Namaste is the Indian way of respecting and greeting another person. This Sanskrit word is formed from two words basically ‘Namah’ meaning ‘I bow’ and ‘te’ means ‘you’. ‘Namah’ +’Te’ = Namaste meaning I bow to you.
While doing Namaste, both the palms are joined together near the chest and head is bowed slightly. With this gesture, it is believed that the divine force is same in all humans hence by doing namaste we honor the God in the person.
All yoga exercises begin with a ‘namaskar’ or ‘namaste’. All deity worship prayer ceremonies in temples begin with the ‘namaste’. Another theory, I read somewhere, is by joining palms together to greet instead of shaking hands, one preserves the positive energy of God within and avoids any dark or bad energy of other person from transferring into self.
When I was visiting USA for vacation, some tour operators in a bid to appear friendly and encourage us to hire their services, gestured a namaste which though seemed out-of-place but brought a smile on our face. I guess that is what they were aiming at! But it surely felt good to know that the world outside is aware of some Indian customs and traditions.
These days in fact, lesser and lesser young Indians are using traditional ways of greeting each other. They are more attracted with the western world’s ‘hello’ and ‘hi’ or the system of shaking hands. Though that as such is not a bad way to greet, but it is ironical that when more and more of western world is understanding the importance of yoga and some of the ancient hindu rituals, it is Indians who are moving away from age-old practices.
I for one, practice both ways of greeting, depending on who I am dealing with but its the ‘Namaste’ which makes me feel closer to my roots and I am proud of this.
So, there again NAMASTE World!!
This post is for A to Z challenge.