Something I’ve noticed over and over here is people holding hands. The first day on the bus I saw two women holding hands. Playing with children I see siblings and friends holding hands all the time. One time two boys who looked about 12 years old and appeared to be best friends were holding hands while playing with us outside our hotel in Lira. A little girl took a walk with me and even though she knew no english and we couldn’t communicate verbally, she smiled up at me and held my hand as we walked. After I interviewed Mama Angelina I asked to have my picture taken with her (she is a very inspiring woman). She surprised me by grabbing my hand when I stood next to her. We proceeded to hold hands behind our backs while photos were taken.
During the Lord’s Prayer at mass our group held hands but nobody else did. I think this is further proof that, to the people here, hand holding is not something to be done at a designated time because of tradition but something done out of love.
Holding a persons hand is a very simple act that can mean many things. The young girl holding my hand showed that she trusted me. Mama Angeline holding my hand was an act of love (and I don’t think my smile in a picture has ever been more genuine).
When was the last time you saw boys holding hands out of friendship in the United States? When was the last time you saw grown adults holding hands out of friendship? What does this mean?
I think we should hold hands more.
Holding hands is a physical connection that can represent our deeper connection to other human beings in love and solidarity.