WITH the coronavirus outbreak spiralling into a pandemic, the humble ‘namaste’ is trending as a respectful and safe greeting option.
Prince Charles was recently spotted offering namaste during the Prince’s Trust Awards event at the London Palladium, and through the Commonwealth Day service in Buckingham Palace. A video of the Prince of Wales switching to namaste, after extending his hand for a shake, went viral.
Namaste 🙏🏻 🙏🏻
— Parveen Kaswan, IFS (@ParveenKaswan) March 12, 2020
At a event held in Buckingham Palace, London on 11th March 2020, Prince Charles did #Namaste 🙏🙏 what we Indians are doing since ages.
— Jaspreet Singh (@Jaspreet68BJP) March 12, 2020
US President Donald Trump and visiting Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar used the traditional Indian way of greeting at the White House on Thursday (12), saying it was ideal for the current times.
“We did not shake hands today. We looked at each other and said what we are going to do. You know, sort of a weird feeling,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office.
“I just got back from India. And I did not shake any hands there. And it’s very easy, because they go like this,” said Trump, showing reporters the namaste pose.
He also showed the Japanese style of greeting, by bowing his head. “They (India and Japan) were ahead of the curve,” he quipped.
— हर्ष मिश्रा (@iHarshMVns) March 13, 2020
When queried if they shook hands, Varadkar responded with a namaste gesture.
French President Emmanuel Macron, too, recently used namaste while welcoming King Felipe of Spain and his wife Letizia at the Elysee Palace in Paris.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was one of the first global leaders to adopt namaste. He, in fact, advised his countrymen to avoid handshakes and gave a namaste demo.
Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu @netanyahu encourages Israelis to adopt the Indian way of greeting #Namaste at a press conference to mitigate the spread of #coronavirus pic.twitter.com/gtSKzBDjl4
— India in Israel (@indemtel) March 4, 2020
Notably, Indian Prime Minister had recently reminded Indians about the traditional way of greeting. “If by any means we have forgotten to use namaste, then it is the right time to do so,” he had said at a recent meeting.
Among numerous celebrities popularising namaste on social media, actress Priyanka Chopra posted a pic on Instagram, with the caption: “It’s all about the Namaste—an old but also a new way to greet people in a time of change around the world. Please stay safe everyone!”
Bollywood superstar Salman Khan also had posted a photo, with a note: “Namashkaar … hamari sabhyata mein namaste aur salaam hai! Jab #coronavirus Khatam ho jaye tab Haath milao aur gale lago…. @beingstrongindia (Our culture has namate and salaam. When coronavirus is over then shake hands and hug people).”
As per latest WHO estimates, there were at least 125,288 cases, and 4,614 deaths across the world. The UK had registered 596 cases of confirmed contraction and 10 deaths.