A screengrab from a video clip shared by the Chinese foreign ministry and tweeted by CGTN, which shows spokespersons using the “fist and palm” salute to extend greetings ahead of the Chinese New Year in February 2021. (SCREENGRAB/ TWITTER)
A screengrab from a video clip shared by the Chinese foreign ministry and tweeted by CGTN, which shows spokespersons using the “fist and palm” salute to extend greetings ahead of the Chinese New Year in February 2021. (SCREENGRAB/ TWITTER)

Adviser urges China govt to use ‘fist and palm’ salute in times of pandemic

Han Fangming, vice chairperson of the foreign affairs committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, argued that the traditional greeting fits the changing lifestyles
By Sutirtho Patranobis
UPDATED ON MAR 08, 2021 11:55 PM IST

A year into the Covid-19 pandemic, the contactless Indian form of greeting,“namaste”, could soon have a competitor - the traditional Chinese “fist and palm” salute.

A Chinese political adviser has submitted a proposal at the annual meeting of China’s top political advisory body to revive the ancient Chinese greeting form, and urged the government to popularise it by adapting it for official functions, keeping social distancing norms in mind.

Han Fangming, vice chairperson of the foreign affairs committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), argued that the greeting fits the changing lifestyles.

The traditional “fist-and-palm salute” is often used as a greeting at weddings and special occasions, such as the Chinese New Year.

“The oldest and most commonly used greeting in history is the fist and palm salute. And it’s a better way to greet people in the post-pandemic era,” Han told China.org, “This greeting etiquette greatly helps keep social distancing and reduce the spread of the virus.”

“We need to vigorously promote the etiquette across the whole of China, as it demonstrates a profound social significance, not only for its role in pandemic prevention, but also for the inheritance of a part of ancient Chinese civilisation,” he said.

A similar request from Yang Chaoming, head of the Confucius Research Institute in eastern China’s Shandong province, is already pending from last year.

A short video of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro greeting a Chinese medical team with the “fist and palm” salute at his presidential palace in April 2020 was widely viewed and shared in China.

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