World: Live & Let Live, Kiss & Letkiss

To a blare of brass and a gathering bloodbeat of drums, the dancers in the two long lines—men on one side, women opposite—hop forward, jump back, hop-hop-hop ahead, and then kiss-kiss-kiss. After that, both lines shift right so that new partners pucker into view for the next round of "letkiss," the non-dance craze that has Munich on tiptoe.

Purists and prudes insist the last labial touch should be a chaste left-right-left to the cheek. But last week, as Munich's two-month pre-Lenten fling of Fasching came to a final, beery crescendo, the partners were directly on target.

Less direct is the etymology of letkiss,...

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