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Friends holding hands 2008/8/26 08:38
I am female and currently live in Japan. I know that male/female public hand holding is not considered good manners. I have become close friends with a married Chinese woman and she wants to hold my hand, even out in public. In America, friends of the same sex do not hold hands in public. Is this any different in Japan?
by Peanut  

not usual 2008/8/26 10:47
Teenage girls hold hands in Japan. For anyone over about 18 who isn't drunk, it's a bit unusual. Actually holding the hands in public with your boyfriend/husband isn't that much of an issue anymore, Japan is changing rapidly. I see couples of all ages holding hands all the time, and recently even saw a photo of the former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe holding hands with his wife in public- that's when you know it's gone mainstream!

But as I said, not common among adult female friends. If you don't want to hold hands, explain that it's not something people do in your culture.
by Sira rate this post as useful

not so usual 2008/8/26 11:04
Hmmmm? Holding friend's hands each other is not a good manner in Japan? I don't think so. But it's considered a childish (and girlish) habit. Boys doesn't do that, too. And yes, we don't do that usually. Does she want to do it in every moment while you're walking in streets? Or just in some moments? I've no idea for that of Chinese people.
I found some articles say that Islamic people (like Pakistan, Egyptian) and Korean hold hands with friends. As for Islamic, even male does.
by M rate this post as useful

same as U.S. 2008/8/26 11:17
I'm Japanese and used to live in Los Angeles. I think that holding hands between friends of the same gender is considered similarly as it is in the U.S.

It's not that it's against "manners", but it's just something that not everybody does. So people might assume you are being childish or are lesbian or simply come from a different culture.

I think it's really up to you. If you are okay with it, Japan is a free country. Go for it. But if you're not comfortable with it, I suppose you can be honest about it and say that you neighther were brought up or live in that sort of culture.

On a related note, I've noticed that other Asians are more physically affectionate than the Japanese in general, while the Japanese prefer to honor distance. I've noticed that Vietnamese adults hold hands a lot. When me and my Japanese friend were traveling Vietnam, we even once used the expression, admiring her that is, "That Japanese girl is so adapted to Vietnam that she walks around holding hands with other female friends."
by Uco rate this post as useful

... 2008/8/26 13:27
Yes, I have similiar experiences. When I was living in the Philippines, my Tagalog teacher told me several "tips" on the Philippino life. One of them was that I should not get surprised even if my friend/acquaitance tried to hold hands with me as it is very usual for local people to do so :)
And well...to be honest, I could never adapt myself to this custom as I couldn't for hugging/kissing with strangers (a sort of..)when I was in New Zealand.

I also heard from my Korean teacher that Korean do the same thing.
by JLady rate this post as useful

Who did that? 2008/8/26 15:55
JLady, who kissed and hugged you in NZ? Usually the only time we (cheek) kiss or hug strangers is at midnight on New Year's Eve, but that's a special occasion! ;-)
by Sira rate this post as useful

to jlady 2008/8/26 16:48
yes it is true that Filipinos often hold hands in public even if they're just friends or of the same sex but we don't kiss strangers. we may kiss the cheeks of those we are close to but we don't kiss the lips of strangers. just clearing out things here. peace! (^_^)v
by filipina rate this post as useful

Holding hands 2008/8/26 16:54
European males often hold hands in the street. Not for a walk lasting for hours but for a while. They also kiss male relatives and close male friends. I have heterosexual male Chinese staff from mainland China and they/ we have all held hands in public. The first time one of them grabbed my hand in public while were shopping--I am a European male--I was moved as I took it as a sign of trust and acceptance of both myself and my culture.People who see us holding hands,in North America where we live, don't look surprised or shocked.
by Red frog rate this post as useful

... 2008/8/26 23:47
Sira, I'm sorry that my description was confusing. No, they were not completely strangers but could not be considered as friends yet (at least for me).
When I was in the early 20's, I was in New Zealand as a volunteer Japanese teacher and as I was the sole Japanese in the town, I was invited to various occasions, including home parties. It was an honor and I was very happy to be mingled with local people. But everytime I visited their house, they hugged/kissed me and expected me to do the same thing. I knew that they did this to welcome me and it was a custom for them to exchange hug/kiss as a way of greeting. But in the back side of my head, I hoped that they would skip this process just because I was not used to do hugging/kissing with someone other than my boyfriend.

