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Hugging mom is unconventional in a traditional Vietnamese family. I write this piece to articulate my thoughts to describe different ways to look at the meanings of hugging. During my writing process, I use a walking meditation as a Buddhist practice to calm my mind so that I can see my true self and a clearer picture of different layers of the act of hugging. I believe hegemonic gender roles and patriarchy happen everywhere in the world, not particularly in Vietnam. I do not plan to devalue my home country’s cultural values in this paper. This is not the purpose of this essay. Writing this piece has been healing for me, and I hope to perhaps provide the children who experience cultural hegemony and violence abuse with opportunities to reflect on existing wounds that await to be healed. I see a powerful shift in my mind when I insert the final question mark at the end of this paper. I truly hope this piece will help readers find their true selves and think about practicing meditation walks on their journeys to find true homes.


Originally published in:

Trinh, Ethan (2018) "How Hugging Mom Teaches Me The Meaning of Love and Perhaps Beyond," The Journal of Faith, Education, and Community: Vol. 2 : Iss. 1 , Article 2. Available at:

(c) Stephen F. Austin University. Posted by permission.