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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Eyecatchers-9 : 'Free Hugs' campaign in Japan by Kanako Nakanishi

Tokyo: As passersby look on suspiciously, a group of university students works the streets on a mission to change Japan - by making people hug.

Inspired by Australian Juan Mann, who has earned international fame through Internet by standing in central Sydney with a sign reading "FREE HUGS," the Japanese students are determined to shake up a culture famous for its reserve.

They spend weekends in trendy Harajuku, holding their cardboard replica of Mann's sign and throwing their arms around anyone who takes them up on the offer.
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"Being hugged by a mother is essential to make a baby feel safe, loved and welcomed, and the same effect through hugs is expected for adults as well." (Courtesy: AFP - Excerpted from Deccan Chronicle, Chennai, April 27, 2007)

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