Until the early part of this century, there was a rather more complicated gesture of greeting. As a man came toward a visitor to take his stick or umbrella out of respect, the latter would throw it on the ground in front of him. Then, as the villager bent down to pick it up, the visitor, with both hands unencumbered, could touch the man’s forehead and bless him before he had a chance to do the same. It is not so good to bless with one hand; greater sincerity is shown by using both. By the 1960s this elaborate form of greeting was going out of fashion.

  • Source: Hockings, Paul. Mortuary ritual of the Badagas of southern India. Chicago: Chicago Natural History Museum, 2001.
  • Culture: Badaga
  • Location: Asia