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There may be no such thing as a free lunch, but as those who happened to pass by the Ruins of St. Paul last weekend will tell you, there is indeed such thing as a free hug, with no strings but a warm, priceless message attached. 

The “Free Hug” activity was organised by members of the Peer Support Programme (PSP) of the University of Macau (UM), as part of their celebration of the tenth anniversary of the programme.  Dressed in bright red T-shirt printed with the words “Pay It Forward” , a guiding philosophy of PSP, the students stood on the flights of staircases leading up to the Ruins of St. Paul, a must-visit local landmark for every tourist, chanting “free hugs” with great gusto in English and Chinese. Maybe it was their broad smile. Maybe it was the novelty of a free hug. Passers-by, who a minute ago were bustling about their own business, slowed their paces despite themselves and threw a curious glance in the students’ direction. Many paused to receive a free hug from the students, first tentatively, then, encouraged by the growing number of people following suit, let themselves be hugged like a child and broke into an unguarded smile.

Guntapat Amornsirirungrung, a tourist from Thailand, exclaimed after receiving a free hug and taking a picture with the students, “Well, stumbling into a free hug is certainly a pleasant surprise for me, and I feel so happy! I hope to see such activities in Thailand in the future.”

Josi Alves, a Portuguese who has lived in Macao for more than a decade, said, “The city is progressing, but the relationship between people is regressing. This activity brings people closer to one another. In fact, it’s not just Macao. The whole world could really use some free hugging!”

Oh, and the warm, priceless message from the free hug? Spread love and happiness, and you get them back twice over.

Should you have any inquiries about the press release, please feel free to contact Ms. Veronica Tang at(853)8397 4323 or prs.media@um.edu.mo or visit UM webpage www.um.edu.mo.

Publicado em 2013-02-27 20:26

Guntapat, a tourist from Thailand, receives a free hug from PSP members

Guntapat, a tourist from Thailand, receives a free hug from PSP members
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PSP members hugging a couple

PSP members hugging a couple
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A puppy needs hugging too

A puppy needs hugging too
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A family of three hug under the “Free Hug” placard

A family of three hug under the “Free Hug” placard
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Group photo of PSP members

Group photo of PSP members
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