I received this via a yahoo group that I subscribe to. This particular contained interesting information about the handshake.
The following news item appeared in the TOI Bangalore Edition of July 2, page 6. ?While someone greeting an acquaintance with a handshake doesn?t amuse modern day society, RESI (Regional Institute of English South India) found the picture of boys shaking hands in Class V English Textbook as ?misleading?.
I recollect that many years ago Morarji Desai the then Deputy Prime Minister of India while giving a talk in Dehra Dun mentioned that shaking hands is a western custom and Indians should greet each other only with a ?namaste?. This was reported in the press.
I then wrote to him that what he said was wrong. I quoted the following from Valmiki Ramayana. When Rama and Lakshmana were searching for Sita they came into contact with Sugriva. Here is what Sugriva told Rama.
Kishkindha Kandam Chapter 5 Slokas – 11/12
yatvamichcHasi souhardam vaanarena mayaa saha /
rochate yadi vaa sakhyam baahuresha prasaritah /
grihyataam paaninaa paanih maryaadaa badhyataam dhruvaa //
If you desire friendship with this monkey, or if you desire alliance with me, this hand is extended. Let us hold hand with hand and let us enter into an agreement.
Morarji Desai acknowledged my letter, but he said that what was reported was not what he meant. But he did not clarify what he really meant.
This shows that hand shake was customary in India between equals.
Well, we know one more thing today. 🙂