Marc writes about Namaste being the best choice to greet each other – in particular also during times when viruses and bacteria are rampant.

Namaste greeting

When I went to the optician today, the woman who assisted me didn’t shake hands which usually is common courtesy in The Netherlands.

The other day I saw a video clip showing Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel walking into a meeting and offering her hand to the man sitting next to her chair. The man physically jerked backwards and waved her off. She in turn laughed in understanding, and waved her hands as in ‘never mind’. It’s nice she laughed.

With physical contact being a leading cause of spreading any viral or bacterial contamination and particularly now with COVID-19, it comes as no surprise that people are refusing to greet each other with regular handshakes, hugs or pecks on the cheeks.

Presently widely circulated is the suggestion to adopt Namaste (aka Namaskar and Namaskaram), a customary Indian greeting, used on the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia and among the Indian diaspora worldwide. The gesture is used both for greeting and leave-taking.

The word Namaste is usually spoken with a slight bow and hands pressed together, palms touching and fingers pointing upwards, thumbs close to the chest. This gesture is called Añjali Mudrā; in Hinduism, it means “I bow to the divine in you”. The gesture may also be performed wordlessly. Many of Osho’s sannyasins have been using this gesture for years.

Since Namaste does not involve touching the other person, it is considered the most hygienic form of greeting. There is no potential risk of causing a transfer of germs or getting infected. Namaste is safe, clean and undeniably the best way to exchange greetings.

Namaste to you all!

Related quote by Osho – I am greeting your future

Antar Marc

Marc is an artist, coach, lecturer and writer of essays about topics of general interest.

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