This is something I wrote to a friend just two weeks ago.
It is quite a common a site in India, especially in South India, to be hugging and holding hands in groups of men. The symbols, that would probably be indication of a Gay group in USA or Europe, is very common in India. I think, when we hang out together, it was no different from how girls hang out together. I mean, if a group of girls hug and hold hands togeather, it would NOT look lesbian in any part of the world. But a group of guys somehow become 'Gay' in the eyes of a Westernized observer.
This might also explain some characteristics of Indian Men, that most commonly observed among Gay men - certain likes, dislikes, behaviors. But a majority of them are heterosexual males. This also might explain certain tendencies - how men and women in India tend not be in extreme stereo types, but some where in the middle. In US, I saw these stereotypes very strong - like there is a stark difference between how a heterosexual man should behave; and any sign of a female sense within a man would be considered being 'gay' like watching romantic movies or listening melodramatic music. They call these chic movies and chic music. I was really surprised to see that how Men and Women are like from totally different planets there.(in US) And God help you if you are a transvestite living in US. (or for that matter any country in the world).
Here are a few quotes from an article in NY Times about this gender differences.
It looks as if personality differences between men and women are smaller in traditional cultures like India’s or Zimbabwe’s than in the Netherlands or the United States. A husband and a stay-at-home wife in a patriarchal Botswanan clan seem to be more alike than a working couple in Denmark or France. The more Venus and Mars have equal rights and similar jobs, the more their personalities seem to diverge. ... The biggest changes recorded by the researchers involve the personalities of men, not women. Men in traditional agricultural societies and poorer countries seem more cautious and anxious, less assertive and less competitive than men in the most progressive and rich countries of Europe and North America.