New definition of hugplomacy
Yes, it was a beautiful game no doubt. But the World Cup final made for beautiful people and stories too. Like the one of the Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, who won a million hearts with her kind of “hugplomacy” — oh, don’t we so love the term — that came straight from the heart and was warm enough to melt the protocol of office. Wearing the official jersey of the Croatian team, which made it to the dream final, she travelled economy class simply because she wanted to boost the morale of home fans, and by extension the team. She continuously cheered her team from the VIP area, was gracious in defeat and hugged each player from her home team and the French, encouraging a bunch of young boys to chase many rainbows in life. French president Emmanuel Macron was no less effusive, even celebrating and revelling with players from both sides post-match. At the presentation ceremony, both leaders threw protocol and caution to the winds, giving in to the abandon of the moment, not minding wee bit about getting drenched in pounding rain. Even if Russian President Vladimir Putin, all starched rigid and protected, were to extend the courtesy of sharing his giant umbrella (which he didn’t), these two held their own and showed that the human touch was always worth a legacy beyond the glory and value of the office. As for President Kolinda, she showed how a woman public figure could demonstrate humanity and emotions over gender sensitivities and stiffness of politics and be a true ambassador of a cultural consciousness that defined her and her country. Would our Indian leaders now hug the hoi polloi over world leaders?
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