whatWho knows that touching the other’s skin with your hand – a caress then – stimulates Merkel’s discs? These mechanoreceptors located at the inner base of the epidermis participate in the transmission of emotions. Emotions that, for many, have been undermined in recent years by the implementation of the famous barrier gestures. Formal prohibition of approaching those who do not belong to the same household and, a fortiori, of touching. Especially not the hands, unlucky one! Unless you take out a bottle of hydroalcoholic gel, ready to use, which now lives at the bottom of your pocket or bag all year round.
Even before the health crisis, certain old habits had begun to shake a bit. Do college students still go to the movies hoping to brush hands with their love interest in the dark, between popcorn and commercials on the big screen, or do they prefer to stay home to watch Netflix and the like? “The sense of touch is the sense whose deprivation leads to the death of living beings”, Aristotle said.
Without falling into such extremes, touching each other serves to greet, congratulate or agree. And that comes from far away. A long time ago, a handshake served above all to show that one came in peace, that one was unarmed, ready to unleash a stab. We shake hands between heads of state to immortalize a historic moment on film: this is how the handshake between Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin on the White House lawn in 1993 is remembered.
Rappers have adopted and popularized the check as a sign of an exciting choreographic expression that can consist of a succession of finger movements, like a small dance that only they know. An exercise in which the NBA players stand out for showing their complicity, their cohesion and stimulating their desire to win. More generally, athletes hit five to celebrate a common victory. As for business leaders, they vigorously shake hands to seal a lucrative deal. And, for those anxious about germs, it’s always possible to wave to each other from afar. See you !