The handshake supposedly began as far back as 5 B.C., as a gesture to prove to a stranger that you were unarmed and meant no harm. But now 2020 in the time of the coronavirus outbreak, that sign of good faith can no longer be trusted.
"Hello", "How are you?" "Nice to meet you" etc... is not just limited to handshakes - around the world there are many different ways of saying hello and you don't have to look far to find "healthier" ways of greeting. The New Zealand Maori, for example, rub noses and foreheads in their traditional hongi greeting and the Korean & Japanese bow to each other. Then there are the "dap greetings" such as high fives and fist bumps - which are commonly used by young people in the Western world.
A "dap greeting" is a slang term for some simple fist bumps to more elaborate hand gestures.
"dap" is an acronym that stands for "dignity and pride." More than just a greeting, the dap became a sort of language that helped African American men communicate solidarity, identity, and cultural unity. The history of which goes back to the 70's when 'Black Power' arose.
The hand movements translate to "I'm not above you, you're not above me, we're side by side, we're together," provided just this symbol of solidarity and served as a substitute for the Black Power salute which was prohibited by the military.
Will hand contact, hugging, chest-pounding, air kisses and other Western forms of greeting exist in the future? I am not sure however the eastern cultures greet and show respect with the 'Bow'
Although it has become very acceptable to shake hands, the bow remains the most widely used form of respect.
A slight nod is casual and often used amongst colleagues or someone you might expect to see several times in the same day. It is also useful in crowded places where a deep bow is not possible!
And there is also the Belly Button bow where the hands are in front and somewhat over your belly button. This is a uniformed employee or sales staff bow to higher-ranking colleagues or seniors.
OK so back to hygiene and virus / germ transfer:
The latest: 2019-nCoV - had this moniker but has just recently been given the name of COVID-19 representing both the name of the disease and also the WHO acceptable name for the virus.
These are respiratory viral infections and are transmitted from Inhaling droplets containing virus particles. Frequent hand-washing, covering the nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, and avoiding contact with infected individuals can all reduce the spread of respiratory infections. Disinfecting hard surfaces and not touching the eyes, nose and mouth can help reduce transmission as well.
SARS, MERS, Influenzas, COVID-19........of course these viruses will continue to mutate and spread so I advocate for a slight nod to a more formal bow when greeting friends, family, new acquaintances and colleagues.
Now my problem is how do I start this trend without offending my family and friends?
Find how what I did and how I achieved a respectful Hello to everyone......Try my Online English or English by Phone lessons at OleAcademy-OnlineEnglish