What is often just a courtesy or protocol gesture, in others, tells a story of mutual respect, affection and trust without words.
Those arms that are lend trying to get the desired handshake tell a lot.
The most classical definitions indicate that handshake is used within nonverbal language for the starts or ends of our interaction with others; as much, for example, to begin a friendship or to open and close a deal.
It is said that such a gesture means equality and mutual respect for both parties and, as a social action, it influences the perception of the other person and the image we project of ourselves.
So, watching the images that have been released about the Cuban president shaking hands everywhere in his tour through Havana, watching the people really eager and crowding around him trying to greet him, it is worth explaining that definition of equality and mutual respect.
Equality, because all Cubans have the right to feel presidents ourselves, and because he, ultimately, is people too, and emerged from the people. Respect, because the people notice how much their president is doing to improve their life, to carry the country forward, and his handshake is conveying that message to them. On the other hand, when he gets his arm around someone’s shoulder, when he shakes hands here and there looking straight into the eyes of the people, he is telling them I am due to you, I admire you as a worker, as an honorable Cuban.
Yes, it tells a lot to watch Cubans crowding around, squeezing in on the streets and sidewalks to shake hands with the president.
Translated by Jorge Mesa Benjamin / CubaSi Translation Staff