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Trivialities in Life Series # 2 - Handshaking

Updated on September 19, 2011

How will you treasure a handshake from the HubPages CEO Paul Edmondson if you happen to meet him at the downtown of California, any moment this year or next year? Much more with the handshake of HubPages Elites or the HP HubNuggets and fellow hubbers that you'll meet for a HP Meet Up or Writing Camp.

It's easy for us to handshake people we meet first time but not long ago. Before a bow was used to be the sole sign of respect especially to dignitaries of a kingdom like the king, queen, princesses and princes. Fast forward to the present, a handshake is more formally accepted especially for occasion that are usually frequented by politicians, media and business bigwigs.

From what is written in history, since the discovery of handshake from the feudal wars down to the more democratic ways of governance today, notable acts of handshaking were noted to make or break a certain business transactions and political maneuverings.

Handshake simply means acceptance. If you happen to be introduced to a new circle of acquaintance or friends, more often than not a handshake will outnumber. Back to the olden times, it meant rapport or reconciliation. Handshake also means you have no weapon as you held out your hand to stranger.

Lots of Handshaking during graduation ceremonies

The sister of our friend during her college graduation night (Photo by Travel Man, 2011)
The sister of our friend during her college graduation night (Photo by Travel Man, 2011)

Handshakes in History

The Roman co-emperors Balbinus and Pupienus Maximus put a handclasp on a coin in A.D 238 to signify harmony.

One rare coin showing two couples shaking hands is thought to celebrate the wedding of Marcus Aurelius and Faustina II, the daughters of Emperor Antoninus Pius, in A.D. 145.

When two hands meet, we pass on something of ourselves.

Blind persons can feel our feelings with the just the feel of our hands. Take for instance the famous deaf and blind Hellen Keller, US writer and lecturer, when she was introduced to fellow literary star, Mark Twain, she commented that she felt' the twinkle of his eyes in his handshake".

In political arena, a handshake serves as a sign of reconcilition especially during the ending of World War II. That was September 27, 1945; when Supreme Commander Douglas MacArthur of USA met with Japan's Emperor Hirohito at the uS Embassy. Instead of indicting the Japanese leader as a criminal, the handshake sealed the fate of Japan that embraced a democratic form of government to rebuild the country.

The most expensive handshake happened on July 17, 1975, during the Apollo-Soyuz rendezvous in space. After the two capsules come together, American austronaut Thomas Stafford inched through a special passageway built to link the crafts, finally grasping the extended hand of Soviet cosmonaut Alexey Leonov. The very clear message to the all peoples of the world was one of cooperation and peace.

Various feelings of other persons can be clearly felt through handshake. It can be a sweaty-nervous palm or an aggressive personality who shakes your hand eagerly. Above it all, we always look for a person whose handshake means sincerity.

For the politicians, it can be a way of conveying intimacy with the voters.

As respect, handshake is now executed by women in order to convey equal footing in business.

The decision to shake hands among powerful dignitaries can make or break a country or the leader himself/herself. It can even endanger their lives or declare it as shamfeul act or a disgrace on public.

On May 1954 in Geneva Switzerland, US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles didn't shake the hand of Chinese Premier Chou En-lai because the former blamed the latter for thousands of American soldiers killed in Korean War.

18 years later, a famous picture showing US president Richard Nixon and Chou shaking hands in 1972.

On September 13, 1993, US President Bill Clinton stood between Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO Chairman Yasir Arafat where two leaders made the handshake amid the 3 thousand spectators. Two years later, On November 24, 1995 the 25 year-old Yigal Amir assassinated Rabin because of that handshake. The New York Times carried the headline "With a Handshake, Rabin's Fate Was Sealed."

President Barak Obama's Handshake
President Barak Obama's Handshake | Source

Importance Of a Great Hand Shake....Shake Hands Like A Man.... c/o AlphaMconsulting


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    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @iamaudraleigh: Thanks! The Soyuz handshake was really cool. I intend to do it if ever NASA would like to hire a Filipino representative bound for space shuttle.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I like the originality of your piece! I like when you wrote about Soyuz rendezvous in space...way cool!

    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @Romano Arnesto:Handshake attests that individual differences can be settled in a peaceful way.

      Thanks for your hub-visit.

    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @thesailor: Truly, that man is a man of honor. He knows how to make people at ease, especially sailors who just anchored at a new port.

    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @earthbound1974: You're so right. Handshake is a barometer to friendship. You are sharing a part of yourself once you extend your hands to others.

    • Romano Arnesto profile image

      Romano Arnesto 

      7 years ago from Philippines

      Handshaking is the best way to convey friendship. It also puffs off any anger or grudges as you talk your way to give a handshake with your enemy and settle some business in a nice. gentle way.

    • thesailor profile image


      7 years ago from Seven Seas

      I was so ashamed when a driver-pastor of the Seaman's Center gave me a handshake during the winter, way back December of 2009.

      Amid the cold environment, he still removed his hand glove without hesitation and grasp my hand, still in gloves.

      A very genuine gesture of hospitality and friendship. He even ferried us to the nearest convenience store for a brief shopping spree.

    • earthbound1974 profile image


      7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      Handshaking is a formal way to befriend others. You can take note of people who don't want to grasp hands with others.

      I learned a thing or two regarding it. I am cautious now in making friends.


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