Experts break down why Indians cringe at desi PDA but accept foreigners' affection

Dristi Sharma
Dristi SharmaOct 08, 2023 | 13:00

Experts break down why Indians cringe at desi PDA but accept foreigners' affection

Indians are often perceived as warm and hospitable, yet viral videos, particularly those from major cities like Delhi and Mumbai, sometimes paint a different picture. Chances are, you're familiar with the type of videos we're referring to, given the headline that led you to this article.

These videos have made headlines, and many of us find ourselves amused by couples being called out, yelled at, or even criticised for getting cozy in public places.



Frequently, our social media feeds are flooded with videos, especially from the Delhi Metro, featuring confrontations where couples are asked to cease their Public Displays of Affection (PDA). These videos often teeter on the brink of turning violent, occasionally resulting in physical altercations.

Consider a couple of recent examples: On September 25, 2023, a video of a couple kissing in the Delhi Metro went viral. Someone recorded the video and posted it on X (formerly Twitter).

The video received numerous negative comments branding it as 'vulgar' and 'cheap.'

Another one

Another incident from earlier this month involved a middle-aged woman seemingly engaging in moral policing by berating a couple for being 'too close.' The man responded, leading to a heated verbal argument. Interestingly, the comment section and background noise seemed to applaud the woman for finally speaking up.

And then there are those who bring out the popcorn to enjoy the spectacle.


Even worse:

In 2018, an incident at Dum Dum metro station in Kolkata garnered widespread attention. Images and videos of the event spread rapidly on social media. It involved a couple standing close to each other on the metro, which upset a senior passenger. He, along with others who shared his perspective, physically mistreated the couple. Consequently, they were forcibly removed from the metro, with the man enduring continuous physical assault from these individuals.



the scenario seems a bit different when it comes to witnessing couples getting cozy abroad. In fact, Indians love watching those 'cute couple videos' of couples traveling and displaying affection toward each other. But have you ever wondered why that is the case? We posed this question to a psychologist.

Psychologists explain

Shreya Kaul, a psychologist from Noida, explains, "It ultimately boils down to what is considered acceptable in our culture and what is acceptable in other cultures."

According to her, as a nation and as individuals, we have a complex relationship with sex and sexuality.

We're okay with foreigners because they're "Western" and that is how their culture is. We wouldn't be okay if we saw two Indians who were born and brought up outside of the country showing PDA
- Sheya Kaul

Dr Akash G, a counselling psychologist, agrees. He also points out, "PDA in love has never been a part of our culture; even Indian parents rarely indulged in it, even in the privacy of their homes."

Last updated: October 08, 2023 | 13:00
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