Risk-free greetings to replace handshakes, hugs amid Covid-19


The coronavirus pandemic has changed all known ideas and definitions of reality, and every day we learn something new and introduce it to our ‘new normal’ routine. With most of the world still under lockdown, the pandemic has changed a lot about the world as we knew it. Through the years, shaking hands has become the universal gesture for greeting, and it is almost instinctive that we do it when we meet someone. While greeting close friends or family members the most natural thing to do is to go in for a hug. Unfortunately, even these simple gestures can lead to possible contamination. But adaptability remains a strong suit for humans and as always, we have come up with a creative solution for this difficult situation. Here are a few alternatives to handshakes and hugs, that can convey your emotions without the risk of infection.



A simple age-old gesture in India, which is respectful and hygienic at the same time. Join your hands together in front of your body and bow your head a little. And do not forget to smile at the person in front of you.



Waving seems simple enough and conveys a casual greeting for friends without any touching involved.

Head Shake or the Indian Head Bobble


The Indian Head Bobble has found many references in pop culture, both in India as well as Hollywood films and American sitcoms, remember Outsourced? The head bobble is neither a nod of acceptance, not a shake of disapproval. It’s more like, ‘it’s all good’, and with no words conveys what Indians love to say, ‘Chalta hai’.

Hand on Heart


A sign of respect as well as greeting, this gesture only requires you to place your hand on your heart and bow your head. It serves a heartfelt greeting for all people, and if it works for Shah Rukh Khan, it should do wonders for you.

The ‘East Coast Wave’


The slight upward lift of your head serves as a casual gesture that can be used to convey a lot of things like hey, what’s up, how is it going. It does not even require spoken words, only the return of the gesture. Remember how Joey Tribbiani from FRIENDS would slightly toss his head back everytime he wondered, ‘How you doin’?’, yes, that is the East Coast Wave.