In America, we watch movies where the main characters flirt and bante, where the protagonist asks the girl out and then the next thing we expect them to do is kiss. Even in our lives, when you go on a date, and the guy is standing on your porch saying goodnight, you expect a goodnight kiss.
These are simple gestures that are common in the states because they are what we grow up watching. However, if you were to head over to other side of the world, a kiss would be a far-fetched phenomenon. Seeing people even hold hands would be the rarest of sights.
Last week, an article in the New York Times titled “In India, Kisses Are on Rise, Even in Public” was published. At first, I laughed a little, since it seemed like it was just a two-page article on PDA — public displays of affection.
It wasn’t until I continued to read that I realized the significance of the piece. The writer in the Times expresses the fact that in India, people not only refrain from kissing or hugging; they don’t even say "I love you" to their significant other.
By living in America, we don’t realize how much of an influence the West has on foreign countries' culture; it goes beyond politics and economics.
Hollywood is an industry, worth billions of dollars, which people all over the world have access to. American media and Western interactions are more powerful than one might consider. Media does not only display America and its culture, it provides a brand of insight on relationships that people from more conservative countries just do not encounter.
Some may say this new trend of open affection is due to the media in India selling sex to make more money, or another way that America corrupts other cultures and changes their values for the worse, but I disagree.
The West is influencing countries like India to be more open and comfortable with their relationships so people can understand the strength of their bonds.
How can expressing your emotions openly be such a bad thing? Love and affection are not meant just to be seen behind closed doors, this is often the reason some people never reveal their true feelings.
This new trend is a move in the right direction for those who are ready to embrace it throughout the world. As we say in America, “freedom of expression” is a one of our greatest rights.