trobriand Islanders regarded kissing as ‘a rather silly and insipid form of amusement’
“even chimpanzees and bonbobos kiss”
“In fact … less than half of the (168) cultures we sampled engage in the romantic kiss.”
“Societies with distinct social classes are usually kissers; societies with fewer or no social classes, like hunter-gatherer communities, are usually not.”
And there are two theories about how romantic kissing originated. Try skimming the the article to find them.
Why do people decide to retire?
Here are a couple of videos about Elton John, who recently announced he’ll be retiring from touring.
A possible compare/contrast task: Compare his career and reasons for retiring to, say, Namie Amuro (letter in both Japanese and English) or another singer, entertainer, athlete (etc.) you like who has retired.
The California Sunday Magazine has a whole issue about teenagers this month. Because:
“We wanted to see how they’re living right now in the world adults made for them and how they’re beginning to change it — and maybe get a glimpse of where we’re all headed together.”
Here’s the cover photo:
Life advice from teen experts — how to meet new people, how to get people to care about something, how to say no, how to throw a good dance party (and more)
The two hour commute — see how three teenagers commute, with illustrations
How they do lunch
A conversation about social media and politics
This is a great model for a cross-cultural comparison or a research project about teenagers or university students in Japan: Find people to survey, ask good questions, analyze their answers, add photos and illustrations.
This is a series of PSA (public service announcements) from Common Sense Media about how our lives would probably improve if we had device-free family meals. Do you eat meals with your family? Do you have a device-free meal policy? Do you have the TV on when you eat? If you’re living alone, do you use your smartphone when you’re eating?