Today’s newspaper yielded yet another interesting snippet. An article from the New York Times International Weekly had the intriguing title “Chinese unwind with a hug and a song”. Apparently the Chinese are “finally learning to hug each other” - although, from my own experience in China, they already know how to hug with great enjoyment.
Or perhaps it is just that I have met those who have spent
time looking at the elements, and have had their interest in emotional responses
stimulated by being told to observe what each element offers. Most Chinese, this article appears to
indicate, “have been slow to embrace the embrace”. Liu Lihong told
the class I was teaching that “we need more Fire here”. In the case of hugs, it is probably more
Earth that is needed, since I think hugging is much more a response to one of
the Earth element’s needs, which is to draw people close to them.
The article said that “recently it seems like everyone is
hugging. Friends are hugging. Family
members are hugging…. The tables are turning….. Schools are now conducting
classes in emotional intelligence. For
homework, children have been assigned to hug their parents.”
This trend towards learning to be unafraid to show emotions
may be part of the reason why my Chinese five-element students are so keen to
learn all about the emotional manifestations of the elements, and enjoy doing
exercises which help train them in learning to detect emotions both in
themselves and in their patients.