Leliana Valentina Parvulescu

Global break for the greeting we were used to

Leliana Valentina Pârvulescu, PhD
Psychologist, Behavioral analysis expert

Among the habits that changed with the arrival of coronavirus was that of greeting. Physical distancing at the moment imposed a global pause for hugs and greeting with the palm of the hand. The latter is not only a way to greet someone we have met or say goodbye to, a code that indicates the conclusion of an agreement, it is also a feeling of mutual respect and respect. A gesture that carries with it a multitude of meanings and which is simply subjected to a forced pause, but for the moment, in my opinion. Herman Roodenburg, a cultural historian at the Meertens Institute in Amsterdam, states that in 1439, King Henry VI of England banned the palm salute in an attempt to combat a bubonic plague epidemic that devastated Europe. At that time it was not just a common greeting between people, but a symbol of the homage with which the knights greeted the king. But even after the death of millions of people, it has returned as a form of greeting and affection and probably the same will happen with the handshake and nowadays after we overcome the pandemic period, the handshake is a gesture that exists for thousands of years.
With the great discoveries of medicine and science, this significance was further accentuated, it was discovered that the hands are a vehicle of contagion and, therefore, this gesture implies even closer to the person who is the beneficiary of the greeting, implies trust in that person. Body language experts say that an energetic handshake is typical of a confident person, while a weaker one can convey insecurity and shyness. An excessively long tightening characteristic of Donald Trump is perceived as invasive. Therefore, beyond a cordial gesture, shaking hands is also a way to get to know the person in front of us, especially if the meeting is for the first time.
So is the closed fist greeting a substitute? Will it replace the one with the palm of the hand, which is a way to convey respect but also trust and which has been passed down over the centuries? On the other hand, the clenched fist is associated with aggression, it is unlikely to remain in our habit. And yet, the prospect of having more and more to do with pathogens, such as coronavirus, through lab accidents or because we humans intervene too much in the natural order of things will make us we think of the alternative of handshake, of individual or global protection. Touch is very important to the human species, will it be quite desirable to return to where the coronavirus met us?

Global break for the greeting we were used to
Leliana Valentina Parvulescu, PhD
Psychologist, Behavioral analysis expert
Leliana Parvulescu

The British newspaper Guardian shows some of the changes in the usual behavior of the greeting. In India, actor Anupam Kher posted a video on Twitter inviting everyone to say hello to the famous Indian greeting, with folded hands and fingers up: namaste.
In China, people make the traditional gong shou gesture (a fist in the opposite palm) to greet. France suggests we look each other in the eye. In Australia, a beating on the back has the meaning of greeting. In Romania, the palm is punched. In Iran, greeting is kicking against each other. In Lebanon, he greets himself by touching his feet and mimicking the kiss on the mouth. In the United Arab Emirates, governments have advised citizens not to greet each other “face to face” and to do so only by mimicking.
Man is inventive and who knows how many kinds of greetings we will invent during this period, but our brain remains the one that dictates the need to touch us and it would take many decades to change this behavior. However, anything can change behaviorally.

Global break for the greeting we were used to
Leliana Valentina Pârvulescu, PhD
Psychologist, Behavioral analysis expert