It was an ungainly sight caught by television cameras and beamed across the world.
US president Barack Obama, while he was chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations on Monday, openly removed the piece of gum he was chewing, and a second later popped it right back in. This happened while Prime Minister Narendra Modi was trying to explain something to him.
This created a storm on social media, with many users slamming him for chewing gum during a formal ceremony.
Barak Obama chewing gum during the Republic Day Parade.....he needs training in basic etiquettes....seriously !!!— sunil ranjhan (@sranjhan1) January 26, 2015
Very nice parade. Well done India and the Modi govt. Well done also to Obama for chewing gum like a teenager.— Amreekan Desi (@amreekandesi) January 26, 2015
Others had a lighter take on the sticky issue.
If Star Sports were to telecast this,there would've been an ad of Wrigleys spearmint whenever Obama was shown chewing gum #RepublicDayIndia— TheGoanPatiala (@TheGoanPatiala) January 26, 2015
Obama removed gum from his mouth. Keep a close watch on him and make sure he doesn't stick it under the chair.— Local Tea Party (@localteaparty) January 26, 2015
Report says Air Force One hadcarried 100 kgs of chew gum and Obama consumed half of that during 3 hours of R-Day celebrations— Ra_Bies (@Ra_Bies) January 26, 2015
Obama is known to chew Nicorette to fight cigarette cravings, and has even in the past landed in controversies for doing so at formal functions.
In November, he was spotted smacking gum as he chatted with British Prime Minister David Cameron at the first plenary session of the G20 summit in Brisbane.
But while the Australians and the British took it sportingly, the Chinese never forgave him for doing the same thing at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Beijing a few days earlier.
Chinese bloggers said the US president looked like "an idler" or a "rapper" when he arrived at the grand event.
Watch | Spotted: Obama chewing gum during R-Day parade