Indians have been using this form of greeting for centuries. And now the world seems to have caught on too.
As the novel coronavirus spreads across the globe, medical advice has been to keep a safe distance from each other. In this environment, the Indian greeting of namaste has caught on the world over.
The latest to be spotted using the greeting, which does not involve touching anyone else’s hands, are Prince Charles and US President Donald Trump.
Trump greeted Ireland’s Indian-origin Prime Minister Leo Varadkar at the White House with a namaste.
"We did not shake hands today. We looked at each other and said what we are going to do. You know, sort of a weird feeling," Trump told reporters in the Oval Office.
"They (India and Japan) were ahead of the curve," Trump added, mentioning the Japanese greeting of bowing.
Prince Charles was spotted greeting people with namaste at the Prince’s Trust Awards on Wednesday.
In a video shared by Parveen Kaswan, an Indian Forest Service (IFC) officer, the 71-year-old Prince can be seen initially extending his hand for a handshake before quickly changing it to a namaste.
Last week, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had urged people in his country to adopt the greeting of namaste to help control the spread of COVID-19.