America, Asia, Canada, Countries, Culture, Europe

The Elbow and other greetings around the world

I’ve had the elbow before all right…. when it was a bad thing.

I was on the receiving end of the elbow again at five-aside football this week… when it’s usually me who is giving it.

As well as its human disruption coronavirus is forming new cultural mores and challenging old established ones.

I mean… when will we able to shake hands again, never mind hug?

We’ve been shaking hands since at least the 4th Century BC with evidence in a frieze of Greeks Thraseas and wife Euandria handshaking.

After some household drama, no doubt!

The alternatives

The thought is that handshakes developed as a sign of peace by showing that you had no weapon in your hand.

But now that the germ is potentially the weapon in our hand then let’s run through the alternatives used throughout the world.

RUB NOSES: Qatar and Oman. Probably the least advisable of all the alternatives particularly if you’ve got a big, drippy nose. See and

STICK OUT YOUR TONGUE: Tibet. Again one man’s meat is another man’s poison.

And while in the Western World this is considered rude, or at least cheeky, in Tiber it’s their greeting.

Because they used to have a particularly bad king who had a black tongue and this shows that you are not a reincarnation of his spirit.

We heart you

PUMP YOUR HAND ON YOUR HEART: Jordan: And I dare say elsewhere in the Middle East too, and thanks here to guide par excellence Zuhair for initiating me…

See and read my desert meanderings The water of life, Petra, and the sands of time.

And also there’s the Millennials greeting the hand-made heart. Love you, no love you!

AIR KISS: France, Italy, Portugal, Latin America, The Philippines, Ukraine, Quebec, Canada: Mwaaah!

And Hollywood too obvs and all around luvvieland and

We were airkissing in Cannes The Boat D’Azur and

But as much as I appreciated all who looked after me throughout Italy.

On my CaminoWays 100km walk from Viterbo to Rome.

While as much as we loved our time with our host Jose in Portugal Centro and Secret Portugal.

BOWING: Victorian England, India, Japan and Thailand: Honoured, I’m sure.

And probably the best alternative of all.

And it differs between the three.

In India and Thailand put your hands at prayer level at heart level or above before bowing.

In Japan men keep their hands by their side, women with their hands on their thighs.

And the modern-day thing is a nod.

Tell me your favourite greetings… and flicking the finger isn’t one of them.


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