01 October 2013

Email to Lucy Kellaway

Following FT columnist Lucy Kellaway's article, published on 22 September, entitled Do we hug? Kiss? Shake hands? Bow? We need to be told, I wrote her the following email:
Lucy,

Thanks for another excellent article in the form of 'Do we hug? Kiss? Shake hands? Bow? We need to be told'.

I suspect that there is little prospect for widely acceptable change, but, in exploring that avenue, it might be a good idea to explore the hygiene aspect. Cheek kisses (if that's a suitable name) and hand-shaking are significant hygiene hazards. I occasionally daydream -- especially when coughs and colds are abroad -- of a world where everyone suddenly adopted the bright idea of a polite bow of some sort along the lines of what Thai people do. We could even agree to call it the GGP bow!
Today, Lucy replied:
Belated thanks for your suggestion - a more hygienic alternative!
Lucy's article also resulted in a letter from FT reader Christopher Robbins in Binissalem, Spain, that was published under the subheading Greetings (almost) lost in translation. Mr Robbins remind us that when addressing Sikhs a sat sri akaal is more appropriate than an almost pan-Indian namaste.

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