At the third and final US presidential TV debate, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton didn\’t shake hands. It is extremely unusual for presidential candidates to show such a sign of unfriendliness towards each other, as we would expect leaders to show each other respect – even if they are rivals. But why do we shake hands in the first place? Where did the handshake come from? Archaeological ruins show handshaking practices being used as long ago as in ancient Greek times, as early as the 5th Century BC. Historians have found images on items like ancient pots showing people touching hands to make deals, for example. The traditional greeting as we know it today is believed to have come from when people used to use swords for fighting. People would carry them in a case, called a scabbard, on their left side. This meant they could draw their sword with their right hand, if it was needed. Shaking hands, which is traditionally done with your right hand, became a friendly greeting because it was proof that you came in peace and weren\’t holding a weapon. It was also a sign of trust that you believed the other person wasn\’t going to take their sword out to fight you either! This sketch shows two army generals in 1897 shaking hands. You can see the soldiers have swords down their left-hand sides
Manners expert William Hanson explains: \”A handshake showed you meant the other person no harm.
It\’s important today as it\’s a sign of trust and friendship. \” When are handshakes used? It\’s not just in politics where we see people shaking hands with each other as a sign of respect. Before sports matches, you will usually see players shaking hands with each other, as well as people like referees. Business people will shake hands with each other before and after meetings, and to agree business deals. Just as Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have, other well-known people have done the same, such as. It is usually criticised as it is not considered proper sporting behaviour. At the Olympics in Rio, Egypt\’s Islam El Shehaby (right) refused to shake hands with Israel\’s Or Sasson after losing to him at judo. It was reported that he was sent home early for doing this, although Egypt\’s judo federation said he went home when he had originally planned Are there alternatives to handshaking? Despite the handshake being very common, not every country uses this as a traditional way to greet people. As Mr Hanson says: \”Almost all countries shake hands, although in Japan they bow, and in some other Asian countries, like Thailand, they do the Namaste. \” The Namaste is when the person greeting will usually say the word \”Namaste\” to the other, with their hands pressed together, and do a slight bow. In France, it is traditional to kiss on the cheek when saying hello and goodbye Some countries in the Middle East do shake hands, but it might not be as firm as we would shake hands in the UK. In China, it\’s polite to shake hands more lightly too and it might last for as long as 10 seconds.
Other countries, like France, might also kiss on the cheek to say hello or goodbye. The handshake has existed in some form or another for thousands of years, but its origins are somewhat murky. One popular theory is that the gesture began as a way of conveying peaceful intentions. By extending their empty right hands, strangers could show that they were not holding weapons and bore no ill will toward one another. Some even suggest that the up-and-down motion of the handshake was supposed to dislodge any knives or daggers that might be hidden up a sleeve. Yet another explanation is that the handshake was a symbol of good faith when making an oath or promise. When they clasped hands, people showed that their word was a sacred bond. БAn agreement can be expressed quickly and clearly in words,Б the historian Walter Burkert once explained, Бbut is only made effective by a ritual gesture: open, weaponless hands stretched out toward one another, grasping each other in a mutual handshake. Б One of the earliest depictions of a handshake is found in a ninth century B. C. relief, which shows the Assyrian King Shalmaneser III pressing the flesh with a Babylonian ruler to seal an alliance.
The epic poet Homer described handshakes several times in his БIliadБ and БOdyssey,Б most often in relation to pledges and displays of trust. The gesture was also a recurring motif in the fourth and fifth century B. C. Greek funerary art. Gravestones would often depict the deceased person shaking hands with a member of their family, signifying either a final farewell or the eternal bond between the living and the dead. In ancient Rome, meanwhile, the handshake was often used as a symbol of friendship and loyalty. Pairs of clasped hands even appeared on Roman coins. While the handshake had several meanings in the ancient world, its use as an everyday greeting is a more recent phenomenon. Some historians believe it was popularized by the 17th century Quakers, who viewed a simple handclasp as a more egalitarian alternative to bowing or tipping a hat. The greeting later became commonplace, and by the 1800s, etiquette manuals often included guidelines for the proper handshaking technique. As is often suggested today, the Victorian shake was supposed to be firm but not overly strong. One 1877 guide counseled its readers that, Бa gentleman who rudely presses the hand offered him in salutation, or too violently shakes it, ought never to have an opportunity to repeat his offense. Б