GRAB YOUR FORK is Helen's gastronomic journey around Sydney and abroad. She writes a monthly Eat This! column for Time Out Sydney and is Cheap Eats editor for the 2012 Eating and Drinking Sydney guide. Helen is a contributing writer for The Foodies' Guide to Sydney and a reviewer behind the 2012 Food Lovers Guide to Chinatown. Her work has been published in Voracious: The Best New Australian Food Writing. Read more about Helen or send an email.
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Snapped: Pitt Street Mall
Interesting.. ! but i donch think .. i would hug a stranger..??? wat about you ..??
Did you get a hug?
With all that is happening with the Jackson case, I think a hug would have been highly inappropriate. Definitely maybe if he was over 18
I didnt know now they got kids to work on this free hug thing too. I always see the free hug whenever I am at Pitt Street Mall. Lots of ppl just avoid the hug but I have seen ppl went up and gave the guys a big bear hug!
Hi MrsT - I agree it's an interesting concept. Don't they say that they recommend 7 hugs a day or something for maximum happiness?
And er, no, I am yet to take up the free hug offer.
Hi Reid - Nope. Somehow I resisted. Maybe if he were about 20yrs older perhaps... ;-)
Hi Veruca Salt - Hehe. Would he have to have a six pack too?
Hi Pinkcocoa - Yeah it's strange but I've noticed they seem to keep enlisting schoolkids lately. I've even seen 14yo girls in uniform which I think is a little dangerous...!!!
I too have been surprised by the number of people who do run up and hug them. Good on 'em. They do seem to part with mutual grins on their faces!
I think this is a brilliant social comment, people are spending less and less time interacting with others, and the way people are avoiding the huggers, as if they're diseased or something is a great reflection of this. wots wrong with hugging a stranger? its all of 5 secs, and will make you smile, if not at the hug itself, then the fact that you're doing it in the 1st place! :) n its not like its unsafe (well maybe a bit dodgy if school girls are doing it...) everyone knows where to find them if they act inappropriatley, thats not the aim anyway, its your choice whether you want a hug, and its just a quick embrace n ur off again! does anyone know where i can contact one of the huggers 4 a resarch asignment?
Hi Crystal - Sorry for the delay in reply!
Hugging is a rather intimate gesture among Westerners I suppose. It's all about personal space isn't it? And yes, trust!
They seem to have amassed a following though so good on them.
I suggest heading down to the Pitt Street on a Thursday if you're interested in interviewing any of them. You could also then interview the hugees too whilst you're there!
Getting in touch with The Free Hugs People is as easy as AG says, drop by the Pitt St Mall on Thursdays.
Conversely... you could always email me freehugsguy at hotmail
And I'd be more than willing to answer your questions.
What began as a mere gesture to make hurried people have a laugh has managed to stay exactly the same almost a year on.
And for sure, I'm happy with that.
Juan-The Free Hugs Guy
Hi Juan - Hey thanks for stopping by! The whole hugging philosophy is very admirable and quite intriguing.
Congrats on all your efforts. I'm sure you've helped cheer up many people and endear them with a calmer approach to life.
And the hugs live on!!!!
I have to admit I was trying to avoid the Juan man because, being a smallish single woman, I was confronted by the fact he's a big tall guy but the smiling woman next to him melted my steely resolve so I stepped up for a hug. Afterwards I thought about my own reticence and realised that, as a huggee, at least I had the choice of whether or not to hug a particular person. I then contemplated the experience of being a hugger and how, much like being a doctor, nurse, sex-worker or podiatrist, a hugger really doesn't have any choice as to who they hug. This spells out a real commitment to the concept and shows these people to have true spiritual bravery, BRAVO!!!! Hug up big time xoxox
Hi Anonymous - A true observation indeed. And good for you for stepping up for a hug as well :)
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