Viral video of Indian student representing Hinduism during Convocation Ceremony in UK: Gestures explained

Read below to find out how an Indian Student touching his teacher's feet and chanting 'Jai Siya Ram' has become an inspirational notion for netizens. His representation of Hindu culture was rare yet well-received. 

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Courtesy: X and Canva

Recently a video has gone viral online of a boy of Indian origin touching his teacher's feet during a convocation ceremony in the UK. The teacher whose feet were touched welcomed the gesture with a smile. Representing Hindu culture on a big platform was applauded by viewers and it encouraged them to not hesitate to showcase their religion and culture. 

Megha Updates posted a copy of the video via X:

What does touching feet signify?

In the Hindu culture bowing down to touch someone's feet essentially is a gesture of conveying respect. Also called Charan Sparsh is a way of seeking blessings from the person who's feet are being touched. They often reciprocate this gesture by stretching their hand out over the other's head and saying "jeetay raho" which translates to may you live long. 
There are alternative ways to convey respect such as saying "Pranam" (respectful greeting). Another simple gesture is folding your hands and saying namaste. 

Meaning of 'Jai Siya Ram'

The Hindi phrase "Jai Siya Ram" translates to "Victory to Sita and Rama". This common Hindu greeting is used to express devotion to the Hindu deities Ram and Sita. The seventh avatar of Vishnu is Ram who is viewed as the preserver god in the Hindu trinity. He embodies an ideal ruler and models virtue. Ram's wife Sita is the daughter of King Janaka. She symbolizes purity, devotion, and strength.

The phrase "Jai Siya Ram" can be heard in abundance at temples, and during religious festivals. Essentially Hindu devotees say this as a way of expressing faith and pride for their religion. 

Understanding why gestures and rituals are followed in any religion helps to add meaning to it. Being aware of the reason behind the practice will enable you to perform the ritual or gesture with more authenticity.  

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