A HABIT THAT BECOMES A TRADITION
Cultural observations in Indonesia that I take this time are about the habit of shaking hands when meeting people, starting from ancient Egypt to Mesopotamia, then Greece, the depiction of shaking hands or showing open arms has become a sign of belief that has appeared in art and literature since thousands of years ago. It usually is done when we meet people who are older than us or the same age, as this habit changes to Indonesian culture which is called “shaking hands” its function is to respect older people and vice versa parents will feel respected, this tradition has done long ago.
This habit does not only apply to the family but also applies to the surrounding environment. For example in school, when meeting with teachers, they are obliged to shake hands. From this shaking has a lot of meaning, starting from respecting, appreciating, trust, and comforting someone we greet. Experts say that based on their origins, in the past, anyone who showed his bare hands to others showed that they are harmless (carrying a weapon), so they can be trusted. Today, shaking hands has become a global standard as a greeting and a deal in business.
Because we are facing the Covid 19 Pandemic, Covid 19 Pandemic we must follow all the Health protocols that have been proposed by the government, one of which is to keep our distance and not touch each other. Therefore, it is very difficult to practice the habit of shaking hands because if we do not pay attention to Health protocol, we are likely to have contracted the Covid 19 virus. But back to the beginning what I have called this is a habit from tens of thousands of years ago, very difficult to avoid or get rid of. People continue to practice handshakes in their surroundings. The government is quite overwhelmed in appealing to Indonesians to social distancing, especially since convincing them not to shake hands forever is impossible.
It is not as easy as it is thought to change the habit of handshaking which has been done for a long time, people will feel awkward or uneasy if they do not do this old habit, and people need time and process to leave this culture, scientists suggest replacing handshakes with hunch your shoulders or say hello. But the habit of handshaking which has become a tradition is very difficult to leave because many people experience a sense of reflex when they meet people they immediately shake hands.
Imagine if there is a young man who likes to go out of the house and in his house, there are elderly people, then this young man comes home to shake hands with an elderly person because this young man wants to respect him. And most of the elderly have weak immunity, so they are exposed to this virus. I hope you love yourself and those around you and are willing to reconsider this handshake tradition, at least during the pandemic.
By: SHAREN WULAN LEVITA