Monday, Sep 21, 2020 | Last Update : 01:09 PM IST

180th Day Of Lockdown

Maharashtra118801585793332216 Andhra Pradesh6177765307115302 Tamil Nadu5364774812738751 Karnataka5113454048417922 Uttar Pradesh3362942632884771 Delhi2347011981034877 West Bengal2155801870614183 Telangana1713061397001033 Odisha167161133466722 Bihar164224149722855 Assam150349121610528 Kerala12221687341490 Gujarat119088999083271 Rajasthan109088906851293 Haryana103773816901069 Madhya Pradesh97906743981877 Punjab90032658182646 Chhatisgarh7777541111628 Jharkhand6710052807590 Jammu and Kashmir5971138521951 Uttarakhand3713924810460 Goa2678320844327 Puducherry2142816253431 Tripura2069612956222 Himachal Pradesh11190691997 Chandigarh92566062106 Manipur8430653951 Arunachal Pradesh6851496713 Nagaland5306407910 Meghalaya4356234232 Sikkim2119178923 Mizoram15069490
  Life   More Features  06 Mar 2020  Touch me not!

Touch me not!

THE ASIAN AGE. | SASHIDHAR ADIVI
Published : Mar 6, 2020, 12:00 am IST
Updated : Mar 6, 2020, 5:56 am IST

Coronavirus triggers people around the world to come up with alternative methods for traditional greetings.

Traditional greetings apart, people across the world are coming up with new and safer ways to say hello. Tanzanian President John Magufuli (left) too chose to “foot greet” opposition politician Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad.
 Traditional greetings apart, people across the world are coming up with new and safer ways to say hello. Tanzanian President John Magufuli (left) too chose to “foot greet” opposition politician Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad.

A couple of days ago, German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer committed what could have, at any other time in history been regarded as the ultimate faux pas, by rejecting a handshake from his head of State, Chancellor Angela Merkel  — but ended up being praised for his stand.

French Health Minister Olivier Véran recently made an announcement asking his compatriots to go easy on La Bise, the custom of greeting people with a kiss or more on both cheeks.

 

While these leaders are spearheading a change from their own long-held traditions, others are advocating the adoption of traditions of other countries, or inventing new customs — all because of the coronavirus.

Physical contact between humans is mainly responsible for the quick proliferation of the coronavirus, which has affected thousands of people all across the world, leaving upward of 3,000 dead. Greeting traditions in Western countries, which have now become universal, involve touching and kissing. Handshakes, air kisses accompanied by hugs, pecks on the cheeks, high-fives etc. are ways in which society celebrates, congratulates and welcomes. But at this time when the world is trying to limit the spread of the virus, these are high-risk actions.

 

Say it with folded hands
And so, the Indian namaste, the dignified and graceful way of acknowledging the presence of the divine in others, has come into its own. In fact, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu  has encouraged his countrymen to adopt the Indian way of greeting, in place of the customary handshake.

Travel and Fine Dining Etiquette expert Suneetha  Sodhi Kanga says that namaste is the best form of greeting, especially in the present context, as it completely avoids physical contact with the other person. “Not just during times of the coronavirus; whenever you fall sick, it is always safe to avoid physical contact (to prevent virus transmission) and instead, greet people with a smile,” she adds.

 

Senior Indian politicians Ghulam Nabi Azad and Jairam Ramesh were recently spotted welcoming each other with a Namaskar instead of a handshake.

Prof Arjuna de Silva, former member of the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) medical panel suggested that the country’s cricket players use Ayubowan (similar to Namaste), as a greeting during their current series against England.

Let’s shake a leg
Traditional greetings apart, people across the world are coming up with new and safer ways to say hello. Tanzanian President John Magufuli (left) too chose to “foot greet” opposition politician Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad.

A video of two people wearing face masks (in China), quickly tapping their feet in greeting has been going viral and the action has been dubbed ‘footshake’.

 

Elbow-Fist bump
Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts has been encouraging people to use ‘elbow bumps’ and demonstrated it in a video. The National Basketball Association (NBA) too has recommended that players use the fist bump to celebrate their highpoints during matches.

Tags: coronavirus