In Beijing, Changsha, and Xi’an, a certain group of people has decided to take on what they see as the coldness and apathy of human relations in the big city — by giving out free hugs. They wear shirts and carry large signs that say things like “come and give me a hug,” and while they attraction attention in public places, they haven’t been all that successful — in Xi’an, two hours of standing in a plaza in the cold only got them around 10 hugs and most of those were from children. Adults were either uninterested or embarrassed. One Mr. Li said that hugging was more of a foreign thing, not something that Chinese people do all that often. However, when several young Americans passed by and learned of what was happening they seemed rather nonplussed and didn’t participate either.
Our advice would be to recruit some hot guys and girls, but that would only end up playing into the hands of critics who say that these people are merely putting on a show (作秀).
The Free Hugs Campaign has to do with the Australian band Sick Puppies, who filmed a person named “Juan Mann” (One Man?) who carried out a sign in a Sydney shopping area day in and day out. The video footage became the music video for the Sick Puppies song, which has become a huge YouTube hit since it was released on September 22. The Wikipedia entry (see first link in this paragraph) mentions that, like all internet-based phenomenon, it spread across the world, and specifically to Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong (as recently as October 26 — last week) in our corner of the world.
So will it make to our fair city? We don’t know, but at least Shanghaiist is and always has had loads of luv to give — just ask our groupies. In fact, come here and let us give you a virtual hug:
Photo from news.163.com.