Couples smooch in Open-Kissing Contest in India

A Jharkhand village holds an open-kissing contest, where couples smooch in front of huge crowds. They hope it will strengthen marriages.

Couples kiss in front of crowds

Through public kissing, couples had to express their love for each other to win the contest.

For some, they may cringe at the thought of public kissing. In places such as India, many even regard it as a taboo. But a Jharkhand village challenged this stigma by holding an open-kissing contest!

Between 8th-9th December 2017, Dumaria village held its annual fair. For the first time ever, organisers decided to add the unusual competition, where villagers have to compete over who can kiss the longest.

Reports claim that over 18 couples participated, with a huge crowd of thousands gathering to watch.

With a big space created for the event, the pairs stand together and begin to smooch. Some even smile and laugh at each other, perhaps feeling initial apprehension.

All move around the space as they kiss. Meanwhile, the audience watch with intrigue and a few individuals cheer and whistle at the competitors.

The organiser, Simon Marandi, told reporters that through public kissing, couples had to express their love for each other to win the contest. He also revealed that it served as an initiative to tackle the rising number of divorces and differences in marriages.

He explained:

“Tribals are basically innocent and illiterate. Due to which, the family system is weakening. To make them aware of our social structure and responsibility towards the family, the idea of a kissing competition was conceived.”

Watch the contest here:


The organiser also added:

“Earlier, the village competition was organised in a smaller space but this year it was held in a football ground where thousands of people from other villagers also took part.”

With this unique competition, Simon hopes it will strengthen the ties of the villagers’ marriages. Helping them to develop their love for each other, while tackling the issue of divorce.

In addition, he aims to address the taboo of public kissing.

However, some have reacted strongly to the event, opposing it. Groups such as the BJP have criticised it, claiming it threatens “very ethnic and local culture of Santhals who don’t even appreciate shaking hands among their boys and girls”.

It seems some parts of Indian society are not yet ready to embrace an open-kissing contest.

But one has to admire Simon for challenging this stigma. With this event, he has focused on the positivity of public kissing; showing the love of a husband and wife.

One can only hope that the rest of India will follow suit.

Sarah is an English and Creative Writing graduate who loves video games, books and looking after her mischievous cat Prince. Her motto follows House Lannister's "Hear Me Roar".

Image courtesy of Youtube.