As the number of coronavirus cases has topped 22.5 million, leaders across the world have adopted the traditional Indian "namaste" to welcome their counterparts, observing the social-distancing guidelines against The Covid-19 spread.
Recently, French President Emmanuel Macron was seen welcoming German Chancellor Angela Merkel with folded hands. The French president leaned forward and greeted each other with folded his hands in the traditional Indian "namaste" in the time of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Emmanuel Macron received Angela Merkel at his Mediterranean holiday retreat, the Fort of Bregancon, in southern France on Thursday (August 20) for her first-ever visit to the presidential summer residence.
Angela Merkel also reciprocated as she too switched to namaste. The two leaders met to discuss a long list of subjects including the Covid pandemic, post-election unrest in Belarus and growing tensions with Turkey.
Virus-proof greeting: The Namaste
The video of Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel doing the Indian-style namaste has gone viral on social media.
For those who did not know, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promoted the Namaste trend, saying the world was increasingly adopting the no-contact way of greeting.
While addressing India Global Week 2020, PM Modi referred said, "You would have seen Namaste has gone global as a form of greeting. The pandemic has also seen the universal appeal of yoga, Ayurveda and traditional medicine world over. India's ancient culture and universal peaceful ethos are its strength."
Not the first time though...
However, this is not the first time that a global leader has used the Namaste greeting. Earlier, Emmanuel Macron had greeted Spain's king and queen in March with folded hands.
Even, videos of US President Donald Trump and Prince Charles opting for the Indian-style namaste at global forums had gone viral online.
Also, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had reportedly urged his countrymen to use the "Namaste" instead of handshake or other physical contact in form of greeting people to prevent the coronaviru spread.
Following the Covid-19 pandemic, the Indian-style greeting had gone global in an effort to stop the spread of the deadly virus. Leaders worldwide avoided handshakes and instead used Namaste to greet each other.