What is the origin of handshake?

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Bhubaneswar: It’s become so omnipresent that you may never have thought about why people shake hands. The history of the handshake dates back to the 5th century B.C.  Greece. It was a symbol of peace, showing that neither person was carrying a weapon.

During the Roman era, the handshake was actually more of an arm grab. It involved grabbing each other’s forearms to check that neither man had a knife hidden up his sleeve. Some say that the shaking gesture of the handshake started in Medieval Europe. Knights would shake the hand of others in an attempt to shake loose any hidden weapons.

Over time, it evolved into a polite greeting.

A recent study suggests we outstretch our hands and shake other people’s hands to check out how they smell; researchers believe handshaking offers a socially acceptable way for humans to communicate by way of smell.

Body language is crucial in every aspect of human interaction. And crucially, rather than expressing deference, a handshake between two people expresses a willingness for equality and balance.

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