Holding hands with a Male Stranger


The young man smiled at me, put his arm around my shoulders and led me down the lane. Not feeling the need to be so tactile with a member of the same sex, I edged away from him, only for him to grab my hand tightly and arms swinging continued past the village houses, the occupants of which, sitting in their doorways grinning and whispering to each other. Worrying that he had some wicked plans for me in the back of the cow shed, I managed to free my hand from his grasp, at which point he hooked his pinky finger through mine.
Back in New Zealand, if I was to hold another guys hand while walking down the street I would probably get a punch on the nose, or at the very least unfriended on Facebook. But all this guy wanted to do was show a new friend around the place where he grew up.
Now maybe I am being sexist. If a young village girl was to lead me by the hand through the village I wouldn’t mind, in fact I would probably be quite excited, although a little fearful that the Boss might spot me. I am just not used to this much physical contact with guys. However it is very common in India to see guys walking arm in arm, holding hands or even, the dreaded, entwined pinky fingers.
The funny thing is that when I mention this to my Indian friends they deny any such thing ever happens; only to come back to me a month later admitting that yes they have finally noticed what I am talking about!