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Origin of namaste
Words nearby namaste
What does namaste mean?
Namaste is a traditional Hindu greeting said with a hand gesture in which the palms are pressed together at the chest or head, accompanied by a slight bow or arm raise. In the West, it is commonly associated with yoga, and uses of namaste in this context is sometimes accused of being a form of cultural appropriation.
Where does namaste come from?
Namaste comes from Sanskrit, and literally means “I bow to you,” said with the accompanying pose at both greeting and parting. Forms of the word and depictions of the pose can be found in ancient Indian art and literature.
Evidence for namaste in English comes in the 1940s, around the time when many Westerners were discovering more about Indian culture surrounding the country’s new independence after being colonized by the U.K.
Related to namaste is namaskar, which also refers to the act of greeting someone with namaste.
How is namaste used in real life?
In Hindu communities in India and abroad, namaste is issued, in word and pose, as a respectful way of saying hello. An example is the 2018 Bollywood film Namaste England, or “Hello England.”
🇮🇳 NAMASTE 🇮🇳
If you have only one smile in you give it to the people you love. ~Maya Angelou
— SUNIL PATODIA (@scpatodia) June 3, 2020
— Deepak Chopra (@DeepakChopra) September 11, 2016
In the West, however, namaste has become a shorthand for all things yoga, evoking senses of peace, divinity, or balance in one’s practice. It’s frequently used as a kind of blessing—when not, more problematically, being more casually branded on yoga products.
going to YOGA soon. Namaste 🙂
— Nina Dobrev (@ninadobrev) September 22, 2009
This content is not meant to be a formal definition of this term. Rather, it is an informal summary that seeks to provide supplemental information and context important to know or keep in mind about the term’s history, meaning, and usage.
Example sentences from the Web for namaste
He gestures the traditional Indian hello—“namaste”—fluffs the pillows in the lobby, and skirts guests to the closest elevator.An Indian Icon Reborn: The Imperial Hotel Reclaims Its Glory Days|Esha Chhabra|May 13, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Instead of saying “Namaste,” investors said, “No, thank you.”Lululemon Stock Price Continues Drop After CEO Announces Resignation|William O’Connor|June 12, 2013|DAILY BEAST
The brave Sikh knelt down before the Takur, and instead of the ordinary "Namaste!"From the Caves and Jungles of Hindostan|Helena Pretrovna Blavatsky