Monday, June 23, 2008

Hug How-Tos

Having recently attended my nephew's high school graduation, I was struck by the degree to which hugging has become a social norm in Southern California. As graduates lined up for their diploma, they were ceremoniously hugged by an effusive female faculty member, who also adjusted their tassels and handled their timing on the stairs.

On the Internet, there is a lot of advice about the conventions for properly executing various forms of social interaction that may -- or may not -- involve bodily contact, such as these wiki entries on "How to hug" and "How to air kiss." I've written about the rhetoric of online video on the subject of PDA here before, and have even suggested that more digital tutorials on proper cheek kissing might be in order. Note that everything has context, since this Ecuador variant of the infamous "Free Hugs YouTube video comes from a fan of Krav Maga and belly dancing as well.

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