I didn't mean to disgrace New Zealand at all. I miss my days of being the sole (and famous!) Japanese in the small town. Please forgive me if my previous post offended you.
by JLady rate this post as useful

friendly small town 2008/8/27 07:25
JLady, I wasn't offended at all- that was obviously a very friendly place you lived!

I'm from the "big city" (Auckland), and people I know don't usually hug/ kiss someone on first meeting them- maybe that's why people from smaller towns say we Aucklanders are unfriendly...
by Sira rate this post as useful

European Countries? Really? 2008/8/27 13:07
"European males often hold hands in the street."

I've lived in Greece for over 3 years and have been to the UK, Spain, Iceland & Belgium. I wasn't looking for this, but I don't ever recall seeing males hold hands unless the were romantically involved.

by BWinc rate this post as useful

. 2008/8/27 14:57
From MY POV I have a few female friends here in Japan, I've seen them hold hands etc in public, and by no means I know they are not romantic with each other, just friendly. Really no one seems to give a hoot if they did or didn't.
by John rate this post as useful

May be 2008/8/27 15:02
"European males often hold hands in the street" means only shaking-hands, doesn't it?
by M rate this post as useful

India too 2008/8/28 09:38

Chinese and Japanese have different customs and

It is not common in Japan but I heard it's more common in Korea and China.

In India, it's common for male friends to be holding hands and walking on the street, and I have actually seen many doing it.
by namaste rate this post as useful

holding hands 2008/8/28 14:26
No I did mean holding hands, not shaking hands. Perhaps this was more common 30-40 years ago than now or it is more of a custom in some countries than in others but definitely I have seen it and done it. Last time I did it was in the 1990s. My younger brother and I walked in the streets of our parents hometown holding hands during a vacation and nobody paid any attention. We had not seen one another for many many years as we were then living with our own families in different countries, both far from our parents' country. I am happy we did as the following year he could neither walk nor talk and died (of cancer) during my stay. What is wrong with men holding hands anyway? Sport guys are always hugging and touching one another after a goal, why can't ordinary guys do it? it just a physical expression of their friendship, another way of bonding. People do need to be physically touched by others to feel good about their life and themselves. It has nothing to do at all with sex. Ever heard of therapeutic touch?
by Red frog rate this post as useful

don't get so hot. 2008/8/28 16:28
Sport guys are always hugging and touching one another after a goal
but they doesn't walk in streets holding each-other's (same sexes) hands in their daily life.

I won't complain of you and your bro. at all. And never wanna hurt you.
I just said that male suppose not to hold friend's hands in Europe. I don't live in there so just opinion.

Here we don't hug each other in celebration like new year. If middle-aged or older ppl does it, we can't stand thinking it's strange. Shaking-hands is also not usual. You can't say Js are chilly, because physical communication (not sexual meaning) isn't our "custom". Recent young ppl are accustomed to such a thing. I can't. (I'm in my 30s) When I'm drunk, it's possible only with close friends.
Therapeutic something isn't an answer of this q.

BTW I always wonder why most of topic's formers never answer back.
by M rate this post as useful

holding hands 2008/8/31 06:03
In Europe male hand holding is not common, it is WEIRD. If you are not homosexual, pls dont hold your male friend's hand!!! ^^

Only couples, parents-children, and young female friends hold hands here.
by European girl rate this post as useful

Re: Friends holding hands 2011/12/6 09:13
"I have heterosexual male Chinese staff from mainland China and they/ we have all held hands in public. The first time one of them grabbed my hand in public while were shopping--I am a European male--I was moved as I took it as a sign of trust and acceptance of both myself and my culture.People who see us holding hands,in North America where we live, don't look surprised or shocked."

This is not true.
I'm from california, my boyfriend and I wouldn't hold hands in public because it's unsafe. (Coming from a gay)

by Hnguyen (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Friends holding hands 2011/12/6 14:47
''People who see us holding hands,in North America where we live, don't look surprised or shocked.''
This is not true.
I'm from california, my boyfriend and I wouldn't hold hands in public because it's unsafe. (Coming from a gay)''

North America is not only the USA...
by Red frog (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Friends holding hands 2011/12/6 15:28
North America is not only the USA...

Neither is it only Canada. When you make a blanket statement about North America, make sure it applies to all of North America. Hnguyen is correct to point out that their experience in a North American country negates your generalization.
by ... (guest) rate this post as useful

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