Swedish Politician Mulls Thai Bows to Counter Swine Flu

While several local parishes of the Church of Sweden are advocating the use of fortified wine to prevent the spread of swine flu during communion, a Swedish politician is proposing a different measure to prevent the virus from spreading – the introduction of traditional Thai greetings in an effort to reduce direct contact.


Wai in parliament

According to thelocal.se, Moderate Party Member of Parliament Göran Thingwall who is also a physician has suggested reducing the risk of swine flu among parliament (Riksdag) members by doing away with handshakes and instead adopting the traditional Thai bow. In a letter to the parliamentary speaker, which was published on political news website Politikerbloggen, Thingwall wrote:

“During these times of swine flu, I propose that Sweden’s parliament Riksdag be proactive in reducing the spread of infection by introducing a new form of greeting. Rubbing elbows against each other is not appropriate because you come too close to each other. […] Personally, I have adopted the wai greeting to great success and with a positive reception. Let us in the Riksdag stand up for the fight against direct contact, which is a major factor in the spread of the virus!”


Metro newspaper reported that Social Democratic leader Mona Sahlin stayed home this week with a suspeted case of swine flu following a vigorous handshaking session in Kungsträdgården in Stockholm on Sunday.

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