Corona Virus: How Best We Can Greet Each Other, Safely!
The Corona Virus within the last seven months has brought the whole world to its knees. We need to reassess the classification of the world’s economies in the third world, and so on. Take a look at the URL provided at the end of this paragraph. It is time to reframe our approaches to daily living activities, more specifically, how we greet each other. Not only verbally (if mutually understandable language ideally. Other modes do exist, to pick a universal one, symbolic is the handshake. In the contexts of COVID, we need to reduce the communicability of infections. In Parasitology, we are aware that a commensal relationship (in a dormant fashion) exists. The host exists in both animal kingdom and plant life. In regards to the animal world, Parasites can jump new hosts with very tragic results, as seen in the coronavirus in 2020. A bit earlier is the SARS-CoV-2 (another severe viral disease), but it had been contained in the African sub-continent so far. This virus is still can affect the world full like Corona19. The preventive steps are now universally encouraged for COVID19, namely “stay at home” and a virtual lockdown of economies, thus separating the infected
from the non-infected, a preventive step which now in place. Its compliance had been erratic in the USA. Thus exposing one sick human infecting with COVID 19 to another human (healthy) being, with droplets/fluid contacts. Thus spreading the infection. The more vulnerable are those in the geriatric age group with co-morbid conditions, pulmonary disease, diabetes, and hypertension. Add to it, the disease of westernization, obesity. These lockdowns produce devastating effects worldwide. Examine the situation in India. Migrant laborers/working populations are stranded. With no job prospects. No way to get back to their home villages, many hundreds of miles away. Further, no means to seek medical care too. Furthermore, it is sad to see treating physicians (including other health care providers) of corona infected patients in India were attacked and killed as “spreaders of the disease.” Even worse, succumbing physicians and other providers were not given or received proper final rites in India. The persons transporting the body to burials or cremation attacked, viciously. This pandemic, affecting the first world to the third world in terms of living standards, has not been handled pandemic appropriately. Check the URL below to see the impact this COVID19,
How Can we reduce the spread of infection from one human to another? One way is to use the Hindu way of greeting each other. with a simple, physical symbol.
Begin to use Namaste universally. Every yoga instructor starts with before showing the follower, how to do the warrior pose or sun salutation. However, with the ever-present paranoia of touching strangers in this pandemic, times are the handshake or butting hands. On the other hand, the gesture Namaste (verbal and symbolic) can be more than just a phrase we hear after a session of yoga learning is very applicable now. In Yoga parlance, it how to “align our chakras.”
Namaste is composed of two parts: “names” and “te.” “Namas” is a Sanskrit word that translates to “bow, adore, respect,” and “te” means “you,” thus, the person who greeted. Essentially, when one combines the two words, “namaste” literally means “I bow to you” or “I respect you.”
However, the significance of the word runs much more profound. When someone uses the namaste gesture, it reflects the intended expression of mutual respect for another person’s personality. It means that everyone extended the utmost reverence.
Necessarily, Namaste (in the Sanskrit Language reflects welcome extended), implies that “the divinity within me respects and honors the divinity within you.” One does not have to recite that entire monologue as a greeting instead of using the Namaste gesture’s physical symbol.
However, the Namaste gesture itself unrestricted, beyond the Indian American (i.e., the Hindu) culture. As an example, many cultures around the globe fold their hands when worshipping. However, in Japan, it can mean conceptually, “I am sorry,” “thank you,” or “please.” However, as a greeting, this gesture is familiar throughout most of Southeast Asia. However, Namaste gained some popularity
in western culture over the past few decades. Look at some concepts like meditation, Ayurveda, and sushi.
Namaste dates back to the origins of the Indus valley civilization itself. The Terracotta figures and sculptures are depicting this gesture are dated back to 3000 years. Before the Christian Era. As civilizations blossomed and cultures intermingled, the namaste pose became even more widespread. Namaste is a standard greeting in modern-day India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan, and many other nations. Look at how other people verbally using “aloha” or “hello” and reflecting just basic good manners. However, the concept of the Namaste gesture implies almost universally reflects mutual respect.
The handshake, on the other hand, is used as a standard greeting in Western cultures. It is a way of agreeing to specific terms of the trust, a show of mutual trust. To prove neither side was carrying weapons. As significant life-saving steps evolve, fortunately, this handshaking might have seen its last days with the pandemonium of the Covid-19 viral infections. Dare we live without shaking peoples’ hands?
Yes, as it is a preventative step in the spread of infections.
Consider how interpreted grips are, when shaking someone’s hand? Like gripping their hand too much? Bone Crunching? Too floppy? Are palms sweaty and clammy? Or are they too dry? Symbolically, as we say sometimes, the individual has “cold hands,” here reflecting a not helpful individual. One sometimes feels that someone extending the hand used some moisturizer (or a sanitizer) before that handshake!
Aside from its simplicity, the namaste posture implicates mutual fairness. In Namaste, there is no prominent or submissive interpretation implied. Whereas, with a handshake, a person with a firmer grip seen as more authoritative. In contrast, a person with a less firm grasp seen as submissive. Namaste levels this field of cognitive conflicts.
The only expected interactive way to reciprocate to a namaste is with a namaste concurrently. It is simple to remember: respect demands respect. Namaste a universal value packed into a single interactive step.
Even more important, the social distance Namaste provides. One can greet each other across a conference table as an example. Thus, Namaste beneficial in reducing, as in this case of contact corona viral infection. Besides, it elevates mutual respect and facilitates relaxation. Even more, Namaste removes the ambiguity, “should I hug them?” “pat them on the shoulder?” “fist bump them?” or “shake their hand?”
“peck on the cheek?” and other dilemmas that we encounter, day in and out.
As they say, A picture is worth a thousand words. Here is one. The Namaste pose is complete by joining one’s hands together into a folded hand gesture while one’s elbows line up straight across and just below the sternum. Both hands centered at heart level. Namaste further signifies that the greeting is not just a show of respect, but also from a person extending love and affection.
Furthermore, we now realize that the handshakes and hugs need to take a backseat in light of the current Corona19 pandemonium. It is time that the namaste pose might become a universal form of greeting. It has gained significant traction in western civilizations. This step is a viable alternative to the potentially polluting handshakes, hugs, and fist bumps.
In Western cultures, we only have seen Namaste used by yoga instructors. In the business world, like the East meets West stores and this simple Namaste gesture is how they greet. Namaste has universal potential for a safe and healthy lifestyle. Namaste, its meaning, and significance with its health and wellness benefits make this Namaste practice to become universal.
So the next time, when having a neighborly chat, start with a Namaste (with no language limitations) even from across the yard with a coffee mug in hand (because your craving human interaction but must maintain distance), consider trying out this Namaste as a greeting. Finally, when parting, dialogues completed may say Namaste, too, a goodbye gesture.