The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has stopped humans from doing many things. Lockdowns have forced us to stop going out to the movies, going out to eat, going to work, going to school, and whatnot. However, one thing that is hasn’t stopped us from doing is interacting with each other.
Social media has seen many videos of people figuring out ways to interact – sitting 6 feet apart on lawn chairs to talk, Zumba class with people standing right outside their houses, and even using a drone to ask a neighbor out!
The pandemic might have changed our ways of interacting, but it can’t stop us from interacting.
Many cultures have adapted new ways to greet each other.
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HOW ARE PEOPLE GREETING EACH OTHER AMIDST THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC?
This greeting is one that everyone has seen on social media. It is being called the “Wuhan Shake”, named after the city the outbreak started it. The Wuhan shake involves two individuals tapping the insoles of their feet with each other.
This footshake was in the news when Russian energy minister Alexander Novak and Tanzanian president John Magufuli performed it in public.
Chuan-Kang Shih, a cultural anthropologist at the University of Florida, said –
“People do [the Wuhan shake] to show that, even in such a time, we can show our intimacy in such a ridiculous way.”
Shih added –
“People just wanted to be playful and cheer up, so they invented this mimicry.”
The regular way of greeting people is France is by kissing them on the cheek. These cheek-kisses are called bises.
As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the French have switched made their bises verbal! They now say “Bises!” or “Bisous!” to greet each other from a distance.
Claudine Gauthier, professor of anthropology at the University of Bordeaux, said –
“Refusing a bise prior to social distancing was considered cold, so whether verbal bises will persist post-coronavirus will depend on the intensity of the public health discourse discouraging them.”
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In Turkey, kissing the hand of an elder relative and then touching it to their one’s forehead is the norm. Moreover, a double-cheek kiss is considered acceptable among colleagues, friends, and new acquaintances.
The pandemic has forced the Turkish people to go back to a centuries-old greeting called “eyvallah”. The eyvallah involves placing the other person’s hand over your heart and bowing slightly. This greeting symbolizes respect and endearment.
It is also suspected to have been used by the Ottomans.