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Beth Schmillen

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10/17/2010 3:59:35 AM


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A Mohiniattam dancer making a namaste gesture

Namaste is a common spoken greeting or salutation originating from India and Nepal.

When spoken to another person, it is commonly accompanied by a slight bow made with hands pressed together, palms touching and fingers pointed upwards, in front of the chest. This gesture, called Añjali Mudrā, can also be performed wordlessly and carries the same meaning.



[edit] Pronunciation and etymology

In devangari script Sanskrit: नमस्ते, Hindustani pronunciation: [nʌmʌsˈteː]

The word is formed from external sandhi (coalescence) between the Sanskrit namaḥ, to bow, to give obeisance or reverential salutation, and te, "to you."[1]

Also common is a polite form using the imperative astu meaning "let there be": namo: stu te literally meaning "let there be a salutation to you."[2][3]

[edit] Uses

In Sikh scripture Namaste, Namastung or Namastvung is referenced as salutation to the Primal being, the One God. The salutation is followed by an attribute respecting a quality of the creator of all religions, Akal.

In Nepalese culture, namaste is performed when a younger family member meets older relatives. It also varies depending upon social status and prestige: The person with lower status or prestige performs namaste first to show respect for the higher station the other person has achieved.

Namaste is also used as a friendly greeting in written communication, or generally between people when they meet. When used at funerals to greet the guests, the verbal part is usually omitted. When the hand position is higher, it usually means reverence and/or worship. The expression with hands placed on top of one's head is usually the sign of utmost reverence or respect. When the gesture is performed with hands in front of the chest, it is usually considered as aayushman....

Phillip Black

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RE: Namaste
10/17/2010 5:27:37 PM

Hi Beth,

Thanks for sharing this valuable information with those who are not familiar with Namaste.

Bless You My Friend,


“There may be trouble all around, but I am calling you to a place of peace. Be still and know that I am God. Come to Me, and I will give you wisdom, strength, and grace for everything you face." Psalm 46:10
Myrna Ferguson

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RE: Namaste
10/22/2010 12:14:17 AM
Hi Beth,

Namaste, it has a beautiful meaning. Thanks for your post.


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