The days of the traditional Lebanese three-step cheek kiss are over. Handshakes and hugs are also done (for now). With everyone practicing social distancing, people are trying to adjust to the new normal way of life.
One can no longer leave the house without taking the right precautions, let alone greet someone like they’re used to. The right amount of physical distance must be respected and touching should be avoided by all means.
So at least until the pandemic subsides, here are some alternative ways to say hello while staying safe.
Ah yes, the classic smile and wave. Many know the wave as a gesture of saying hello or goodbye. While you’re at it practice the royal wave.
Nods have different meanings based on their direction. Nodding to the side means ‘no’. Nodding down means ‘yes’. Then you have “The Man Nod” which is used as a symbol of acknowledgment. It entails nodding your head up quickly with a smile. “Sup, bro.”
The salute is a symbol of respect used mainly in the military. Of course, people have taken it and been using it less militarily, more casually for years.
You may also use the cooler variation, the two-finger salute like Captain Jack Sparrow.
#4 Vulcan Salute
Popularized by the TV series Star Trek, the Vulcan Salute is accompanied by the famous phrase “Live Long and Prosper.” So, go ahead and wish others prosperity as you greet them.
#5 Hang Loose
Formally known was the Shaka sign, the ‘hang loose’ gesture was popularized by surfer dudes and is associated with Hawaii and wave surfing culture.
#6 Air Kiss
Instead of the traditional three-part cheek kiss, you can send three air kisses without coming close to someone’s cheek, even farther away than these two above.
You can also blow a kiss when greeting someone from a distance.
#7 Long Distance High-Five
Jim and Pam from The Office have this thing where they high-five from a distance. Now, you finally have a great excuse to use it.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has recently learned about the hand-to-heart method, which is a very common greeting gesture used by our elders in Lebanon and through the Arab world.
Muslims also use it as a form of respect towards people who may not wish to shake hands. Well, that’s all of us now.
#9 Just say ‘Hi’
Make your greeting vocal, you won’t spread the virus by speaking from a distance. Just make sure you say it and not spray it.
#10 Text it!
Okay, no brainer here. We’ve been doing that long before social distancing became a must.
Get the latest news and updates about the coronavirus outbreak in Lebanon along with a live monitor of cases in Lebanon as well as resources and information to help you guide the outbreak on our dedicated coronavirus page.