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Holding hands is a form of physical intimacy involving two or more people. It may or may not be romantic.
Whether friends hold hands depends on culture and gender: in Western culture this is mainly done by women and small children (sometimes for authoritative control, not affection), spouses and romantic couples. In Arab countries, Africa and some parts of Asia it is done also by men and/or boys for friendship and/or a sign of respect.
In the West, it is common to see teenage girls holding hands as a sign of friendship—though the same does not apply for teenage boys.
The custom of men holding hands can cause discomfort in societies unused to it, as it did with Americans, when, in 2005, then Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia held hands in public with then American president George W Bush.
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- Holguin, Jaime (11 February 2009). "Abdullah-Bush Stroll Strikes Nerve". CBS News.