[FOUNTAIN]Park, Lee try to get a gripMedieval knights stretched out their right hand as a sign they had no weapon, and the custom evolved into a handshake. Stretching out the left hand used to mean a challenge to a duel, because the knights bore arms in their right hand.
The manner of a handshake reflects the mind. If a handshake contains the spirit, you can be praised for offering a foot to the king. The 19th-century Belgian painter Charles Felu had no arms so he painted with his feet. King Leopold II held out his foot and called it “the most comfortable and pleasant handshake.”
To politicians, a handshake is a way to channel their heart to the voters. They believe that the number of handshakes will make or break their election potential. A politician should be prepared to get their swollen hand treated during the election campaign. Just like former Grand National Party leader Park Geun-hye, a politician runs the risk of becoming a target of terror while shaking hands, a sign of bearing no arms. The American politicians are having a hard time shaking hands because of a flu that kills 40,000 people a year. The palm is said to be a main source for spreading the influenza virus. Voters were told to wash hands as they lined up to shake hands with Vice President Dick Cheney, who also washed his hands as soon as he finished shaking hands.
According to Robert Brown, an American leadership expert, there are eight types of handshakes. Former president Kim Young-sam frequently used the “pull-in” handshake to depress the partner’s spirit. Park Geun-hye and former Uri Party chairman Chung Dong-young display kind-heartedness with the “two-handed shake” ― doing a handshake with the right hand while grasping the shoulder or the back of the hand with the left. A handshake can be a staged act by a politician seeking votes. Uri Party chairman Kim Geun-tae’s limp handshake is likened to “dead fish.” It is the least favorite among Americans.
A few days ago, Ms. Park uttered a shriek as she shook hands with former Seoul Mayor Lee Myung-bak. Her hand was not fully recovered from an injury from too many handshakes. The “finger squeeze” indicates a desire to overpower, and the incident has become a debate topic on the Internet. Some were enraged, claiming Mr. Lee challenged her to a fight; others suspect that Ms. Park was overacting. The supporters of Mr. Lee and the fans of Ms. Park may be arguing over a trivial matter, and someday, they may shake hands and reconcile.
Perhaps the primary candidates are stretching out their left hands, not their right ones, in anticipation of a presidential duel.
*The writer is an editorial writer
of the JoongAng Ilbo
by Kim Jin-kook