In Namibia, people travel a lot during the holidays (Christmas time). It is also common for members of the same family to travel to different locations for the holidays. For example, one family member may go to their uncle's house in Windhoek, one to a older sister's house in Luderitz, and three other members to the family farm in the country.
It so happened that one of my sisters was leaving for Windhoek via train. Her train was scheduled to leave around midnight, and consequently she needed an escort to the train station. I offered to be her escort, along with one of my other younger sisters. The three of us walked 15 minutes to the train station. When the train arrived, we helped our sister carry her bags onto the train, gave her hugs goodbye, and then left.
As we were walking away from the train station my younger sister grabbed my hand and we walked most of the way back holding hands. In Namibia, it is common to hold someone's hand -- be it the hand of another man or another woman. It is a warm act of friendship shared between opposite and same sex friends. It is even common for a handshake with a friend to last multiple minutes while the ttwo friends catch up on each others recent news.
After a little while of holding hands, I looked at my sister and said to her, "I bet you feel sad because your sister has left for Windhoek."
She said, "No, I feel better now because I am holding your hand."
I wish we felt more comfortable holding each others hands in America.