When the pandemic hit this year, the daily rules about social interaction went out the window. If you are following the rules of social distancing then greeting others might become a problem because most of us either shake their hands or perform a hug. That might be the usual greeting process known by you, but the world has other ways to welcome people while being at a distance. People around the world have been also adopting safe replacements to the usual handshakes, air-kissing, and hugs to greet each other when they happen to meet. You would be surprised to know there are interesting ways to greet socially. Let us see the safest ways of greetings or you can pay respect to others.
Corona-safe Greetings Beyond Handshakes and Hugs
The panics that COVID-19 has created, the world is getting used to greeting people with a ‘namaste’. A few months ago, US President Donald Trump tweeted how he greeted the PM of Ireland with a namaste. Following him the President of France, Emmanuel Macron decided to greet all his counterparts with a namaste too. It is a common way of greeting people in India, Namaste has been derived from two Sanskrit words- Nama, meaning bow and te, meaning you. Namaste is basically a gesture of saying that “I honor the spirit in you which is also in me”. Namaste not only is used in greeting others but is an essential part of Surya Namaskar. Surya Namaskar, which is an ultimate asana, helps lose weight, ensures regular menstrual cycle, helps your body detox, and has many other benefits. As you just need to use your own hands, a distance is maintained. The Hindus even pray to their God with their touch-free namaste.
2. Adab or Salaam
A beautiful gesture used by South Asian Muslims, Adaab implies respect and politeness and is also something “uniquely Asian” as Griffin puts it. The meaning of Aadab is to pay etiquette, respect, or grace to the person to whom you are meeting. This corona-proof gesture requires one to raise their hand towards the face, palm inwards, fingertips almost touching forehead, and bow ever so slightly. Salaam is yet another gesture popular with South Asian Muslims which means peace upon you. It involves an Adab with a low bow. In some variations, it can also be said with the hand to one’s heart. Interestingly, the word Adab comes from the Arabic word Aadaab which stands for etiquette.
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We learn to wave as a child, but it is quite informal, so we only use it for close relatives and friends. But waving is one of the simplest and safest gestures of greeting ongoing pandemic that you can use. Waving from a distance is an informal way of greeting a close friend or a close relative. It is also a good gesture of bidding goodbye to each other. However, discretion should be used while using this gesture in certain traditional and conservative cultures like India, where it is more appropriate to greet with a Namaste when meeting seniors and teachers. If you are meeting the elders, you may consider pulling out the namaste.
4. Foot Shake and Elbow Bumps
What happens when one of the most risk-free parts of your body to avoid virus transmission? Your elbow is a good resource to greet if so you wish and forget handshake, foot shake is the new trend fast catching up in western nations. This safest way of greeting involves a foot-to-foot greeting in an informal way and has found many takers among Gen-Next. As COVID-19 has begun to spread around the world, the foot shake came into news for being the choice of welcome that is replacing a handshake. You can demonstrate regard to one another by knocking your feet. A few nations have additionally acknowledged the method of elbow-knocks which help in staying contact-free. You can show respect to each other by bumping your feet. Some nations have also adopted the way of elbow-bumps which help in staying touch-free.
5. Bao Quan Li
Originated in China, “Bao Quan Li” is an ancient polite greeting ritual common among martial artists that express respect towards the person met. Even though you are not a martial art practitioner still it can be used as a greeting form. The customary Chinese method of welcome, Bao Quan Li includes enveloping one clench hand by another palm before one’s chest and afterward bowing moderately. You may not be a martial art practitioner, but Ban Quan Li is a safe way to greet either your opponent or someone who stands in front of you. This Chinese way of greeting originated in the Ming Dynasty.
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Bowing is practiced mostly in Japan, where two people bend towards one another to show regard, and the custom is spread all through Asian nations. Indeed, even the Europeans used to act on bowing among one another, particularly when they are meeting somebody like the Queen. This is considered to be the easiest yet respectful way of greeting someone and involves zero contact between people. Bowing is widely exercised in Japan where the deeper you bow, the more it reflects your respect for the person being greeted. Try a curtsy if bows are too stiff for you. As a variant of the bow curtsies can be used for more informal greetings. This one of the corona proof gesture involves bending a knee with the foot behind the other and a slight bow of the head and was initially designed as the female version of male genuflection. Now would probably be a good time to break that little gender block but since it’s a pandemic.
Saluting is mainly practiced among the military class people; nonetheless, even the general public has resorted to an informal way of saluting each other. Various forms of salute are popular as the only form of salutation among military ranks and exist around the world. Get creative with it! Make it your own! salutes don’t have to be awkward.
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And how can we forget the pop culture which has also given us some gems that can replace contact-based greetings? People on social media platforms making this creative gesture so popular. The Vulcan symbol also popularised by the film and tv franchise Star Trek as the greeting salutation of Captain Spock’s home planet was yet another alternative.
So far we have discussed the Corona-Free Gestures or Greetings, which contains the proper information. I hope you might have loved reading this article and if you love to read more about then kindly head to our other articles. Will you use these forms of gesture? Let us know in the comments below!
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