Monthly Archives: January 2015

PDA is Different Here

One of the differences in the culture where we now reside is in the public display of affection (PDA).  It only took a few days living in India to realize that the frequency we saw men holding hands walking down the street, and the lack of husbands and wives holding hands was evidence that how one displays their affection is definitely rooted in the culture from which they come.  It would be common in the United States to see a husband and wife or boyfriend/girlfriend sitting with arms around each other or holding hands but this is something that is almost rare to see here, let alone witnessing a kiss between a husband and wife.

men holding hands in india

In India, it is illegal for a man and woman to kiss each other in public.  My husband and I quickly realized that our kiss goodbye or welcome home kiss was not to be done in public.  You can do internet searches and find articles confirming the arrests of individuals in India from kissing in public but I wanted the validity of the locals.  So I had a discussion with two local college-aged girls here in New Delhi.  Yes, they confirmed — it is definitely against the law to kiss in public.  So I inquired whether they see a shift occurring in their generation of showing public affection.  They said on college campuses one can see a boy and girl holding hands some, but they still do not kiss in public.

boys holding hands

The expression of friendship among boys is shown by hand holding.  You can drive down any street by a public school when the children are heading home and you will see numerous boys holding hands walking.  This expression of friendship continues as they get older making it common to see adult men holding hands.  I have not found it as common among females.  I had one expat here tell me that an Indian gentleman he had done a lot of work with and become friends with, reached down to hold his hand once when they were walking.  He had lived in India long enough to understand the meaning, that the Indian was expressing his friendship to him, but he also said it went against everything inside him because of the culture in which he was raised and that men just do not hold hands with other men.  I must admit that Tyler and I continue to hold hands in public, grateful that this is at least not illegal.

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Finishing the Holidays and 2014 in Sydney

It seemed appropriate to add one more country to our list this year so we opted to use the time and money for the Christmas holiday to visit Sydney Australia — half the distance to California — a mere 12 hour plane ride.  2014 was definitely the “travel year” for the Bryson family.  As Hailey and I sat at Bondi Beach during the Christmas holiday, we reminisced on the amazing places we experienced this past year and laughed about many of the funny memories.  It truly was a memorable 2014.

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We could not have picked a destination that came closer to feeling like we had returned to San Clemente California.  It was a great experience “returning to civilization” and spending Christmas in summer at the beach.  We learned that Australia heads to the beach on Christmas Day.  It looked like it would on the 4th of July on our beaches.  Santa hats were seen everywhere and santa hats were the “sandcastles” being built in the most incredible sand we have ever experienced — no rocks, no seashells, but superfine sand.  We broke many traditions this year by taking this trip but we feel it will definitely be a Christmas we will remember.

We split our 10 nights in Australia between a hotel that was a short 5 minute walk to Bondi Beach and the Marriott right in the Sydney Harbor.  We found the people in Australia to be so friendly and the food amazing.  We learned the bus system well to get around as well as the ferries and taxis.  A few highlights of the trip included:

  • Climbing the Sydney Bridge on Christmas Eve

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At the top of the bridge climb.

  • Bondi to Coogee Beach walk — it must be one of the most incredible beach walks in the world.

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Along the coastal walk.  We passed two different swimming pools for the public that are built right on the ocean, a giant cemetery right on the coastal bluffs and many beaches with playgrounds and grass areas.  Definitely a great place to live.

  • Watson Bay

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Watson Bay used to be an old gunnery location in the 1800s. 

  • Manly and Bondi Beaches

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This is Bondi Beach.  We spent a few days enjoying the cold ocean water, the warm summer weather and the great ocean air here.

  • Sydney Opera House Tour

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One of the fascinating things we learned from the Sydney Opera House is that it is not white.  Yes, all the pictures from afar show it as white but there is a great variety of color in the tiles in beiges, creams and whites.  The history of this building and how it actually came to be built is incredible.

  • Fireworks on New Years right by the Opera House and Bridge

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A view of the crowds waiting on New Years Eve.  Hailey, Tyler and myself spent the 10 hours waiting in the sun all day to be in the thick of the action in Sydney.  We were sitting next to a couple from France and a cute family from Indonesia.  The best people watching one could ever find!

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Definitely better weather than waiting at Times Square but Hailey has decided that is now on her bucket list.

  • And the top highlight — skyping with our oldest son, Jacob, who is serving a mission in the Philippines.

With the seven different countries we have vacationed or lived in this past year, there are a few things that we have come to really appreciate in life.  We truly appreciate these “magic carpet rides” we have taken to get a taste of different cultures, experience the beauty that is everywhere in this world and to learn so much about things that one has to see and experience to really learn about.  Thank you 2014 for a great year!