Why Don't Mennonite Men Hug?

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YorkandAdams
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Why Don't Mennonite Men Hug?

Postby YorkandAdams » Wed Jun 21, 2017 6:09 pm

So as an outsider, I have always been baffled that Mennonite men are willing to kiss another man on the mouth, but not give another man a hug. Here is my theory why.

Several men in my congregation were discussing the history of the church, and it was mentioned that the church had only installed air conditioning within the last 15 years. Now taking that into consideration, I also thought about the jobs that most of the men historically held. Farmers, Farmers, and (you guessed it) more Farmers. Now how would you want to be greeted by a Farmer in the middle of the summer with no air conditioning. Not with a hug!!!! This social custom is probably why women in the church are more open to hugging each other (occasionally), and why you will never see a Mennonite man hug another Mennonite man. Any thoughts?
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Josh
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Re: Why Don't Mennonite Men Hug?

Postby Josh » Wed Jun 21, 2017 6:20 pm

Hugging is a relatively recent thing as part of a casual greeting. Tradition minded Mennonites are slower to absorb new outside cultural practices, and this is no exception.
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Sudsy
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Re: Why Don't Mennonite Men Hug?

Postby Sudsy » Wed Jun 21, 2017 8:03 pm

Why don't Mennonite men hug ? Because it could lead to dancing. :laugh
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Ernie
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Re: Why Don't Mennonite Men Hug?

Postby Ernie » Thu Jun 22, 2017 5:46 am

Josh wrote:Hugging is a relatively recent thing as part of a casual greeting. Tradition minded Mennonites are slower to absorb new outside cultural practices, and this is no exception.


Yes!

Plus, kissing is not a sign of affection or warmness. It is an act of obedience.
Ultra conservative men typically don't hug anyone including their children. Many wouldn't even hug their wife in front of their children at home. Less conservative men do a bit of hugging and the spectrum continues.
Huggers tend to not be very keen on kissing other men, and so as a subculture gets more familiar with hugging, using the kiss as a greeting tends to decline.
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Bootstrap
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Re: Why Don't Mennonite Men Hug?

Postby Bootstrap » Thu Jun 22, 2017 8:07 am

Ernie wrote:Plus, kissing is not a sign of affection or warmness. It is an act of obedience.


What do you think it symbolizes? "Greet one another with a holy kiss" implies some kind of welcoming and greeting. Handshakes, hugs, mediterranean kisses all seem to involve affection and warmth. The word used for kiss, φιλήματι, is closely related to various words for love (φιλέω, etc).

I had an odd experience at a Christian event in France. For some reason, my assigned small group was all French women, who greeted each other and me each day with one to three kisses on the cheek, depending on which region they were from. When I suggested perhaps a hug instead - which would be more comfortable in my culture - they were a little shocked, they thought men and women shouldn't get that close. Hugs and kisses involve intimacy, and they can be uncomfortable, they bring up important boundary issues. And what is comfortable in one culture is not in another.

But are we sometimes afraid to take love and affection seriously and give them their proper place? If love is the sign that we are the disciples of Christ, perhaps we need to get more comfortable with showing love?
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joshuabgood
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Re: Why Don't Mennonite Men Hug?

Postby joshuabgood » Thu Jun 22, 2017 9:17 am

Germanic stoicism accounts for quite a bit of the "nonhugging."

Generally I am in favor of hugging and I think the kiss of brotherhood is also an appropriately affectionate greeting. (not on the lips...on the cheek)

Josh
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appleman2006
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Re: Why Don't Mennonite Men Hug?

Postby appleman2006 » Thu Jun 22, 2017 10:07 am

joshuabgood wrote:Germanic stoicism accounts for quite a bit of the "nonhugging."

Generally I am in favor of hugging and I think the kiss of brotherhood is also an appropriately affectionate greeting. (not on the lips...on the cheek)

Josh


I agree. I am quite sure that kissing on the lips is not commanded in scripture. And frankly I am not at all sure that the literal observance of a kiss on the cheek is the best way to symbolize or show that we love our brothers in this day anymore.

A hearty handshake or a hug are actually much more meaningful to me.
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Signtist
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Re: Why Don't Mennonite Men Hug?

Postby Signtist » Thu Jun 22, 2017 10:38 am

YorkandAdams wrote:...and why you will never see a Mennonite man hug another Mennonite man.
Oh! Men aren't supposed to hug? I never got that memo.
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Josh
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Re: Why Don't Mennonite Men Hug?

Postby Josh » Thu Jun 22, 2017 10:42 am

Ernie wrote:
Josh wrote:Hugging is a relatively recent thing as part of a casual greeting. Tradition minded Mennonites are slower to absorb new outside cultural practices, and this is no exception.


Yes!

Plus, kissing is not a sign of affection or warmness. It is an act of obedience.
Ultra conservative men typically don't hug anyone including their children.


Is this true of Nationwide Fellowship men? I observe them hugging their children.

Of course, Nationwide Fellowship lies somewhere between intermediate conservatives and ultra-conservatives. I believe Cory Anderson put it in a class of its own.
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KingdomBuilder
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Re: Why Don't Mennonite Men Hug?

Postby KingdomBuilder » Thu Jun 22, 2017 10:45 am

My rural (Protestant) congregation is very keen on hugging.
Interestingly, everyone hugs. Not just male-to-male.
A bit off topic, but thought I'd share anyways. :)
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