Ever Wondered Why Indian Parents Don't Kiss And Hug In Front Of People?


Is your favourite way of showing your love to your sibling is to hit him them in the face with a cushion? Do you shirk away if your sibling places her hand on your shoulder? Is your family more similar to the Mehra family from Dil Dhadakne Do than to the Virani pariwar from Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi? Then you might be suffering from a rampant Indian condition known as 'Do Not Show Affection In Public'. As such people believe that there's a lot of love tucked away in the warm cockles of each and every member's heart and that there's only good wishes and intentions reserved for each other but nobody likes to show the it.

You can now blame this condition on your parents -- the carriers of strictness, respectfulness and minimal showering of affection. So, in an attempt to further investigate, a Reddit user asked his fellow Redditors, "Have you ever seen your parents kiss or hug each other? Have you ever kissed or hugged in front of family members?"

Senior couple blowing bubbles with wand
Senior couple blowing bubbles with wand

The answers threw a lot of light into the matter.

1. No way! Parents do not do such unspeakable things

A lot of the users responded by saying that their parents do not hug or kiss in public. In return, they too, keep away from being affectionate in public. pathrov makes an interesting observation and says, "They rarely have any photos together other than their wedding pictures (This is true in my parent's case. All their post-nuptial photos have at least one of the kids between them)."

duffer_dev writes that, parents too, got this kind of rigidity from their parents. He says, "I guess that they thought what they saw their elders doing was the right thing, and the treatment just was passed from one generation to another. But thanks to the internet and foreign channels' influxes, we know there are other ways too. It's not necessary for us to continue doing the same thing."

"They rarely have any photos together other than their wedding pictures."

Parents do not get affectionate, according to zebumatters, which makes him and his wife stick to the norm. He writes, "My parents never did. I have two growing kids (Elder one is closed to ten). I hug and snuggle in front, do kiss my wife on head and cheeks. That's where I have drawn the line so far. In front of other family members, I have no problem giving casual North Indian bro hug to my wife. But that's it." And since it is a no-no for parents, being affectionate with one's wife is not that easy, says a user. He writes, "She hugs or kisses (only pecks) in front of my parents and I freeze. I do in front of hers and she freezes."

Senior couple embracing
Senior couple embracing

_crossword_ says, "I have never seen my parents hug, hold hands. Kissing - what's that? Surely they made me without any of this hanky-panky."

For some, like DARKKKKIS, parents hugging each other is not big deal but kiss is taking it a bit too far. And yet for some, like apunbolatumerilaila physical contact between parents is akin to a nightmare. He says, "Their holding hands felt awkward enough let alone hugging or kissing, which never happened in front of me."

"Maybe it's just that they are more careful after we started growing up."

Thelasguy points out that it could be because their children have grown up. He writes, "I remember from when I was rather a small kid that Papa used to kiss mom before going on a tour. That has not happened in front of us in the last 10-15 yrs now. Maybe it's just that they are more careful after we started growing up."

2. Yes, of course. It can't be birds and bees forever

herpsderpsherpsderp believes it was natural in his parents' case since they had a love marriage. He says, "Yes, they had a love marriage shame it didn't work out." In tom_yum_dud's family, being affectionate comes easily. The user elaborates, "I am from a typical conservative Hindu family but I've seen my mom and dad kiss in front of me countless times when I was living with them . Most memorable ones are those from childhood when they start fight and when dad realises things are getting out of control - he kisses mom - funny thing is it works almost always and she cools down immediately."

Happy indian adult people couple
Happy indian adult people couple

kanpuriya says, "Hugs yes, kiss- occasionally on the cheek. I remember when my dad used to come back from trips, he would hug mom and 4 year old me would stuff myself between the. This was mid 80's." sellerofdreams says how it has always been a part of life while growing up, which has made it easier for him to be affectionate. He writes, "I've seen my parents kiss each other on the cheek very often, especially when something important has happened or when either of them was taking a flight somewhere. And I continue to kiss and hug my parents: we are quite an affectionate family."

rindia1 also expresses similar sentiments and says, "Yeah loads of times. What's weird about it? They're affectionate to each other and me and my brother too. We greet family with hugs and cheek kisses too."

3. Please, affection is strictly reserved for one's children

A lot of the users mentioned how they are affectionate toward their parents and vice versa, even though parents do not display their love for each other in public. stonecharioteer says, "I didn't hug or kiss my mom on her cheeks much in my teenage years, but I did as a kid, and I still do so now. I love hugging her, and I don't need a reason to do so. (29y/ M). Dad is affectionate too. A little too affectionate, but I don't hug other men :\ feels odd. Arm's distance is just fine by me."

ashoasfohasf says, "I hug my mother every day, I'm over 30 years old. Hugs with dad are a lot less common."

Portrait of Cheerful loving Indian Urban Senior Couple
Portrait of Cheerful loving Indian Urban Senior Couple

HighInterest too says, "both hug and have always hugged and kissed me. Hug most of my relatives actually, and they hug each other." deville05 also says, "I do hug my parents now when meeting them for the first time or saying goodbye."

"They're affectionate to each other and me and my brother too."

pathrov writes, "My 16 year-old little sister still hugs my mother. She says "Hi" to my father when he gets back from work. For me and my brother, doing such a thing would be preposterous."

Loving Family Portrait
Loving Family Portrait

4. Parents have no lena-dena with affection

not_a_kulcha says, "They raise us to do good in studies and fulfil their dreams, that's all. As far as my memory goes, there's only one instance of my father playing cricket with me and my brother. That was when I was 5-6 year old. That thing is the closest affectionate thing he's done for us."

pathrov mentions that life was more governed with strictness than with love. He writes, "I too have very few memories of my father being affectionate with us. He is always serious and was very strict with us. We were very fearful of him. He prepared time-tables for my brother and I for each day of the week. Punishment either as rebuke or beatings were guaranteed if we disobeyed it."

5. Affection? Isn't it a Western concept?

Without beating about the bush, phone_throw12 says, "I think that is a western concept . I don't think Asians or even Africans do that."