Coronavirus scare makes 'Namaste' the new 'Hello'

Published: Mar 12, 2020, 14:23 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Mumbai

People, in the bid to avoid direct contact with others, have adopted the Indian way of greeting.

French president Emmanuel Macron. Picture/Emmanuel Lenain-Twitter
French president Emmanuel Macron. Picture/Emmanuel Lenain-Twitter

With Coronavirus sparked an atmosphere of panic for people, it has also changed the way they greet each other. People, in the bid to avoid direct contact with others, have adopted the Indian way of greeting. They are ditching handshakes and pecks on the cheeks and moving towards Namaste –folding  hands to greet people.

 A video shared by an Indian Forest Services official shows people greeting each other with a Namaste. He writes in the caption, “Namaste. See we Indians told to do this to world many many years ago. Now just a class on ‘how to do namaste properly’.”

Not just these people in the video, but recently French President Emmanuel Macron ditched the customary peck on cheeks and greeted the Spain royals with 'namaste'. As told by the Ambassador of France to India, the president has adopted this 'graceful gesture' to greet everyone.

Even Israel prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu advised his citizens to adopt Namaste to greet people. He said, "Just avoid shaking hands as I do. You can try to implement the Indian system of Namaste or say another word like shalom, but find a way, any way of not shaking hands."

The number coronavirus cases has been increased to 73. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic.

With inputs from agencies

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