Now that our ‘shaking hands’ days are over, at least for a while, we were discussing how to greet new acquaintances from now on. I suggested Namaste – the Indian way of folding one’s hands together in a greeting. ‘I bow to the divinity in you.’ A beautiful no-touch solution. Add a welcoming, approachable smile and you are golden. My family thought that would be cultural appropriation on Sean’s part because he is white.
That got me thinking. I don’t come from a culture of shaking hands but I have been shaking hands for the last 20 odd years in this country. Was I appropriating Western culture? How was that acceptable and never commented upon? I adopted a culture or a form of greeting that was not my own. So how will it be cultural appropriation if Sean adopts Namaste – a form of greeting that is not his own?