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7 ways to greet people without shaking hands

7 ways to greet people without shaking hands


American immunologist and physician Dr Fauci has declared the handshake dead in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

However, there are plenty of alternatives out there!

Raise your eyebrows and flash a smile

In Somoa, anthropologists found that this was a common greeting that did not require physical touch. With a contagion on the loose, this definitely seems like worth a try.


In Zimbabwe, locals follow up a handshake with two claps. Here’s an idea! Skip the handshake and clap twice instead to say “hello.”

Hand over Heart

In many Muslim countries, placing your hand on your heart is considered a respectful way to greet someone new.

The Shaka Sign

The Shaka sign is believed to have originated in Hawaii when a man on the East side of Oahu who lost three fingers in a sugar mill accident used it to communicate with his security guard. It was quickly adopted by surfers in the area as a way to say “thanks” or “cool.”

The Wave

We’re all familiar with this one. Bring your hand up in the air and shake and hey, if you’re feeling especially enthusiastic, wave them both up! This is a great way to meet old friends within a radius of six feet.

The Bow

In East Asian countries, there are many variations of bowing as a greeting. In Thailand, there is a specific way to bow and it’s called the “wai bow.” Younger people often bow to their elders to show respect.


This gesture is quite poetic in comparison to the ones above. The greeting loosely translates to “The Divine within me bows to the Divine within you” from Sanskrit.

Whichever one of these seven you choose, just don’t shake hands!

Read more from Propergaanda: Showing love during the time of social distancing: Facebook’s care emoji

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