Friday, November 09, 2007

Free hugs from Paris!


You all know the Free Hugs campaign initiated by Juan Mann, from Australia (if not, check read the story here, it's very moving). Well now, Juan has disciples all over the world, even in France (check the French site here). I trapped these two huggers last week, in front of Notre Dame, they were very nice. So nice, they even accepted to hug... Flat Stanley!!

30 comments:

  1. I love the theory of free hugs i really do but the reality of having a stranger hugging me in the street? Hmmm could be a bit risky. Not sure i like it. I'd hug you though Eric lol !

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  3. Here in the US, two young girls got detention at school for hugging their friend who's mom had just died.

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  4. Hi Eric, I love that Flat Stanley is making it all over the world and not just here in America. If someone is wanting to give you a free hug and you both agree....Why not then? I think it is a great idea. There are some people how never have a human touch such as older people and having someone even a stranger give a hug and maybe a smile...what could make you happier!

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  5. Oh wow! Flat Stanley is in Paris? This little guy travels a lot. he was in Lynette blog in Portland the other day. I am impressed! Hug, Eric.

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  6. Free hugs? Cool concept. I'd be cautious about my pockets at all times, though, you never know. These kids look harmless but a sign like that could fall in the wrong hands ... enuf said ;)

    I really like the girl's bi-color nail polish!

    So, who is Flat Stanley?

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  7. Vicky Hugo: really?!! So, I guess the lesson is you can't hug someone who is mourning in that school? Why not?! Seems very strange.

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  8. Vicky why? What was the argument given against these girls hugging their bereaved friend?

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  9. Once again the Americans' Puritanical slip is showing. Schools here are worried that hugging will lead to "something else." Last year, a first grader got detention for giving another first grader a kiss. And we wonder why the French shake theri heads at us...

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  10. Great post, Eric!! We should never underestimate the power of a hug. Ca ne coute rien mais ca fait du bien. These lovely Parisian ladies will have this in their LIFE resume (peut etre parfois plus important qu’un Job resume, non?). “In the Autumn of 2007 I gave out hugs for free.” Have a great weekend everyone, and in the spirit of this post, pour vous tous, un millier de calins…

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  11. I love the Free Hugs movement!

    If anyone knows this guy...
    http://shutupsuzy.blogspot.com/2007/03/free-hugs.html
    ...give him my number.

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  12. I discovered this site last month and since then I have seen every single entry. I love it, it makes me miss Paris so much. I'm just sad that I'll only have one picture a day to look at from now on...

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  13. Funny you mention this detention story Vicky, it made it to the news tonight!
    To us, French, it's totally unthinkable, but we're much more tactile than the Americains (and much less than people in Southern Europe or from Mediterranean countries).

    Actually Susan, this Flat Stanley belonged to Americans I think (>>Tomate, Flat Stanley is a 'person" that kids create at school and send to friends or family around the country - or the world - so that he can have his picture taken everywhere.
    When "he comes back", kids discuss the place he's been altogether at school and learn - better - about geography this way.)

    In France we have "Clément l'aplati" but he's not very popular...

    Suzy, OK, I'll tell Pierre that you fancy him;) OK, I'm kidding, I don't know this guy...

    Justine. You've got all the photos in the archives to quench your thirst!!

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  14. I had meant the I has looked at all the archive pictures, I can see where what I wrote could have been misunderstood, but I can always look at them again, one can never see Paris too many times...

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  15. Ah, OK, understood. Give Flat Stanley a few kisses from San Francisco, then! He sounds like a good project and he is, of course, welcome in my mailbox :)

    And Vicky, I love this country a great deal, believe me, I really do. But I really think there are some very strange things going on across the land. For instance, I think that school's administration should definitely loosen up, possibly have a glass of wine or two with each other and discuss how they could worry a little less about kids touching each other in a harmless manner and instead worry about guns in school and other clearly more threatening stuff. If kids were receiving more hugs to begin with, maybe they wouldnt need to go on a rampage like they do from time to time (see Columbine, etc.) Just my opinion, of course.

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  16. The free hugs campaign is fantastic.
    Now, this detention story... simply impossible to comprehend from our point of view down here in the south... nobody would ever get detention for hugging somebody else. Here we hug and kiss everybody all the time!

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  17. Regarding the litle girl hugging...I think it's a result of the American Taliban taking over! :0

    We need a revolution! Maybe France has some lessons for us!

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  18. The problem with this free hugs thing is that hugs are just not french at all... we kiss each other but we don't hug. Those girls hand panels writting in english, not french and that bother me also... as if any happening in France could only come from abroad and could'nt be translated to be popular.
    So, why "free hugs" and not "bises gratuites" ???

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  19. Ahhh, very interesting point of view Cécile Qd9. The campaign has also been translated into "Calin Gratuits" (I think), but there is a big difference between a "hug" and a "bise". It is probably something I miss the most living here in France... the closeness you get with a hug.

    No matter, I'd rather have a free kiss, a free hug, or des bises gratuites than another boring debate on the tele or a metro strike. Reminds me of a song by the group War, "Why can't we be friends..." ;-)

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  20. I found this video of an organized Paris hug event from November of 2006.
    http://tinyurl.com/2h8xux

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  21. I realize I am way late to the part on this one... BUT I LOVE IT!!! I just came back from their website, where I emailed them to ask for a small banner that I can put on my blog to link to their site. AWESOME! Thank you SO MUCH Eric, for this wonderful revelation.
    Wayne

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  22. I agree with Cecile that hugs don't seem very French but this is one import that might be welcome. Kisses or 'les bises' are a greeting for family and friends. Hugs give warmth and temporary shelter. There are times when a hug from can really make a difference. 'Les bises' are a pleasant part of everyday life, but certainly not life-changing.

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