Why was the handshake invented

World Hand Hygiene Day Shaking hands: amicable ritual or risk of infection?

Shaking hands is a common non-verbal greeting and farewell ritual in many Western countries. In other cultures, however, it is limited or even unusual to same-sex contacts - especially between men. The handout probably has its origin in the waving, which was used to present the empty hand of the weapon to the opposite. That is why the rights are still enough today.

Give me your hand and I'll tell you who you are

There are now countless psychological treatises and coaching literature on what a handshake says about a person. But be careful! While here a strong handshake among men is considered a sign of strength and self-confidence, it is assessed as impolite and rude, especially in Asian countries.

The Greeks and Romans shook hands

Already in the New Testament in Paul's letter to the Galatians it is mentioned that Paul was given the "right hand of friendship" when he left in Jerusalem. This letter was written around 50 AD and indicates that the Greeks and Romans shook hands, and the ritual can also be seen on Roman coins as a symbol of harmony.

Handout as a party symbol

In the GDR, the handshake made it into the party logo of the SED. The handshake should symbolize the unity of the labor movement and the overcoming of the division. In fact, the forced unification of the SPD and KPD to form the SED took place against the resistance of numerous Social Democrats. The contemporary, stylized graphics have also been popularly derided as "chopped off hands".

Divided Germany - different rituals

As a result of the 1968 movement, the shaking of hands in the former West Germany decreased significantly, presumably because it was judged to be too formal. In the former GDR, however, it experienced a real boom. Even when you joined larger groups, you shook hands with everyone.

Is the handshake critically endangered?

Even if he wants to say so much good, we have become much more cautious with our handouts. Since studies have shown the great risk of infection in this well-meaning gesture, we have even been asked on signs in government offices not to shake hands. The Swiss alone are working against the trend: in 2016, a school authority in the canton of Basel-Landschaft made shaking hands with teachers mandatory for all students. Not for hygienic reasons, but for cultural reasons. Two Muslim students refused to hand out a teacher. As a reason, they had stated that they wanted to show respect for women.

on the radio | 05/05/2017 | 05:22 am