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WATCH : Wuhan Shake vs Jozi Shuffle

Published Mar 20, 2020


JOHANNESBURG - The Coronavirus pandemic has changed the way in which people interact with each other - cultural norms have had to be revisited and changes made in order to help curb the fast-spreading respiratory disease.

One such change has been the use of the handshake - Shaking hands has widely been used to greet people, seal deals, for acknowledgment, and as a sign of respect among sports stars before and after competitions. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has recommended that individuals avoid shaking hands as respiratory viruses can be transmitted by shaking hands and then touching one’s eyes, nose and mouth.

This has forced people the world over to become more creative in how they go about interacting and greeting each other.

South Africans, who have always had a flair for intricate and unique handshakes, have come up with the unique “Jozi Shuffle”. The greeting looks more like a dance, and participants use a coordinated sequence of moves to tap their feet in completing salutations. The “Jozi Shuffle” came hot on the heels of the “Wuhan Shake”, which emerged when residents of Wuhan city in China, considered to be the epicenter of the outbreak, created an alternative form of greeting.

The greeting has since gone viral on social media platforms and has inspired many to devise unique ways of greeting. The elbow bump has also proven to be quite popular among South Africans, and it should be interesting to see if the “Jozi Shuffle” will overtake it as the preferred means of saying "hello".

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