Let Music fill the air

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Free hugs in downtown Vancouver during the Olympics..

There's lots of action going on in Vancouver with the 2010 Olympics here and so I went down to the city to get caught up in all the festivities and fun. Red patriotism everywhere which is quite incredible for us Canadians who are usually fairly reserved, and great food and coverage of the games everywhere. While I was wandering down Granville street, past musicians and artistic displays, past human statues, and jump rope artists I came upon a sign being held by a friendly looking fellow that said "Free hugs". Well, at any moment in life - someone could use one of those so I stepped right up and even got a photo for a souvenir. The day was clear and sunny and this random act of cheerfulness was a pleasant surprise. Some may say creepy - but I just didn't get that impression. So part 2 of this story is that I was looking through our local papers and there was an article called "Free hugs create smiles during Games". It was the story about a couple of guys, one whom I apparently met named Klezli. The article coined him as the happy-go-lucky guy with the dreadlocks, big blue eyes and huge smile. He is part of the Free Hugs campaign. Something that started in Australia in 2004 by a young man using the pseudonym Juan Mann. According to his story, he was living in London and when he returned to Australia, there was no-one to greet him at the airport. Standing in the arrivals terminal and watching friends and family hug each other, he wanted to feel the same sense of connection. It took off as a world-wide thing. Klezli says he does it himself just for fun, with a chuckle. He says the best part is watching the expressions on people's faces and absorbing all the positive energy.
I didn't realize there was such a story to this whole random thing - and I like it. Not much is free these days - but a hug still is, and it's pretty much guaranteed to be well worth the money. Our city is bursting with visitors and locals alike. The sun has shone, the snow has melted and then the rain showed up that put a little more snow on our mountains. That's Vancouver, unpredictable but delightful. Come see us when the crowds are gone and you will probably even find a parking spot!


Claudie said...

I didn't recognize you with the dark hair Julie. What a change. Sherri also mentions the free hugs in her OW post. She also mentions Japadogs ....WTW are those things? did you eat one lol I would't torch it with a ten foot poll. lol
So all will calm down in a couple of days. We had a great W day today didn't we. Gotta love those gals. I can't wait for the free style skating tomorrow. Very emotional. I go in for my crown this Friday. Had to boost up the appointment, my tooth hurts.
Any good news this week. We're running out of time.
Love Ya

Sherri said...

Ha! Ha! Julie you must have had the original hug guy and I had the cheap imposters!! Those wacky kids : ) Glad that you have got down a couple of times! Your pics are great! Also the ones on Facebook. I like the ones like the old woman in the window. Things that capture the moment but not everyone has seen! I went down last Saturday, and I didn't see much except the crowds and all the excitement! I never even knew that the pavillions were all near Science World. Too bad they didn't give out a brochure or something with all the info. We were sort of walking around clueless!
It has been fun, but I'm like you about worrying how we are ever going to pay for this. Hopefully not with more cuts to Health Care or Education. And I was pretty upset when my brothers back surgery was cancelled in the middle of all this. But I don't blame the athletes and I think it has really cheered people up and made the winter not seem so long and boring! I can't believe Spring Break is next Friday!! Hope you are doing good! Take care Sherri : )