Gaurav Jhaveri bent down to touch the feet of his university’s dean during his graduation ceremony as a sign of respect, leaving the school head baffled at the gesture.
Gaurav’s act was caught on video, prompting jokes and expressions of respect from fellow Indian students. At the time of writing, the tweet by @Trollacharya has garnered more than 11,000 retweets and likes.
In Indian culture, bowing and touching a person’s feet is a sign of respect to elders or someone deeply respected in society, including teachers. It is usually taught to children, who later carry on the tradition into adulthood, especially during important events like festivals and religious occasions.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi was reported to have bowed down and touched the feet of Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s mother during a visit, India TV reported via Khaleej Times.
Many hailed Gaurav’s move on Twitter – The American Bazaar notes: “Many people appreciated him for keeping his Indian values intact without the slightest of shame in a foreign land.”
The professor didn't realize what has happened ?This guy touched his feet with a very good intention as a Guru, pic.twitter.com/lzcXEiK6A7
— Arzoo (@Arzoo2) May 20, 2017
Wow an Indian graduate did not forget his roots of touching our teachers feet as their mentors our Gurus taught by parents https://t.co/vU5UyfscRj
— # Eagle feather (@swaratmika) May 20, 2017
But many were also tickled by his pure “desi” (a loose term used to refer to the people, cultures and products from India and its diaspora) act, as well as his school dean’s clueless reaction.
It's sweet actually. Unlike pseudo NRIs, he didn't shy away from being a desi
— chiploo (@aaditee) May 19, 2017