The Hug


When was the last time that you have hugged, or have been hugged? Who is that person? Is he an acquaintance that you just met and you hug him as a formal obligation? Is he one of your friends that you hug to congratulate him for some of his achievements? Or is he just one of your family members that you hug to welcome him back home? Yes, the person we hug can be anyone. Sometimes, these hugs are just formal obligations whereas some of these hugs can carry more meanings than just a few seconds of embraces. Especially in Asian society where people usually just smile to one another or shake their hands, hugging someone can mean a bit more than that. One of the simple rules in Asian culture is that you do not simply hug someone easily as a way of greeting. As an introverted person, I have rarely hugged someone, or have been hugged. Still, there are some memorable hugs where I have hugged and have been hugged in my lifetime. I give some of these hugs to my family members whereas I have received others from my friends (or maybe more than friends, huh?) So, without further ado, let me tell you about some of the significant hugs that I have both given to my dearest persons and that I have been received.


It was in 2011. The location was Yangon International Airport. My family and relatives were all saying goodbye to me as I would be traveling to the States for an adventurous four-year of college. As much as I was excited to visit America for the first time, the thought of leaving my family hurt. Still, I tried my best to carry a fake smile to convince my family that I will be fine and insist them that they do not have to worry much about me. Each one of my relatives was giving me the same speech: “To take care of myself while I am alone there, to study hard, and to keep in touch with them more often.” Of all my relatives, one of my aunts spoke to me in Chinese (which I am not very fluent in). I understood of what she said as something about my grandmother and interpreted myself that she was telling me to hug my grandmother before heading off to the States. So, I obeyed her instructions and hugged her. After a short brief moment of hugging my grandma, she could not control herself and sob uncontrollably. This is the only hug that I have given to my grandmother until she passed away in late 2013. Since then, I have known the importance of showing affection and caring to the person I truly love. It was not until recently that I have finally understood what my aunt has actually told me in the airport, that is, to take care of myself while in the States. Yet, my poor Chinese resulted me in hugging the person I really love. So, sometimes, it’s not bad to have poor language skills, huh.


This was the most recent hug that I have received. To explain you how special this hug means to me, let me explain to you a bit context of my life at that time. That weekend was the most hectic time of my life. I have been swamped with tons of business meetings and I do not even have enough hours of sleep in this week. Still, I was surviving that week with the thought of meeting my dearest friend on Sunday. Nonetheless, overtime struck me on Sunday and my plan to meet with her got canceled. At that moment, I felt like all the hopes were gone and I was so devastated. Still, I tried my best to concentrate on my work and planned myself to meet her at night around her home (even if I could meet just for a few minutes). She was planning to travel outside of country for a week and I just wanted to see her before she left. Thus, I bought some gifts for her before the trip and requested her to come downstairs at that day, and she agreed. I was so happy to see her. After a brief moment of talks on the busy roads of Yangon, we were about to say goodbye. Before I left, she told me that she was gonna hug me to show an appreciation of making time to meet with her before the trip and buying some gifts for her. Before meeting her, I thought it might surprise her when I visited her before her trip but ironically, I was the one being surprised by receiving the hug from her. I did not even remember exactly how long we hugged for but it was one of the sweetest hugs that I have received from someone special.

Who else would have known that this hug would finally lead us to something more special in the future, that is, I will be dating the girl whom I have loved more than anyone and valued more than anything in my life.


So, aside from telling about the significant hugs that I have received, I am writing this to tell you that hugs can be the powerful therapy for us. We can provide hugs to those that are in need and we should also accept the hugs from our family and friends with pure appreciation when they hug us. Therefore, after reading this article, I would like to suggest all readers to hug the people you love and don’t hesitate to do it. Hug to your grandmother, your friends, or your special one. They will appreciate it. And for those of you lucky enough, these hugs may just be the beginning of some love stories that would not have happened without the single act of hugging to someone you truly love. So, without any hesitation, just do it.

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