The Value of Namaste and Why it Beats the Handshake



CHINA, July 6, 2015 (China Post by Raja Murthy): At 3:30 p.m. eastern time on July 3, U.S. President Barack Obama was online on Twitter, taking questions on his new health care and Affordable Care Act. Quite likely Obama is unaware of his importing from his India visit this January a lesser known but significant practice to health care: avoiding the handshake. The farewell to India picture of Obama was my favorite from his visit — the smiling president and his wife Michelle silently saying “namaste” from the door of Air Force One.

As a greeting or farewell, the sincere “namaste,” “namaskar,” or “vannakam” (in Tamil) has to rank topmost among the most gracious of human gestures: conveying humility, respect and goodwill to a fellow being. It beats the handshake hollow. I have no idea how, why and when the handshake first became the global gesture of greeting, but I do know it may be time to bid a farewell “namaste” to the handshake.

Medical tests prove it. Handshakes are a dangerous enough transmitter of disease that some U.S. doctors have called for the handshake to be banned in hospitals. The handshake is easy transfer of lethal micro-creatures like the Escherichia coli (E.coli) bacteria, found researchers David E. Whitworth and Sarah Mela of the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences, Aberystwyth University, Wales. The American Journal of Infection Control published their study in July, 2014.

This respectful greeting could be India’s next beneficial gift to the world. A New York professional Jalanda James’s blog “” — possibly the only one of its kind — mentions “namaste” among alternatives to the handshake.

More of this entertaining and informative article at source.

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