March 30, 2007

Free Hugs

Just saw a feel-good kinda pod on and so thought I'd blog about it instead of the usual depressing stories from Iraq and such (which I have tried to ignore for some weeks now!)

Unfortunately, the video is only for tv and not available for viewing on their website. The song that went with the video was very appropriate and it was an enjoyable three and a half minutes of watching.

Anyways, here is the webpage for this meme.
Sometimes, a hug is all what we need. Free hugs is a real life controversial story of Juan Mann, A man whos sole mission was to reach out and hug a stranger to brighten up their lives. In this age of social disconnectivity and lack of human contact, the effects of the Free Hugs campaign became phenomenal.
Actually, the video is on youtube and is linked to at the above page and seems the music/song that I quite liked is by a group called Sick Puppies. Also, according to the wiki page for the Free Hugs Campaign:

The video on YouTube was released on September 22, 2006 and has over 40,000 ratings at an average of 4/5 stars, and over 11.1 million page views, over 21,000 comments and has been favorited over 65,000 times (as of March, 2007), making it the 12th most viewed video on the site. The video clip was voted "Most Inspirational" in a YouTube poll released on March 27, 2007.
Picture at the website shows that the guy's already made it on Oprah too. Obviously, I'm a little late advertising his effort! :)

The phenomenon has spread outside of the countries where "Juan Mann" started this i.e. Australia and England .... including, the US (picture 4 in slideshow at the link), Italy, Switzerland, Taiwan, and with not-so-good results in China.

Of course India has the original 'free hugger'..
Mata Amritanandamayi, the "hugging saint" but I am trying to imagine the stares one would get if one tried this in a mall in Mumbai, India. Hmm... the possibilities.

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