又中又英——Say Namaste without shaking hands.

  Don't shake hands. Say Namaste instead. Or say Howdy. Both are more hygienic than shaking hands. I have said before I don't like shaking hands. Researchers say there are about 500 germs on a human hand. It is often impossible to avoid shaking hands at social events such as cocktail receptions. By the time someone shakes your hand at a cocktail reception, that person will have already shaken hands with many other people. Germs are passed from hand to hand. People then use their hands to eat finger food. Most cocktail receptions have finger food. Eating finger food after shaking hands numerous times is a recipe for disaster. That's why I always make a beeline for the toilet to wash my hands after shaking hands with people at cocktail receptions.

  In India, people say "Namaste" to greet others, in the same way Westerners say "hello". It means "I respect you" or "I bow to you", which is similar to Japanese people bowing when they greet others. Indians don't shake hands when they say "Namaste". They put their two palms together. The word "howdy" means "hello" or "how do you do". It is mostly used by Americans living in western and southern states. When Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi went to Texas last September to attend a rally with US President Donald Trump, the event was informally called "Howdy, Modi". When Trump went to India last week, the visit was informally called "Namaste, Trump". Finger food is food eaten without knives or forks.

  The expression "recipe for disaster" means doing something that will cause trouble or have negative effects. It is a recipe for disaster if you eat finger food after shaking hands many times. You will likely catch the coronavirus. To "make a beeline for" something means to go quickly towards something. I go quickly towards the toilet to wash my hands every time I shake hands at cocktail receptions. We should all avoid shaking hands nowadays. Say "Namaste" or "howdy" without shaking hands.

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  不要握手了。取而代之,說Namaste吧;又或者說Howdy。兩種都比握手更為衞生。我從前已經說,我不喜歡握手。研究人員指,一隻人手有超過五百顆細菌。在社交場合例如雞尾酒會,要避免握手,幾乎是不可能的。當某人在酒會上跟你握手的時候,那人已經跟許多其他人握過手了,細菌就由一隻手傳到另一隻手。然後人們會用他們的手去吃手抓小食(finger food)。大部份酒會都會有手抓小吃(finger food)。在無數次握手後去吃手抓小吃(finger food),真是後患無窮(recipe for disaster)。因此我跟酒會各人握過手以後,總是會直奔去(make a beeline for)洗手間洗手。

  在印度,人們互相問好的時候會說“Namaste”,就像西方人說“Hello”。它的意思是「我尊敬你」或「我向你鞠躬」,就跟日本人打招呼時躹躬相似。印度人說“Namaste”時不會握手,他們會將雙掌合十。“Howdy”則指「哈囉」或「你好嗎」,住在西岸或南部州份的美國人就最常用。印度總理納倫德拉.莫迪上年九月到訪德州,與特朗普出席一個集會,那個活動的非官方名稱就是“Howdy, Modi”;而當特朗普上周到訪印度時,那次歡迎會的非官方名稱就叫“Namaste, Trump”。Finger food就是不需用刀叉吃的手抓食物。

  習語“recipe for disaster”是指做某事就會帶來災禍或負作用。若你握過許多次手之後吃手抓小食(finger food),那將會後患無窮(recipe for disaster)。你很可能就會感染到新冠肺炎。To“make a beeline for”something意即直奔去做某事。你每次在酒會上握過手之後,我都會快快衝去洗手間清潔雙手。

  今時今日,我們更應避免握手。不握手而說“Namaste”或“Howdy”吧。

中譯:七刻

Michael Chugani 褚簡寧


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