In the wake of coronavirus, world leaders resort to the Indian tradition of Namaste

Social distancing has become a buzzword since the COVID-19 outbreak across the world. To that effect, world leaders and others have resorted to the age-old Indian tradition of Namaste.

The COVID-19, which started in Wuhan, China, at the end of last year, has now been categorised as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO), affecting about 1.3 lakh people worldwide, with about 5,000 deaths globally.

Since the coronavirus outbreak, governments and the World Health Organisation have urged the public to socially distance themselves while meeting somebody. That said, how do we are we supposed to greet each other?

Namaste is the best 'no-contact' method of greeting other people

If you have ever watched Akshay Kumar’s 2007 film ‘Namastey London,’ you would remember the scene where Akshay’s character, Arjun, is seen giving a history lesson on India to a Brit. At the end of the scene, he folds his hands and benevolently bows in a show of respect to the Brit, while bidding him goodbye.

Today the 'Namaste' is being accepted as the best form of greeting globally.

Across the world, People greet each other in unique ways – with handshakes, hugs, air kisses, fist-bumps and now by saying Namaste.

To mitigate the outbreak of coronavirus, it is highly recommended to practise "social distancing", i.e. staying away from other people. In the wake of the pandemic, world leaders have resorted to the age-old Indian tradition of doing Namaste.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also been promoting the Indian tradition, saying that the world is increasingly adopting this no-contact way of greeting. 

Here are few other leaders who have resorted to 'Namaste'.

Donald Trump

On Thursday, US President Donald Trump greeted Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar with a Namaste while hosting him at the White House. Trump told reporters that, while recently visiting India, he did not shake hands anywhere. He added that Indians are way ahead of the curve when it comes to greeting people.

Image credits: Twitter

Prince Charles of UK

At a recent event, the annual Prince’s Trust Awards, UK’s Prince Charles, who is next-in-line to the British throne, avoided shaking hands with anyone and greeted them with a 'Namaste' instead. In the wake of the coronavirus infection, even for Britain’s royal family, the strict protocols were put aside and the Indian tradition was adopted.

Benjamin Netanyahu

Image credits: Twitter

After coronavirus affected several countries in the Middle East, Israeli PM, Benjamin Netanyahu announced that every citizen entering the country had to quarantine themselves for two weeks. Further, he urged everyone to fold hands and say Namaste, instead of shaking hands.

Emmanuel Macron

In an effort to stop/spread the coronavirus infection, French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife, Brigitte Macron, resorted to Namaste while welcoming Felipe VI, Spain’s king and queen.

Image credits: Twitter

Angela Merkel

Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor and the Portuguese Prime Minister, Antonia Costa chose to stand with folded hands for a customary photoshoot, where earlier the leaders would have shaken hands.

Looks like, the 'Namaste' will soon be the preferred mode of greeting across the world!


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