CCA has proposed that for the foreseeable future, it will encourage its members to use the traditional Indian “namaste” greeting (see photo) as a replacement for the traditional business handshake.
“We anticipate that Australia will soon enter a time of ‘social distancing’ in which we are encouraged not to be too close to other people, especially in public, because of the Coronavirus. This is unprecedented in our lifetime, and many of us will struggle to adapt to new forms of greeting. CCA proposes that the simple – and effective – namaste be used in place of the handshake, as a way of acknowledging other people and yet maintaining connection in a germ-free way,” said Dr Don Perlgut, CEO of Community Colleges Australia.
Namaste is a traditional Hindu and Sanskrit greeting said with a hand gesture, in which the palms are pressed together at the chest or head accompanied by a slight bow or arm raise. It is commonly associated with yoga in the West, and is still widely used in India.
Namaste “is the queen of greetings. It is elegant and eloquent,” writes Clare Boyd-Macrae in an article published this week in The Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne Age.