Calgary Herald

Keep hugging


I don’t see why Bronwyn Eyre should feel sad. Culture is not static, it keeps changing, and that is a good thing as long as it doesn’t move backward.

Not long ago I posted something on Facebook about my concern with the growing unhealthy culture of greeting in Indonesia, my home country. We used to shake hands, but now, due to the local religious influence, the younger people kiss the elders’ hands, and the women kiss their husbands’ hands.

This implies feudalism and chauvinism. It is also unhygienic.

The reaction? Pros and cons. The cons said it is a matter of showing respect and love. I would agree if other measuremen­ts of gender equality in the country indicated otherwise. But they do not. For example, society used to disapprove of polygamy, but now it is getting normal. And kissing your husband’s hand is just one sign of what is happening. So, please don’t change the way you greet by hugging.

It shows me that society is warm, friendly, egalitaria­n and welcoming.

Andayani Pratiwi, Calgary

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