Illustration for article titled Koreas Take on the “Virgin Floating Hand” Meme
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You know hover hands? Those awkward photo moments that are called "instant virgin detectors." South Korea has them, too, but they mean something else: Good manners.

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Behold, the "manner hand!" As tipster Sang explains, "manner hand" is basically when male celebrities don't touch female celebrities while taking photos together. It can also be when celebs of the same sex don't touch each other while posing for pics.

Illustration for article titled Koreas Take on the “Virgin Floating Hand” Meme

Western celebs have been known to pull a hover hand or two, but in South Korea, it's viewed differently. In the West, people are generally mocked online for doing awkward hover hands, but the Korean press seems to applaud the "manner hand" as it's seen as respectful. Women, it seems, appreciate the "nice guy" gesture, while men probably don't give it much thought.

By that same token, when celebs in Korea don't mind their manner hand, people tend to notice that, too! Those moments are even called "bad hand." So bad.

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But why does manner hand exist and why is it more of a thing recently? Tipster Sang thinks it might be because Korean stars are wearing skimpier outfits, which makes sense to me. Also, traditionally people in Asia are less touchy-feely than Westerners with friends and colleagues, so that's why celebs might be pulling hover hands. Or perhaps, people just want to be respectful and polite.

Here are some examples of manner hand (the photo annotations were added by Korean sites, not Kotaku).

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Illustration for article titled Koreas Take on the “Virgin Floating Hand” Meme

Park Si-yeon, Nam Gyu-ri, Park Si-hoo, and Park Soo Jin pose for the camera, manner hand and all.

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Illustration for article titled Koreas Take on the “Virgin Floating Hand” Meme

Lee Seung-gi's manner hand.

Illustration for article titled Koreas Take on the “Virgin Floating Hand” Meme
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Epic manner hand. More good manners below:

Illustration for article titled Koreas Take on the “Virgin Floating Hand” Meme
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Illustration for article titled Koreas Take on the “Virgin Floating Hand” Meme
Illustration for article titled Koreas Take on the “Virgin Floating Hand” Meme
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Illustration for article titled Koreas Take on the “Virgin Floating Hand” Meme

There was even coverage in the Korean press about pitcher Ricky Nolasco's recent manner hand with Tiffany and Tae-yeon from Girls' Generation.

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Illustration for article titled Koreas Take on the “Virgin Floating Hand” Meme

Maybe he was told about the custom? Maybe he's just a natural?

Illustration for article titled Koreas Take on the “Virgin Floating Hand” Meme
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There is even a variation on the manner hand. Sometimes on Korean TV, males carry females on their backs, but to show proper manners, their hands should not be holding the women's legs. Above, you can see popstar Onew showing how it's done. Below is a round-up from various Korean TV programs:

Illustration for article titled Koreas Take on the “Virgin Floating Hand” Meme
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Illustration for article titled Koreas Take on the “Virgin Floating Hand” Meme

This certainly is cultural. Take Korean actor Lee Byung-hun, for example. When in Korea, he's manner-handing:

Illustration for article titled Koreas Take on the “Virgin Floating Hand” Meme
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The woman's face could be blurred because she might be a fan?

But when he's outside Korea promoting G.I. Joe, his manner hand goes M.I.A. Here he's in Japan:

Illustration for article titled Koreas Take on the “Virgin Floating Hand” Meme
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And with Catherine Zeta-Jones:

Illustration for article titled Koreas Take on the “Virgin Floating Hand” Meme
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Many of these individuals who are using the manner hand are incredibly good-looking, famous, and wealthy. They are not your stereotypical "hover hand virgins." But they do have good manners, it seems. Good manner hands.

Photos: Nemopan, Nate, Donga, SportsSeoul, SBS, TVReport, Vop, Tistory, Instiz, Chosun, Miss, Sun, TVDaily, India Times

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To contact the author of this post, write to bashcraftATkotaku.com or find him on Twitter @Brian_Ashcraft.

Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

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