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.