Sunday, January 15, 2006

A Public Indecency?

Alon Orpaz and Tehila Salev got married in a traditional Hindu ceremony in Pushkar, India. At the conclusion of the ceremony, the Israeli couple kissed. This outraged the priests at the temple, who called the police. The couple was charged with public indecency, and a court sentenced them to 10 days in prison or an $11 fine. (as reported in Reason Magazine, Feb 2006 issue)
Hmm, I didn't realize that kissing in public in India is considered public indecency! No wonder you never see kissing scenes in those Bollywood movies! :-) I thought they were just being conservative and very prudish about showing people kissing on the silver screen.

I was in living in Singapore for a few months in 1994. It was quite the culture shock for me to see young couples kissing in public. A Singaporean friend told me that even her Filipino friends think that Singapore was more open about such public displays of affection than the Philippines.
A Malaysian couple caught by enforcement officers holding hands in a public park have been charged in court with indecent behavior, local media said yesterday. Ooi Kean Tong, 22, was charged Wednesday for allegedly hugging and kissing his girlfriend Siow Ai Wei, 20, in a Kuala Lumpur park, the New Straits Times reported. Ooi pleaded not guilty. If found guilty, he could face a maximum fine of 2,000 ringgit (US$526) or a year in jail or both. The case provoked a public outcry at the time when the couple said they were only holding hands and alleged that they were issued a summons because they had refused to bribe the officers, who were charged with corruption in January. (as reported in Taipei Times, Friday, Apr 23, 2004,Page 7)
Looks like it is no different in Malaysia! :-( When have kissing and hugging in public places been called public indecency? Pity those couples who get caught by the religious police during the annual raids on Valentine's Day in Malaysia! Makes Malaysia look like Saudi Arabia!

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