Brotherly Love

We saw it everywhere in India. Men holding hands. A guy walking down the street with his arm around another guy. I noticed it, and it surprised me- funny how ingrained that Puritanical American attitude can be.

This isn’t necessarily a homosexual thing- it’s just another way that buddies hang out, and we even saw older men casually clasping hands as they meandered. For us, it’s a relief after our travels in Central and South America, where machismo is alive and well and so much behavior is prescribed (just ask our Central American friend, who took an hour to nervously come out to us, only to realize that we were completely supportive of him).

With arranged marriages still a part of Indian life, the taboo in India is showing affection to the opposite sex. Public displays of affection are frowned upon, and the guidebooks warn us tourists to keep the public smooching to a minimum. Supposedly, saving oneself for an arranged marriage leads a high percentage of Indians to have homosexual experiences, although I’m not sure how reliable that information is.

It seems to me that the healthiest way of life for a human being is to show affection to those you feel affection for. It was great to see some Indian guys shake things up and do just that.

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2 Responses to Brotherly Love

  1. Jay Edgar says:

    I remember the day we arrived in Nepal in 1990 and I saw all these men walking down the sidewalk in various sorts of intertwining. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven! : ) Then I figured out the societal meaning of it. Oh well, it’s still sweet to see.

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