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Namaste Merkel! Emmanuel Macron ditches handshake as he welcomes German Chancellor

BusinessToday.In     August 21, 2020

COVID-19 does not spare anyone and international leaders are well aware of the indiscriminate nature of the deadly virus that has infected over 22 million people so far. French President Emmanuel Macron leaned forward and welcomed German Chancellor Angela Merkel with Namaste or folded hands at his Mediterranean holiday retreat, Fort de Bregacnon in Southern France. In keeping with the social distancing norms, the German chancellor also reciprocated with Namaste.

This is Merkel's first-ever visit to Macron's presidential summer residence. The two have met to discuss burning issues such as the coronavirus pandemic, post-election agitation in Belarus and growing friction with Turkey.

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The video of Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel greeting each other the Indian way has gone viral on social media.

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This, however, is not the first time that the French President has opted for the Indian style of greeting. Emmanuel Macron had also opted for Namaste when he greeted the Spanish king and queen in March.

Not only Emmanuel Macron, many global leaders such as the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, US President Donald Trump and UK's Prince Charles have also ditched traditional handshakes and use Namaste to greet others. Netanyahu went a step ahead and urged Israelis to greet each other using Namaste. He also demonstrated the Indian way of greeting at a presser.

With hand hygiene becoming the most crucial preventive measure against COVID-19, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had touted Namaste as an acceptable form of greeting. PM Modi also stated that the world is quickly adapting to the no-contact way of greeting one another.

Also read: Coronavirus: Israel PM Netanyahu asks citizens to greet with 'namaste'

Also read: Coronavirus update: Prince Charles spotted greeting people with namaste

Also read: Coronavirus alert: No handshakes, only 'namastes' for top shuttler PV Sindhu


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