Coronavirus is Changing the Way We Greet

greetings namaste coronavirus

The Coronavirus outbreak has radically impacted the lives of billions around the world. From lockdown measures to remote work, we are adapting to battle the diffusion of the virus.

Some of the changes in our lifestyle we are implementing might be here to stay, at least for the next few months or even years.

Greeting Etiquette is probably one of the things that will not go back to normal for a while. Many cultures are used to physical contact or close personal proximity when greeting, but social distancing measures are putting a halt to these traditions.

Etiquette Around the World

Personal space and greeting modes vary greatly from country to country. However, Asian cultures aside, most people tend to introduce themselves to a new acquaintance or greet friends and family through physical contact.

–       The Handshake is probably the most diffused and iconic greeting in the world, especially among businessmen. Unfortunately, following the Coronavirus outbreak, everyone is advised to avoid this mode, as the virus could be transmitted from hand to hand.

–       Hugs and Kisses are also very common in many countries, especially in Southern Europe or South America. European leaders such as Emmanuel Macron and Giuseppe Conte used this greeting on official occasions until just before the severe outbreak of COVID-19 in the continent in February 2020.

–       Eskimo Kisses or nose-to-nose greetings are a popular way of greeting in the Gulf. The UAE government now advises avoiding this modality for the obvious health concerns.

–       The Elbow Bump gained popularity after the first cases of Coronavirus started to appear outside China. However, this greeting does not take into account the safe interpersonal distance of at least 1 meter suggested by the World Health Organization 

The New Normal

Those of us who are allowed to go outside and meet other people are experimenting new ways to greet each other. From the above-mentioned elbow bump to the “footshake”, people around the world are using their creativity to find new ways to connect with others.

Public personalities such as US President Donald Trump or Prince Charles are adopting the Indian namaste, a no-contact way of greeting usually spoken with a slight bow and hands pressed together, palms touching and fingers pointing upwards, thumbs close to the chest.

Promoting Cultural Diversity

At Langpros, we see cultural diversity as an asset. This is why we hope traditional greetings will come back soon after the end of the pandemic.

In the meantime, our translators and interpreters are ready to support your business in these challenging times offering top-quality language services from remote.



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